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Put off surgery?

Posts: 47
Joined: Jun 2011

Need input. My TT is scheduled for Sept. 28 at MDA, I'm going to see if I can get on the cancellation list, but here is my dilemma: My last semester of college is this semester. I'm getting a degree in Computer Systems Maintenance--so very hands on. I would miss a minimum of 2 weeks, possibly 3--which just won't work. If I don't finish this semester, one of the classes I need will not be offered next semester or summer. So I will have to wait an entire year to graduate.

The chances this nodule is cancer is 5-7%. Would I be insane to put it off until after the semester? (The first week of December) I will talk to my dr., of course, but wanted to hear what you guys think.


Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2011

I was in a similar situation... I waited until after my final exam to get my diagnosis and my surgery setup. It turned out to be cancer. Personally, I wasn't bothered by it as I was focused on my goals, therefore I don't think it was a bad decision. If it is something that you will be bothered by, then get it done beforehand and wait it out.

Posts: 5
Joined: Jul 2011

I opted to get the surgery, and I am glad I did because it turned out that mine was cancer. I have no regrets regarding making my health a priority :)

Good Luck!


Posts: 97
Joined: May 2011

I guess the issue is how much would it bother you psychologically (yes, I am a psychologist!). I found that was the worst part by far, even though mine was confirmed cancer prior to my surgery. Is your doc able to gauge size or do a FNA? Some of the cancers are a bit less aggressive than others, from what I know.

The other issue is how long they'd plan to keep you in - for me, I was told that it was an outpatient procedure, with only an overnight hospital stay. I ended up with complications, and I was there for almost a week, but they said this is unusual (?). I was able to function just fine the day after the surgery - I just looked like Frankenstein with the bandage :)

Posts: 582
Joined: Oct 2010

Are you having symptoms that are causing you problems? Three months delay is somewhat of a short period of time. If it is cancer, Thyroid cancer is "slow" growing in most cases. I couldn't wait simply because I was having horrible symptoms. I understand wanting to get school out of the way, so yes, talk with your doctor and see what he/she thinks. It would be difficult to concentrate on school when you are adjusting to medications etc. I am not the same person I was before I was diagnosed. My memory, vision, mental capacities are out of whack even on medication.

Best of luck with your decision.


Posts: 47
Joined: Jun 2011

I have had a FNA, it was follicular lesions. I plan on getting another ultra sound at the end of August to see if it has grown much. If it has, I will do it earlier. (My original surgery date is September 28th--so only 2.5 months later)

I spoke with MDA today. She said they would put me on the cancellation list. She also said that it would not be hazardous to my health to do it December 14th. However, since I have an infection in my nose and throat from the scope, she did say I needed to plan for 2 days in the hotel in Houston instead of one. (plus overnight hospital stay). She couldn't believe I got an infection and that my nose is still bleeding...6 days out...

Just call me zebra..


Posts: 507
Joined: Apr 2010

Ok that line caught my attention.

If it is not an aggressive cancer and has not spread beyond the thyroid then it probably wont hurt to wait if you watch the results and monitor everything.

If I had waited it probably would have spread outside of the thyroid but they didn't know that at the time.

Sarah it is all up to you though its your body.

so as far as i can tell the doctor thinks that you have a 93-95% chance that since its non cancerous it wont be an issue waiting... or a 5-7% chance it is cancerous. if it is cancerous there is a low percentage that it will be a fast growing so it

I wish you luck in whatever choice you make


Posts: 47
Joined: Jun 2011

Yeah, the only little nagging thing I have is "what if it is an aggressive cancer?" Right now my lymph nodes are clear. That's why I'll be asking for another ultrasound in late August. Is there anything in the blood work that would show if I have a lower chance of cancer? (a question I didn't ask my doctor)

Thanks for the input everybody.


Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2011

I knew that I had cancer and still put off the surgery for 2 months and my surgeon said it was okay to put it off for up to three months because its slow growing. I had no symptoms and I wanted to breast feed my baby a little longer and to prepare more for the surgery. In the end the cancer was in both sides of my thyroid and had spread to some of my lymph nodes... but still its only stage 1. From what I've been told its pretty common for thyroid cancer to spread to lymph nodes and its not the "big deal" that spreading to lymph nodes is in other parts of the body. If I had to do over again I still would have waited on the surgery

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