You may remember my post from a few months ago explaining why I went to Vegas on a whim. I wanted to share an update about this because last week I had a final surgery for my thyroid and I’m finally starting to feel better and I’m so excited it’s over!
Waiting for surgery with my slippers on the wrong way… luckily there’s no hospital fashion police.
In short: I had been noticing a lump in my throat getting bigger since my last year of high school and I hated it. It stuck out of my throat and I could feel it whenever I ate or drank and it just bugged me. I had gotten it checked out a few times previously, but all the tests came back clean and showed nothing alarming. Last fall, I decided to get it checked out one more time. It just annoyed me. My thyroid specialist said it was a nodule on my right thyroid, and even though it seemed to be ok, it was a little big and recommended getting it removed. I gladly agreed. The process wasn’t pleasant, but I could not believe how much that nodule had been affecting my throat without my realizing it. The first time I drank water after the surgery, it went straight down my throat. I was amazed!
A few weeks after the surgery, my doctor called me back in and told me there had been in fact a tumour occupying most of the nodule they had removed. It was a shock and scary to hear at the time, but once I started to learn more about it and my (amazing!) doctors explained the situation and the facts, it was not as bad as it seemed. At my age, thyroid cancer is highly curable and the risk of it spreading or being the cause of death is very low to non-existent. As my doctor said to comfort me: “you will die when you are 80 or 90 from something completely different”. Great words to hear at the time, though the certitude with which he said them might end up ominously haunting me if I’m still alive between 80-90 years of age. 😉
Last Monday, I had the rest of my thyroid removed as a precaution. It was unpleasant, and the week was miserable (the only way I can accurately describe it is that my soul was away taking a break and my body was just there waiting for it to return. It’s crazy the effect anesthetics have on the body.). However, I know that there is no comparison between what I went through to what some people go through. Even as I was waiting in the minutes before my surgery, feeling horrible and hungry and exposed, I overheard the man waiting ahead of me talking to his surgeon and telling him that he has been getting in trouble at work for the last 6 months because he has to go to the bathroom so often as a result of whatever he was fighting. How insignificant was my week of misery compared to those months he went through. Just the other day I also realized that one of my favorite Youtube vloggers, Charles Trippy, who had a brain tumour discovered last year, can’t drive a car for 6 months because of a risk of seizures. I realize how lucky I am.
Right now, as I’m starting to feel better and getting adjusted to my thyroid medication, which is currently a little too high and making me very hyper and jittery and excited and overly affectionate and talkative to strangers during the day, all I can think of is how positive this seemingly bad situation turned out to be. I can say with certainty that there is nothing like a health scare to make you realize how petty most of your worries have been so far. Sofia Vergara, who also had thyroid cancer, put it perfectly when she said “Your priorities change. You don’t sweat the small stuff and you realize how important it is to be healthy.” Health. Taking care of my body. Leading a life that I love and consciously cultivating happiness. These are all my priorities now. And I thank my (non-existent) thryoid for that now.
All my love!
Some iphone photos from the week:
15 of my mom’s grade 8 students made me handmade get well cards. My heart melted.
Stitches are out, bandages are off, soon there will be no more proof of it ever having happened. 😉