Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chemo Round Eleven & Possible Bonus Cancer!

I need a break.

I had Chemo Round Eleven on Monday. No major issues in that area, fortunately. White cell counts are holding steady with the help of the shots of Neupogen. I did notice that I was much more easily winded when working out over the weekend, but that could be due as much to my inconsistent regimen as to the chemo drugs catching up with me.

The big news: I did finally hear back regarding my thyroid. Last week an endocrinologist performed a fine needle biopsy, where they removed a few cells from the suspicious area of my thyroid. The results came back positive for a follicular lesion. What does this mean? From what the doc told me (and I've confirmed thus far), is that I have a 75% chance that the growth is benign and 25% chance that it's cancerous. The fine needle biopsy is limited in what it can reveal, so the only way to determine what's going on with the lesion is to surgically remove half the thyroid. (Quick anatomy lesson: thyroid is a roughly symmetrical, butterfly-shaped gland that straddles your voice box.) Once they perform a further pathology on the removed lobe, they can determine whether thyroid cancer is present. In that case, then full removal of the thyroid would likely follow.

This is certainly not the news I was hoping for, especially when I just getting used to the idea of my life getting back to normal. I'm waiting to hear back from my oncologist to see what his opinion is, but it sounds like they wouldn't be cutting me open for a couple months anyway (gotta get my white counts back to normal before surgery). As far as the big picture goes, I do recognize that this could be a lot worse (fatal cases of thyroid cancer are very rare). For the moment, though, I prefer to remain frustrated in the cruel timing of all this. [shakes fist in the air]

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with everything, Justin. I hope the news is positive, although I'm sorry you'll have to go through surgery. Keep us posted!