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I Survived the Total Thyroidectomy
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I Survived the Total Thyroidectomy

I had a total thyroidectomy last Tuesday and made it through just fine!  My throat being sore was the worst part.  I couldn't believe how sore it was.  I was eating cottage cheese & crackers that night though and eating anything I wanted to the next day after I came home.

Unfortunately, my fever wouldn't return to normal and by the third day home I had some major cold, bronchitis, flu thing starting.  The doctor gave me Mucinex DM over the counter first but the fever would not go away so he called in an anti-biotic and I started taking that this past Sunday.  Yesterday, I finally was fever free all day and today I am again.  

Had I not gotten hit with the bronchitis/cold/flu thing, my recovery from this surgery would have been great.  I really didn't have much soreness at the incision sight.  My neck is more sore from the surgery position and the hunching over I've done over the last week.  They gave me a shot in surgery in my left arm and of all things I've had a reaction to that and it's very sore.  I've never had a reaction to a shot.  I couldn't sleep very well the first few nights but did sleep during the day some.  Sleeping is better now.  The last few nights I've slept between 6 - 8 hours.  

Feeling very good today.  Going tomorrow to meet with surgeon and find out what pathology report says.  I know after that meeting I'll have many more questions for all of you experts out there because I'll either be getting ready for RAI or starting on thyroid medicine, neither of which I've ever dealt with!

Thanks for all the great advice leading up to my surgery.   I used it all to help me prepare for and recover from my surgery.

Kerry
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13 Comments Post a Comment
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417536_tn?1211909312
Kerry,

Why did you have surgery to remove your thryoid?
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Avatar_f_tn
I had my thyroid removed because suspicious cells were discovered through an FNA last December.  That FNA also revealed I had Hashimoto's.  Because my thyroid was multi-nodular and would have to be monitored constantly with ultra-sounds and FNA's and because the nodule was highly suspicious for cancer I went with the option of having my entire thyroid out instead of just the right side.  

I find out tomorrow if it was cancerous or not!
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Avatar_n_tn
Let us know what the pathology report tells you and we can all talk about RAI and whether it is a good idea or not!  If you want help interpreting your pathology report I can help.

I had a TT done on Jan 16 and am now preparing for the I-131 whole body scan they do to see what thyroid tissue is left behind and if the cancer has metasticized to anywhere beyond the thyroid.   I saw an endocrinologist, head and neck surgeon, nuclear medicine specialist, a surgical oncologist, AND a general oncologist.  Lots of opinions coupled with all the research I've been doing on the internet and my husband and I finally decided NOT to do the RAI ablation unless the whole body scan shows metastisis of the thyroid cancer.  

My pre-surgery  FNA showed a 9mm nodule suspicious for papillary carcinoma. We were planning for a partial thyroidectomy but the frozen section showed a 1.1 cm malignancy.  The surgeon took out the other side and found two more malignant nodules over there so I am glad he took it all out!  I also had multi-focal malignancy which means lots and lots of little 1mm or smaller spots of malignant cells.  We discovered that this is nothing to worry about and actually occurs in more than 50% of the cases of papillary carcinoma.

I'll be praying for you.

Valerie
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168348_tn?1379360675
Will be thinking of you!!!!!!  So sorry about being sick . cannot imagine coughing or sneezing .. no way!

C~
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Avatar_f_tn
Is the I-131 body scan the one they do right before they give you the RAI?  I'm sort of confused about the steps that will happen if I find out tomorrow that I do have cancer.  I do remember my ENT telling me that RAI is not a definite even if they do find cancer.  

Are you saying that if they discover your thyroid cancer was contained in your thyroid, that you will not be doing RAI of any sort?   Do they recommend doing RAI even if it hasn't metasized anywhere?  I just assumed that if was contained in my thyroid that RAI wouldn't be necessary.

I'll post my results tomorrow. Thanks!


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417536_tn?1211909312
What is a FNA?
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149081_tn?1242401432
Congrats on a great surgery- sorry to hear about the cold thing and as Cheryl said- ouch on coughing and sneezing.

Best Wishes for a clean path report.
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212753_tn?1275076711
welcome to the chicken club. Only you have to get your throat cut to get in. I am glad you are doing ok I am praying the pathology comes out benign. take good care of yourself and dont do to much too soon.
Love Venora
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Avatar_f_tn
FNA stands for Fine Needle Aspiration. Sorry, I forget that sometimes people don't know what the abbreviations stand for.  I know I didn't when I first came to this forum.   It is a method of biopsying thryoid nodules.  They numb the skin around your thyroid nodule and then insert a fine needle into the nodule four or five times and draw out cells to biopsy.   I was originally scheduled to have two nodules biopsied but when I arrived for the FNA they did the thyroid ultrasound (u/s) and found six nodules that needed biopsied.  They can only do four at a time so I had four done.  One of the four nodules showed cells suspicious for cancer.  All nodules showed Hashimoto's.  
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158939_tn?1274918797
Glad things went so well.  Part of the sore throat was probably from the intubation too.  Sorry about being sick.  I was for my 2nd surgery and that part of it was no fun (sneezing - Noooooo!)

*If* it is papillary carcinoma or usually follicular and is Stage I and small (under 1cm) the protocol is not to do RAI but to just monitor your TSH and Tg levels every 6 months.  The only reason I had to have RAI after Stage I papillary carcinoma is I had a recurrence three years later.

Your doctor will determine the starting dose of your thyroid replacement meds based off of your body weight then will have to "tweak" them from there because each of us is so different.

I'm glad things went so well.  At least you got that suspicious monster out.  Let's all hope for "benign" on the pathology!   Either way, we're all here for you.

~:> ):=    welcome to the chicken club and the double smile club.
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417682_tn?1253252657
I am glad to hear you got through that surgery oK!  I have to have that as well in about 2 weeks for a substernal thyroid and I cant believe how much reading these posts has helped me feel better about it....I cant belive you got sick after wards though!  I have had thyroid surgery before and I remember that incredibly sore throat.  where you cant really talk at first..  and then to have to cough on top of that!  You sound like you made it through great though
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Avatar_n_tn
i'm new to all of this.  i meet with the surgeon on tuesday.  info on this site is very helpful.  i'm confused about the meds after surgery.  sounds like you go about a week before the hormone replacement is given.  what do you do in the meantime and how does your body handle it (assuming you have the entire thyroid removed)?
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425199_tn?1313072597
Congrats on a successful TT! I'm sorry you had such an awful cold/flu afterwards, though.  That sounds miserable!  I hope the results come back quickly and cancer-free!  
Best of luck!
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