Laughter is the Best Medicine…

…unless you’ve had throat surgery. In that case, it’s counter-indicated.

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Photograph by Sylvie Rosokoff

This photograph was taken at approximately 12 am on Wednesday, about 11 hours after I had said good-bye to my thyroid forever.

Since I’ve proven thus far to be terrible at keeping up a blog with any sort of regularity, allow me to back track and bring us up to speed.

My surgery was postponed since some further suspicions arose after an ultrasound of my lymphnodes. After 6 more biopsies, they determined that I definitely had cancer in my thyroid, but not in my lateral lymphnodes. And then, I got a PB&J cupcake at Magnolia Bakery, so the day was definitely not a bust.

And so it was determined that on Tuesday, July 23rd, I would have a Total Thyroidectomy with a Central Compartment Lymphadanectomy (…I think). And on Tuesday morning, with my entourage in tow, I headed into New York Presbyterian, donned my No-Skid socks and mismatched snowflake jammies and kicked cancer’s ass.

I woke up from the procedure, swollen, sore and slurring, and welcomed my little cup of ice chips and my two visitors at a time in the recovery room. They had warned me before they put me under that I would wake up with an itchy face, but I SHOULDN’T TOUCH IT because I wouldn’t be aware enough to avoid scratching my corneas or some other such accidental injury. And I was vigilant. None of my family members knew what I was talking about when I kept mentioning my face and my hands, and eventually I was able to instruct my husband to scratch my nose when I don’t recall even feeling itchy. 

My biggest disappointment from recovery was that my mom promised there would be juice and cookies. But all I got was ice chips.

After several hours, I was wheeled up to my room: a $6,000 per night, 8×10 box with no shower but a gorgeous view of the East River. I got a welcome kit with body butter and fancy mouthwash, and a remote control for the TV, but if I wanted to adjust the bed, I had to contort myself to reach the buttons located above my head. My husband got his own cot and my mother, father, and mother-in-law stood by my side as a parade of nurses, residents and doctors came and went. When I tried to pee, I couldn’t and cried, remembering the pain of the catheter I had to get when I was 16 after I had had knee surgery. I have never been so happy as when I tinkled that pathetic little first drop later that evening.

Two of my best friends came late that night for a visit, after I had drowsily viewed an episode of MTV’s Catfish and Drunk History. They brought me temporary tattoos and took my picture and we laughed and I kept dozing off and it was wonderful.

The night progressed, and as my anesthesia wore off, my drugs got stronger. My husband was able to sleep through most of the hourly visits by residents and nurses, and I continued to urinate with great zeal. They brought me a veritable feast for breakfast; I couldn’t even make it to the vanilla yogurt!

Since then, it’s been baby steps and ice packs and napping with the cat. And I’ve made it through almost the entirety of 30 Rock. I even left the house yesterday to watch my friends and family empty our moving pods into my parents’ basement! All in all, I’m recovering quite well, and I look forward to further recovery, and much more bloggery.

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In Sickness OR in Health

So the rollercoaster keeps on…rolling, I guess. I arrived in NY on Wednesday, and I really miss my husband and our cat 😦 I’ve read that newlyweds often find that they “need their space” and that it can be a hard transition when starting to live with someone every single day. Screw that. I don’t like being away from him. That being said, I’m so happy to be back up North. Sure it’s plenty humid up here, but it’s not 96°! It’s nice to be back in my old neighborhood again, doing the same old same old I did in high school. My parents’ dog even found one of my old beanie babies today and completely eviscerated it. It was awesome.

Not so awesome was the dip the rollercoaster took today when I saw my endocrinologist. Unlike my Florida endocrinologist, my New York endocrinologist explained to me that there’s still a small chance that I might not actually have cancer…yet. You see, they won’t know for sure, until they’ve removed my thyroid and dissected it.

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“Good news, everyone! I only might have cancer!”

So this is definitely…news. It doesn’t change the fact that I need to have my thyroid removed so honestly, it’s not that comforting. I’ve never been a fan of highly invasive surgeries that leave me with a drainage tube of any kind.

But on a good note, I went to a candlelight yoga and meditation class this evening. It was, as one would imagine, quite meditative. And I went to the dog park with one of my best friends. So all in all, it was a good day.

The Boob Doctor

So I had an appointment with a breast specialist today, since I didn’t have enough stuff going on, and I need to have a breast lump added into the mix. This is not a new discovery, it’s actually been lurking there since 2009, but two mammograms and several ultrasounds have yielded benign results.

But today, my new (soon to be old since we’re moving to NY) doctor recommended a needle biopsy, breast MRI and mammogram, and that we follow “those guys” closely. Apparently, the cysts in my breasts are male. So that’s fun.

She also recommended I get a PET scan, because I have what appear to be swollen lymph nodes on the back of my neck, on the same side as my cancer friend. And if there is something amiss in my breast, it will probably show up on the PET scan as well. Goody! Two-for-one special! Oy vey…

In the Beginning…

Let’s get one thing out of the way. Yes, I am Jewish (well, at least I was raised Jewish). And on top of that, my mom is a shrink. So with that combo, I’ve developed a set of neuroses of Woody Allen proportions. I don’t know how much you know about upper-middle class Jews, but we like to go to the doctor. A lot. Often times for no reason other than to just go; often times for imaginary ailments that WebMD insists are cancer. Well, the funny thing is…this time it was. Cancer, I mean. But I’ll get back to that.

2013 has been a veritable parade of bogusness for me. So allow me to indulge myself, and take you on a journey. I had been pretty miserable for about a year, as it was, working a job I unfortunately no longer loved, living in a place that both my husband and I had “gotten over.” We celebrated our 1 year anniversary in January. Eating the top tier of our wedding cake was the most exciting thing that had happened in like, well…since our wedding! We were really happy together, but, unfortunately, we don’t live in a vacuum, and life was just kind of bleh around us and our adorable cat.

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