Come Hithah’ Thyroid Disease
Dear Thyroid (or what’s left of you):
Our relationship surfaced a few years ago when a doctor ran some routine blood work and found a high TSH. I needed to be on a replacement hormone, and so it began…my daily dose of synthroid. Throughout the years, levels went up, levels went down, hashimoto’s antibodies surfaced. I suffered with unexplainable tiredness, weight gain, weight loss, mental fogginess…all the while just thinking I was a total slug. My family, friends couldn’t understand why I continued to feel this way…”aren’t you taking medication for that?” Right, how could they understand when I didn’t even understand.
During one of those many visits to the doctor, he found nodules on you. Immediately I had you ultrasounded…yep, nodules were there and they were not alone…isn’t there something about safety in numbers? The mantra began…”we will keep a watch, 99% of these are non-cancerous.” We knew there was familial cancer, but we kept plugging along until…swallowing became an issue, feeling like something was caught in my throat, constant throat clearing, sleeping at night. Suddenly, your buddies, the nodules, began growing. No more ultrasounds for you, it was time for you and your buddies to hit the road, it’s eviction time. The mantra continued…”don’t worry, 99% of these are non-cancerous, even with your family history.”
Fast forward to surgery day…as prepared as ever, I was so ready to have you gone. As I was waking, the doctor said, “you did great, we found papillary cancer, it was also in one of your lymph nodes with possible vein involvement, I feel confident I got it all.” The cancer wasn’t in the nodules, but next to it, so much for the 99%. So, you left me a parting gift…thanks a lot! Now I wonder if any of the cancer decided to take up residence elsewhere in my body. I will know soon as my rai treatment begins next week.
At this point, I don’t know whether to thank you or say good riddence. So, I’ll do both. Thank you for sprouting those nodules. If they hadn’t formed and started growing again, I wouldn’t have had surgery and found the cancer. Luckily, it only spread to 1 of 13 lymph nodes they removed. Now, good riddance to you. I no longer feel like something’s caught in my throat, my throat clearing is gone and sleeping at night is more comfortable.
Living without you will be a challenge, but I am confident that with time I WILL return to my old self. I am determined to do all I can to be strong again, thyroid-lessly.
Bio: My name is Diana Sadowski, live in Maryland, now thyroid-less, hypo, hashimoto’s, mild heart attack at age 42, complicated migrainer, happily married (30 years) with grown children, currently works in customer service.
Tags: changes in TSH/T4/T3, Dear Thyroid Letters, feeling exhausted, Hashimoto's and thyroid cancer, hashimoto's thyroiditis, initial thyroid diagoses, mental fogginess, symptoms of hashimoto's, thyroid blog, Thyroid Forums, thyroid hormone replacement, thyroid nodules, thyroid support, weight gain, weight loss