DeniceM's Journey with Papillary Carcinoma, Thyroid Cancer

Survivor: Thyroid Cancer > Papillary Carcinoma

Patient Info: Living with cancer as a chronic illness (undergoing adjuvant therapy), Diagnosed: almost 11 years ago, Female, Age: 62, Stage IV

  1. 1
    • DeniceM
    • Experience with Papillary Carcinoma, T...
    about 5 years ago
    DeniceM's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I found a small pea sized lump in my neck in July 2006, waited until late October to have it checked out thinking it was a swollen gland. I went to an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor who immediately sent me for a biopsy. I knew in 10 minutes after he took the biopsy that I had cancer. My first reaction was what do I do, how do I get it out of me? I'm one of those people that if I know the worst case scenario then I can handle what ever comes my way. My husband on the other hand didn't look at things the same way. First question was would I need surgery, answer was yes. then how invasive would it be, worst case scenario? My doctor pulled out about 6 surgical gloves, put them in a XXX on the table and said that they might have to take out this amount from my neck. WOW! Then I asked who should do the surgery? She said that she would love to do the surgery. so I asked how many had she done, and her answer was not enough for me. She then sent me to an endocranologist. He did a sonagram of my neck and well he got way too excited by what he found. I had to calm him down and remind him that all of this was in my neck and was nothing to be excited about. upset yes, excited no! I had so many tumors that he would only suggest that I go to MD Anderson for my surgery.

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  2. 2
    • DeniceM
    • Experience with Papillary Carcinoma, T...
    about 5 years ago
    DeniceM's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    I went to MD Anderson on the Monday after Thanksgiving, had my surgery the following week on Dec. 6. The surgery was to be 4 hours, it took 8. The tumors were very small and many of them were right up against my jugular and coroidid artery. My spelling is bad. anyway, I woke up to my husband and sons and doctor asking me to talk. when I did they all were very excited. it wasn't until later that I found out how hard and long the surgery was. my heart had stopped during the surgery 3 times from the team moving my arteries to get to the tumors. Close call I'd say. The only real side effect was numbness and tingling in my neck and upper chest. I was told it was nerve damage from the surgery, it lasted about a year. I recovered quickly but did have side effects. My parathyroid was injured during the surgery. I didn't know how important that little thing was to my body. I had trouble with passing out from lack of calcium in my blood.

    Went as Expected: Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    • DeniceM
    • Experience with Papillary Carcinoma, T...
    about 5 years ago
    DeniceM's Avatar

    pill

    Radiation

    The prep at that time was a real pain. The low iodine diet was hard for me. But I did it! I lost my husband 2 weeks before the radiation to a freak hunting accident. I had already started the prep for the pill and didn't want to stop and start all over again. so I continued as planned. then had the experience of the radiation pill. Oh my, that was something. The hospital had to find a room where no other patients shared a wall with my room, finally after 3 hrs waiting they found one. I did the full body scan and xrays before the pill. then I was isolated from everyone. they put a piece of tape on the floor, no one was to go past that tape after I took the pill. This man came into the room wearing a full body suit, like hazematt suit, spelling again. He was pushing a cart that had a bit closed vat on it. he opened the vat, it looked like mad science, a fog came out of it and spilled over onto the floor. inside was a small cylindar that contained the pill. It was blue and looked like it was very actively moving around inside of it. May have been my imagination, but I could swear I saw it moving and changing. I took the pill and everyone left the room for 24 hours. a nurse and a nun came into the room, only up to the tape to talk to me and keep me company. Oh yes, I was instructed not to throw up! and that proved to be very hard thing to do. I didn't but really, really wanted to. after the 24 hours my son met me outside the hospital and I got into the back of the car, he turned around and the hair on his arms was standing up. He swears it was the radiation. I don't know! The cancer had matastisized to my right lung. and the radiation did take care of that. the worst side effect was the loss of taste. everything tasted like cardboard for about 3 months.

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • DeniceM
    • Experience with Papillary Carcinoma, T...
    about 5 years ago
    DeniceM's Avatar

    Side Effects

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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