(continued from the LAST post)
so, the first surgery had determined- I had papillary thyroid cancer. The second surgery was easier. It was as though my body was a seasoned pro. I was still in a ton of pain when I came to, but I was eating more quickly than I had after the first operation. And according to everyone around me: nurses, my mom, my bf, and my friend skip- I wasn’t as pale. No dad visit again. OK. He would have made it harder. He would have annoyed me, rattled me, made me anxious due to him being so rude and antagonistic. He probably would have cringed seeing me because he doesn’t know how to handle situations that call for tenderness, calm, or unconditional love.
At least I had my boyfriend. Or at least that’s how I felt before he visited me at the hospital one day, while I was recovering, got into bed with me reeking of booze and told me he drank a bottle of cooking wine and might need to go to aa. I’m so glad he didn’t make it all about him. Phew! him in bed with me, crammed into a bed smaller than a twin size, tugged at the iv in my arm. This was not comfortable. Sometimes you get sick because it’s your body’s way of making you slow down and get quiet- so you can look at life, look at YOUR life, and realize what’s important, what isn’t, what you want and what you do not want, realize what you’re grateful and thankful for.
Now I had no thyroid and they had removed some lymph nodes/scraping the inside of my neck. I did radiation and my head swelled up like I was a 400 pound woman, and yet my body remained the same. embarrassing! riiight! I can’t remember the order of all the procedures. Maybe they found residual stuff in my lymph nodes after the second surgery and then did the radiation? Then a second radiation because it wasn’t taking? either or.
It seemed like everything was finally OK. although, the radiation fucked with my salivary glands a bit- more specifically, my parotid glands. So for a while, and even to this day- if I eat something too crazy sour or salty, I might feel like the area between my earlobes and jawline is swelling. is it a real swelling or a phantom swelling? It’s always different. Drinking water makes it calm down and go back to normal. Nobody notices but me, it’s so subtle. but I notice.
in the four years that followed, each and EVERY year- I had to go on what’s called a ‘low iodine diet’ to prepare for a full body scan to make sure the cancer hadn’t come back. And for the past four years, each scan has been clear of any residual cancer. Yay! But my doctor started to worry me. She’s on a few too many reality shows! I felt her office was a bit jumbled and I didn’t like the front office’s attitude or organization. So I decided to mix it up. i asked around, to potentially see a new endocrinologist. well, he doesn’t look like house, but i found one! (to be continued)