In case you haven't been following, I started coaching with Beachbody this year and have lost about 30 pounds in the past four months. It has been a welcome change and a great transformational journey on the inside and out! And the grace of God surrounds me, because it was precisely due to my weight loss that I realized my thyroid was enlarged. (Actually, I just thought my neck was still fat until my dad saw me and pointed out that my thyroid looked big.) One visit to my family doctor, an ultrasound, an endocrinologist consult, and a fine needle aspiration biopsy later and... I receive that phone call. The one where you answer and it's actually the doctor on the other end of the line instead of her medical assistant and you know instantaneously the news is not good.
The biopsy wasn't definitely cancer. It just wasn't definitely not. It's about a 40% chance of malignancy, looking at the size and shape and DNA of things. That's like one in every two-and-a-half people. Not my favorite cancer odds. My favorite cancer odds actually are the number zero.
First and second opinions recommended a total thyroidectomy. They speak like taking synthesized hormone to replace what my body already does perfectly ain't no thing. And maybe it's not-- I know tons of people do so without qualm-- but saying "okay" to cutting out a vital organ is harder than I thought it would be. Mainly because I don't think I ever counted myself as a person who would need lifelong medication for anything, let alone actual survival. You know what's worse than that, though? Cancer. So there's that.
Good news: thyroid cancer has a 99% survival rate because it is so treatable. Better news: I might not actually have cancer. There is something going on with my thyroid, though, that has absolutely nothing to do with its proper function, which is perfect. And it's not a lack of iodine or fluid-filled cysts. So it's either cancer... or a mystery. I want to lean into the "mystery" option, but then a friend asks me, "So if your children were going to go into a toy store where they had a 40% chance that a toy they picked up was a grenade, how would you think about that?" And while I've read that some small cancerous thyroid nodules are better left alone, unfortunately mine are not in that size category. So maybe the grenade metaphor is more appropriate.
This is just a little glimpse into the hamster wheel of my mind... the pros and cons that vie to win the tug-of-war.
Thyroidectomy pro: svelte neck. Score.
So here it is, world. I-- maybe-- have cancer. The only way to know for sure is to have a thyroidectomy and wait for the pathology after the fact. The odds are 40/60 and I have to decide what to do with that. So, yeah, I'd welcome your prayers. Any don't pass along any horror stories. I've got a good enough imagination as it is. ;)