Tuesday, April 3, 2007

My Lovely Lady Lump

A few weeks ago I went to the doctor and he noticed a nice big lump on my thyroid. He asked me what it was, and I was like 'uhhhh isn't that your job?' He then asked me if I had any of the following symptoms, which would mean I had an overactive thyroid… tiredness, weight loss, increased heart rate, heat intolerance, sweating, irritability, anxiety, muscle weakness, etc. I told him no, but that I was very interested in the weight loss side affect.

He then asked me if I had any of the symptoms of an under active thyroid… fatigue, weakness, lethargy, weight gain, depression, memory problems, constipation, dry skin, intolerance to cold, coarse and thinning hair, brittle nails, or a yellowish tint to the skin. I told him ‘No’ once again.

He told me to get some blood tests and then come back a few days later. He never told me anything reassuring, like 'oh it's probably nothing,' or 'don't worry about it,' so of course I worried! Well the worrying stopped once I did some research on webmd.com. That site is the best! I had never found the exact information I was looking for so quickly!

Since I don’t have any symptoms I self diagnosed myself with a thyroid nodule.

Sorry this photo is blurry, but the only way to get a photo of it was to take it w/o the flash.

Here is an image of a thyroid in case you were wondering.

The site stated that you can get various tests done to make sure it wasn’t cancerous. It also said that 5% of nodules are cancerous. The one positive thing my doctor did tell me was that thyroid cancer is rare in people my age, and that he’s never had a thyroid cancer patient die! Well that is good news! I could careless if I had cancer as long as I don’t die! (Does that sound like I’m being sarcastic? Because I’m not).

I was SO scared to get my blood drawn! I had never done it before, and w/ a few bad experiences w/ IVs I was not looking forward to it. The nurse was really nice and after she was done I felt like such a wuss! It was nothing and it didn’t even hurt!

So I headed back to the Dr. a few days later. He said that all my thyroid levels are normal (duh) and that I have low cholesterol! That was a total highlight! I have known I needed to get it tested, but I was scared of getting my blood drawn…now I need to get John to check his. You know now going over the 30 hill we need to be conscious of these things!

Next he suggested that I get an ultrasound, to find out if the nodule is solid or liquid. Result = solid. However the technician was not able to tell me what that means, since she wasn’t a doctor. I knew I still had more tests to come, so I didn’t worry. I was very interested in seeing the images from the ultrasound, and the technician was nice enough to print out a photo for me! It’s now proudly hanging on our fridge!

Below is the image. I have been kind enough to label the important areas so you know what you are looking at. (I’m sure my parents are so proud they put me through school for graphic design. I mean this totally shows off my skills!)

Here is the image w/o the labeling.

So after the ultrasound I was scheduled to get a radioactive iodine uptake test to evaluate the thyroid function.

I had to first go in and take a radioactive pill, (which I could not touch, but yet it’s safe enough to digest), and then go back in the afternoon to get photos taken. The technician explained to me that the thyroid takes in the radiation (Iodine) a which allows it to appear when the machine takes photos of it. Thanks to webmd.com I learned that w/ this test they are looking to see if the nodule is hot or cold. Hot means that they thyroid is working and there is normal activity. Cold means there is less activity, which isn’t ideal.

After the photos were taken, I asked to see them, and let me tell you that the ultrasound photos were way more interesting! See below:

This looks like a blurred UFO photo from the National Enquirer! I wonder if I could submit it for a little extra cashola!

Since the technician could tell I wasn’t that impressed he also showed me a scan of a normal thyroid. That helped me see that the nodule was not taking in the iodine 100%, which means it’s cold. (Self-diagnosis of course since the technician was not allowed to tell me anything).

When will I find out what all this means you ask? Well on Thursday afternoon I have another appointment to see a throat, ear and nose specialist. FINALLY! I think because the nodule is cold they will probably do a biopsy. We will see though. I have no symptoms though so I’m not worried.

John thought I should wait to write about this until I see the specialist, but regardless of what he tells me, I wasn’t not going to write about it! I mean it’s my lovely lady lump!


Daddyo said...

Good graphics. I am happy that we sent you to the finest college in the U.S. Good luck with yuour tests.

Molly said...

I'm soorryyy...I can bealry type...I must be drunk...off of your lump..

Maggie said...

I have an image in my head of Will Ferrell walking on a treadmill singing to Jon Heder, "My lumps, my lumps, my lovely lady lumps!"

Anonymous said...

You were gorgeous on this picture.
Too bad this was a cancer.

Anonymous said...

I've actually just had my ultrasound done (yesterday) and I'm doing my research now because they won't tell you anything at the diag. center, as you know. I'm trying to figure out whether no eye contact from the tech means something or not; and whether doplar blood flow aroundthe nodule means anything significant or if it's just flow within it that they look for.

My lady lump has me a bit worried, but poking around this blog has helped a lot! Thank you so much. You are my unintentional hero...

dianatanlim said...

thank you for this blog i am now convinced i should go see a doctor. some people commented that about the hoarseness of my voice and i recently discovered that i have a lump on my neck very similar with yours

Anonymous said...

Off-center madam's apple