Over the past week I gave the girls of the Braces Bunch a few updates of what was going on here. While the posts were short and cryptic, I thought I would spend a few moments writing them out.
Back in late January, E decided to go to the chiropractor to see what was up with his shoulder. This had been a three year problem and he was getting sick of the pain. The chiro thought it was a slipped disc and recommended that he have an MRI done – this was the first MRI. After the MRI finished he called me and said, “L, when I was in the open MRI they moved the camera.”
Moving the camera scares the crap out of me. Three years ago when E’s grandma broke her hip, the doctor came in and said to us, “At the top of the xray I saw something that concerned me, so I moved the camera.” After that he told us that there was a mass in her lung. So when E told me the camera was moved, needless to say I was scared and I couldn’t let him know.
A few days later he called me at work in tears and said, “I have a large mass on my thyroid, I need to have a biopsy done.” The mass was about the size of a golf ball on his right side and his biopsy would be done on Valentine’s Day. It was determined that the mass was indiscriminate. Next stop would be endocrinologist in March. The endo decided that it would be best if the mass was removed (a complete thyroidectomy) as it was pressing on the windpipe and effecting his swallowing and breathing. The endo asked us what we wanted and we responded, “The best surgeon there is.”
After meeting with the endo, a few days later he gave us the name of the surgeon he would recommend – needless to say we googled her and were amazed by the reviews. A few weeks later we met with the surgeon. Needless to say when she came in, I was immediately scared by her title on her white jacket, “surgical oncologist”. But her demeanor and care, put that to ease. She told us all the things that a mass on a thyroid could effect, male fertility made her list, along with earaches, shoulder pain, headaches. She informed us that it would be about 6-7 weeks before his surgery would take place due to her schedule, yet she was not worried about the mass interfering more than it already had.
E’s surgery took place on this past Wednesday (5/21). When we met with the surgeon before E was wheeled in, she told me that she would have him for about an hour and half and then we could go home in probably 4 hours. I told her, “Take good care of my E.” She smiled back and said, “I will.”
Two hours into surgery I got a call from the OR, the OR nurse told me that E’s mass was much more ‘finicky’ than originally was thought. For someone who needs control, this was not a good thing and I became super fidgety until the surgeon walked out two hours after that. E’s hour and half surgery turned in to a four hours surgery. When the surgeon walked out to the waiting room, I immediately knew everything was okay because I wasn’t brought in to the private consultation room, she sat down right next to me. She started by saying, “This wasn’t no golf ball, yet it is as benign as they come.” She told me it was so large it had grown behind the thyroid and was affecting many parts of his body, strangling his vocal cords and beginning to wrap around his windpipe. She said, “While I was removing it, I said, ‘Well that explains that symptom’.” It was so large and filled so much of his neck cavity, that she wanted to keep him overnight for observation. At that point my face must have shown what I was thinking (‘There goes CO#4’) and when she asked why I had such a face, I could not tell her, even though she knew.
What many people may or may not have known, E and I had scheduled CO#4 for May. We decided on May back in December, because of the fact we wanted to wait until E graduated (did I mention he went back to school and got his degree?). Once my cycle was determined, it was scheduled for the morning after his surgery. Since the surgery would be an outpatient 1 1/2 hour procedure, we were told it would be okay by the surgeon’s team. In fact one of the nurses said, “Out with the thyroid on Wednesday, in with a baby on Thursday.” It was sort of our mantra in the week leading up to E’s surgery. Once the surgeon told me that it would be an inpatient procedure I canceled CO#4 without even consulting E. It was by far the hardest call I had to make the entire day. E was so out of it that he didn’t realize that CO#4 was canceled until Friday afternoon. I believe it was a blessing in disguise.
Which brings us to today, four days later, and needless to say I have had a lot of time to reflect. Even though CO#4 was canceled and made me realized that having my husband feeling better is such a relief. E comments how he no longer has pain in his shoulder, he has more energy, and he can breathe and swallow better. His pain and swelling is still there. Last night as we were talking I said, “If CO#4 is a success, 4 will be come my lucky number, and I will send the copy of the ultrasound to the surgeon with a note that says, ‘It took 7 years but one missing thyroid I believed changed that. Thank you!’.”
So CO#4, remember the mantra is, “Out with the thyroid and in with a baby.”