Saturday, September 27, 2014

2nd Diagnosis

You may have noticed in my first post I mentioned the difficulty in coping with my cancer "diagnosEs" and I would like to clear that up.  On Wednesday I found out that a recent biopsy I had on my thyroid tests positive for "papillary thyroid cancer."  This was a bit of a shock.  In all the positive thinking we have all been doing since my diagnosis of melanoma in April, who would have thought that a second type of this disease would come for a visit? or so soon, at least?

The thyroid is positive for it as are surrounding lymph nodes.  It is not a melanoma, nor is it related, exactly, but apparently it has been seen in at least one other melanoma patient known to my oncologist, there is a link through some gene blah blah medical speak? I will elaborate on that when I get more information.

So... I am currently awaiting another consultation appointment with another surgeon at the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto - have to have the thyroid gland and nearby nodes removed. Hoping to have this done ASAP of course but also hoping to have it done at a time that it fits with my treatment schedule in the clinical trial.  I have now had my third treatment, fourth is on Tues Oct 14, then not another til January.  I have no other way of receiving the drug I am currently getting, other than via the trial for my melanoma, so hoping thyroid surgery could be around the first of November so I have a good window with at least 8 weeks for recovery to stay on track with melanoma treatment. Don't know yet if there will be other treatment following thyroid surgery, ie. radiation/chemo.  

Good news (apparently) is that this thyroid cancer is relatively easily treated with surgery, and that the melanoma is still the worse threat that we have to worry about.  I am definitely not looking forward to having another surgery at the vastly intimidating Sunnybrook Hospital, but I am intensely grateful for the amazing care they are providing me. I am also grateful my family physician so strongly encouraged me to go with the Sunnybrook option when we first started dealing with all of this (I was seriously resisting arrest, not wanting to make so many pricey and time-consuming trips to the big city, being away from my family so much).  Now I see how it benefits me and I am happy to report that my team of medical professionals from here to Toronto work well together and definitely convey the sense that they care about me and my future.

This is the newest news at this point, and I will post when I have surgery date and/or more information. Maybe I can plug in a calendar gadgety thing on this blog as Claire suggested? Trying to remember how to use this blog stuff ;-)

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