Part 1. When I was in Seattle over Christmas I developed an infection on the back of my neck. It seemed it was a cyst of some sort. the development of a sinus infection as well landed me in urgent care on New Years Day after returning to NYC.
Part 2. At some point this fall I became aware that there was a lump on the front of my neck. Because I was so heavy for so long it was really after I lost the bulk of my weight that I really became aware that the lump was not bilateral or normal. The infection I had on the back of my neck resolved and I was referred to a general surgeon to consult on removal. Good timing so I decided to ask about the front mass when I was there.
Part 3. Surgeon agreed that the cyst should come out but not before the front of my neck was addressed. He suspected it was a goiter, about 5cm. Wanted me to go to my primary to get checked out. I had an appointment that same day (1/19). Went to primary who did an exam, blood work and sent me to get an ultrasound.
Part 4. I went to get the ultrasound that same day, thankfully for once that there are so many doctor's offices in Bay Ridge. The tech doing the ultrasound said that the mass was solid and it covered the right side of my thyroid.
This was Monday for those keeping track. Friday after having to track down results I was referred for a biopsy. The mass was not something that could just be drained.
I made the appointment for the following Tuesday.
Part 5. Blizzard, that was not. Canceled appointment. Rescheduled for Thursday.
Part 6. Thursday appointment the larger nodule was biopsied however additional nodules were as well. The large one, now estimated at 7cm (equipment for ultrasound only go up to 5cm so it us hard to accurately measure). There are smaller ones on the left side. It was uncomfortable but fast. Preliminary results on the spot: large mass looks ok. Just really big and has been there forever. Smaller nodule is.concerning but could go either was and needed further analysis. So we wait....
Part 7. Monday I finally called the pathologist was asked to call back because he was on a call shortly after my primary called.
Good news: the large nodule is fine, just connective tissue, solid.
Bad news: there is cancer in the smaller nodule. I will need to have at least that side removed and when they go in they will see if my lymphnodes are ok. Need to get a neck surgeon to schedule treatment and removal.
Part 8: I have cancer.
It seems of all the cancers one can have this is the best one. Extremely treatable and NOT something one dies from. This is good. But I still have cancer and I NEVER would have known if I had not lost the weight.
I'm feeling sad and a little... or a lot angry right now. But hopeful. I have so much support and I decided I wanted to write about this here because I have written about EVERYTHING here for the last 14 months and it felt strange to not be processing it here.
Losing weight has now saved my life twice. Still the best decision I ever made.
Part 9. I'm looking for a surgeon. As this new truly ponderous journey developed I will write because this is what feels right. Holding it all in hurts and I know so many people who have followed my journey are always in my corner.
So please keep me and Charlie in your thoughts as we now proceed forward and will conquer cancer.