Thursday, January 10, 2013

When Life Happens

You might be wondering why I have been on the quiet side lately.  It is not that I don't want to share lot of crafts and recipes with you, it's because something else has been keeping me a bit busy.  Remember a few months ago when I shared I was having some health issues.  While overall I am feeling okay, I am still having issues with my thyroid.

Yesterday  I had to have a biopsy because I had two nodules that were much bigger than the Dr. would like to see.  They wanted to check the nodules to see if they were cancerous.   I am also a bit concerned because my thyroid has swollen even more in the last few months  that it is  now visual to the naked eye.
swollen thyroid

Can you see it?   There is very definite butterfly shape in the middle of my neck. It is even slightly darker than the rest of my skin.  If you are not sure what you are looking at, below is another picture.

swollen thyroid 

Do you see it now?  That is what you do not want your thyroid to look like.  You should not be able to see it so easily. Mine is also larger than a normal thyroid.

thyroid nodules

The Dr's office were I was to have the biopsy was 45 minutes away, in a part of the city I am not very familiar with.  I don't like driving in areas where I don't know where I am going, but I didn't really have a choice.  I waited in the waiting room for about 15 minutes before they called me back.   I had worn a comfortable sweatshirt that has a small V-neck.  I guess I made the right choice.  They were able to get to my neck clearly without me having to wear a gown.   I was given another ultrasound to measure the nodules again to see if they had grown since my last ultrasound.   When that was  done, the Dr came in with two nurses.  She needed one nurse to hand her the needles, and the other to process the samples.  She gave me a numbing shot, which was the most painful thing of the entire biopsy because it gave a small burning sensation when the medicine was going in.  In a few minutes though, my neck was numb enough to start.  She did tell  me some good news from the start.  The nodule on my right side looked good.  It looked good enough, that she didn't feel she needed to biopsy it.  She was, however, still going to biopsy my larger nodule. (the one with the X in it)    She had to hold the ultrasound wand in one hand,  and and take the samples with the other.  I could feel a small pressure, but that did not last more than 10 seconds or so when she inserted each of the needles.  She took 4 samples in different areas of the nodule.  The entire appointment only took about 30 minutes.   She had me slowly sit up and rest a minute, in case I was light headed.  I wasn't.  She then told me that the location of the nodule was problematic because it was  on the back side of the thyroid near the carotic artery. She had to be careful not to hit the artery. I am not sure if this will be a problem later on, if the nodule continues to grow. She told me that my nodule visually looked okay to her, but she did not want to say for sure until she got the test results. I think it is a good thing that she is cautious. Now we have to wait....and wait some more.  She said that the results most likely will not be in until next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Here are some interesting facts about the  thyroid cancer.

It can occur at any age

It occurs more often in women then men

80% of the time it is Papillary Carcinoma, and it occurs most often in ages 30-50. (I am in my 40s)

It usually begins with a nodule in the thyroid gland

When nodules are over 1.0, a fine needle biopsy is done. (my largest one was 1.7 and I had this type of bisopsy)

While it used to be rare, it is increasing at an alarming rate.

The thyroid in a very important gland that makes the hormones needed to regulate how our body works.  It affects heart rate, blood pressure, body temperture, and weight.    When you thyroid is not working properly  you may be excessively tired, have thinning hair, weight gain, heavy periods  and  very dry skin. If you think you could be having issues with  you thyroid, be sure to see your Dr.

I will keep everyone posted when I hear the news.


  1. Hope everything turns out well for you!

  2. Glad the biopsy went smoothly...praying for good results. ~Joell @ Red Van Ramblings

  3. I hope you get good results! Glad the procedure was quick and relatively painless, for you! I have to say I am a bit jealous that you got a numbing shot! They didn't give me one when I got mine. :P

  4. You're in my thoughts and prayers Pam!

  5. You mentioned that your thyroid is swollen. Could you please share its ultrasound measurements?

    1. I can not share them, because I do not know them. I was only told the sizes of the nodules.


  6. No prob
    FYI: the average thyroid volume is 8 cu cm with the upper limit is 18 cu cm for adult female.
    Larger volume is considered "goiter"


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