So today's the day. Today - in about an hour, actually - I go to my endocrinologist. I've been reading the AACE's most current treatment guidelines for thyroid cancer, and I really feel that, based on previous metastasis, persistence of recurrence and current sympotomology, that moving forward with the radical neck dissection is really my best bet at beating this cancer now, and decreasing chance of recurrence later.
Specifically, I had extranodal metastasis to six of the ten central compartment nodes, as well as invasive metastasis to one of four parathyroid glands (in other words, instead of the cancer just surrounding the parathyroid, it actually invaded it, breaking through the parathyroid capsule). Based on that, the surgeon who originally did my procedure probably should have gone ahead with a radical neck dissection then, but wanted to wait, see how I did, then come back. At that time, all the cancer was kicked into the background, and remained that way for at least 4 years. So, at that time, it was the right decision - we need lymph nodes... .
However, the cancer is back. I don't want it. I want it to go away, take a long walk off a short pier, make like a tree and leave, etc, etc, etc. Right now, the best way to get rid of it, since the radiation didn't completely kick its ass in October, is to make travel more difficult for it.
Think of it this way: Cancer is a jackwagon in a little convertible sports car. He loves to drive fast. Best way to drive fast? The interstate.... The interstate of the body for cancer is the lymph system. So, my proposal is to take this jackwagon's interstate away from him. Make him drive his fancy little sports car down dirt roads, if you will. Make it harder for him to get where he wants to be. In other words, take out the lymph nodes in the general vicinity of the cancer's thriving metropolis - the neck.
Best way to do this? Radical neck dissection. It's an ugly surgery. It's a hard surgery. It's the kind of surgery that makes people miserable (not that any of them are a walk in the park!). I'm not proposing this because I think it's going to be fun, or because I want attention or any of that other crap. I'm doing it because, in order to live, and to live the best life I can, this is what needs to happen.
So today I have to go in to my endocrinologist, whom I love, and tell her that I want to do this, and I want to do it sooner rather than later. I'll probably spout off my silly little interstate/dirt road/sports car analogy. She'll probably resist, at least at first. But really, this is what's best for me, mentally and physically. I can't continue to sit around and wait for things to get worse. I don't like being reactive; I like being proactive.
So wish me luck. Today's a hard day.