Thyroid Cancer & How you can help!

Thyroid Cancer & How you can help!

I am recovering from my second surgery to treat my Thyroid Cancer. I had surgery on November 1st to remove the remaining half of my Thyroid. I have cancer in my skeletal muscle as well as through out the rest of my neck. I was officially diagnosed with Papillary Carcinoma with Solid Variant. A very rare and aggressive type of cancer. I will soon be going through radiation and possibly chemo. Due to me being unemployed and uninsured all my medical expenses are coming out of pocket. We are 1100.00 short of our goal for radiation.

If you would like to donate & support my fight against Thyroid Cancer please click on the photo or link below! If you are only able to share my link I would be forever grateful.

http://www.gofundme.com/butterflybattle

My Thyca Battle: Being diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer

So some of you may know that I had a 2nd surgery 4 days after my Laparoscopy for Endo & Adeno. However many of you did not know why.

April of this year I began noticing issues swallowing, extreme fatigue, hair thinning and more. I had also noticed that my neck started to get larger on one side. I had always had a small lump in my neck but it had gotten larger. So I decided I needed to get my neck seen. I immediately made an appointment with my primary care physician on May 2, 2013. There he did a physical examination of my neck. Right away he felt a large lump where my thyroid was. He said that I needed to get a Ultrasound as soon as possible. He also gave me a referral to see an Endocrinologist.

On May 16, 2013 I had my Thyroid ultrasound appointment. Of course the technician didn’t give me any results at my appointment. A few weeks later I received an appointment in the mail to see my Endocrinologist. My appointment for a Fine Needle Aspiration(FNA) was set for August 2, 2013.  Friday the 2nd came and I arrived at my appointment. Sitting in the waiting room I wasn’t very nervous at all. My fiance, mother and nephew were with me. I remember my nephew Cayden playing with his toys and the sound of his laughs. It never occurred to me that I a few months later that that would be the moment where my life would changed.

At that very appointment I met my Dr. Immediately I could tell she was extremely sweet and caring. She spoke to me for a bit about my symptoms and my blood work. She told me that my ultrasounds results revealed a large tumor in the left side of my thyroid. She said that my thyroid function was normal and that thyroid masses were common and many turn out to be nothing. She walked me over to a small room with a examination table and a ultrasound machine.  I was put onto the table with my arms crossed over my chest. She applied some cold jelly for the ultrasound. With that she could see my nodule clearly. Right away she was confused by what she saw. Apparently my nodule had extremely defined walls and was completely solid, Something my doctor had never seen. She removed 4 samples of my thyroid nodule cells.

14 days after my biopsy on August 16, 2013 I received a call from my Endocrinologist. She started off letting me know that my pathology report was not 100% clear. She said that I had Thyroid Cancer but that the type is either rare or mixed celled. At that point I heard nothing else before I said goodbye and hung up the phone. Tears went flowing for my few days following that call.  Different emotions came over me throughout those few days. Everything from anger to sadness took place inside me.

Stay tuned for my next post where I will go further into details on surgery and what led to it.

If you would like to donate & support my fight against Thyroid Cancer please click on the link below!

http://www.gofundme.com/butterflybattle

What is Adenomyosis(Adeno)?

It has come to my attention that many Endo Warriors do not know what Adenomyosis is. Honestly I was one of them until a few weeks ago when I was diagnosed with this disease during a laparoscopy. I want to take the time to bring much needed awareness to this disease. I have suffered from Endometriosis along with Adeno for many years without knowing.

Please take the time to read this short breakdown on what Adenomyosis is. If you would like to know more please don’t hesitate to leave a comment!

What is Adenomyosis?

Adenomyosis is a condition in which the Endometrium(uterine lining) implants inside the muscular wall(myometrium) of the uterus.  This causes the Endometrium to become stuck in the wall of the uterus with no way to exit. The Endometrium can be localized to one section of the uterus or become spread all over.

Adenomyosis is NOT the same as Endometriosis! However most women that have Adenomyosis ALSO have Endometriosis. Just like Endometriosis the cause of Adenomyosis is not known. Adenomyosis occurs most often in childbearing ages. For most suffers it often occurs after having a child. For most patients Adenomyosis is no longer an issue after reaching menopause. However the condition is ONLY curable by Hysterectomy.

Although Adenomyosis is not life threatening it is a very difficult condition to be forced to live with.

What are the symptoms of Adenomyosis:

  • Severe Pain & Cramping(often knife-like pains).
  • Lower abdominal pressure.
  • Tender lower abdomen.
  • Bloating of the abdomen.
  • Passing clots during menstruation.
  • Heavy and/or prolonged bleeding during menstruation.
  • Breakthrough bleeding between periods.
  • Pain that worsens as you age.
  • Pain during intercourse.
  • Cramping throughout your cycle.
  • Enlargement of the uterus.

However some women with Adenomyosis have little to no symptoms at all!

How is Adenomyosis Diagnosed?

Unfortunately the only sure way to diagnose Adenomysosis is through a Hysterectomy. This is where the uterus is removed and then taken apart and it’s cells are tested for Endometrium cells. However recent technology have come a long way as far as imaging is concerned. Things such as an Ultrasound or MRI make it possible for a doctor to see Adenomyosis. It is also very possible for your doctor to detect during a physical examination.  Be careful that Adenomyosis is not confused for Uterine Fibroids which have similar symptoms as they require different treatments.

What treatments are there?

Because there is no cure for Adenomyosis other than Hysterectomy there aren’t a lot of options.

However here are a few

  • Heating Pad for Cramping.
  • OTC medications.
  • Anti Inflammatory medications(NSAIDS).
  • Hormone Therapy.
  • Presacral Neurectomy(PSN).
  • Uterine artery embolization.
  • Endometrial ablation.
  • Hysterectomy.

If you suspect Adenomyosis please consult your physician for the best plan of action for your care!

This Endo Girl,

-LaLa

Where have I been?

Hey dolls!

I am so sorry that I have not put out a blog post in almost 2 months now! I recently had a second surgery since my Laparoscopy for Endometriosis. This recent surgery is NOT related to my Endometriosis at all! I am now preparing for a third surgery on November 1st which will hopefully be my last. I will be doing a few blog posts on my recent health battle as soon as I am able. Please be as patient as you can with me! Very soon I will be uploading “My Endo Journey: Surgery update 2 months out”! If you are interested in knowing how my surgery went please “follow” me and you will get an email when it’s live.

I thank you all so much for the support!

This Endo Girl,

-LaLa

xoxoxoxox

My Endo Journey begins: 7 days out til surgery!

Today marks 5 days until my life changing laparoscopy surgery with The CEC! I didn’t even realize it until today that I had forgotten all about blogging for my 2 week Pre Op mark. I may end up doing a “make up” blog so that later on I can see where my head was at that time.

Today I can tell you that I am so excited and so ready for this surgery to come! I am so grateful that in just 7 short days I will get real answers as to why I am always in so much pain. Since I will be having a Chromotubation(Like a HSG) I admit that I am completely terrified that I may have fertility issues from never being treated in the past 13 years. But I am willing to attack them head on and fight for my right to be a mother! I am not claiming those thought but I also don;t want to ignore the possibility.

Another thing that has me completely nervous is the fact that I woke this morning with an awful head cold! Sneezing, sore throat, swollen lymph node and all! I immediately increased my Vitamin C from 3,000mg daily to 4,000mg daily. I started drinking loads of water, tea and ginger ale. I am hoping that this will help my system to knock it out a bit quicker. Normally my colds only last 3-5 so I am praying it is gone before Sunday night! I have been waiting for this surgery for 13 years…67 days of which it was ACTUALLY scheduled : ). I would be heartbroken if it were canceled and postponed!

I have also had what I think to be the start of my first cycle in 3 months come on Saturday. I woke up with my usual Endo period symptoms…nausea, diarrhea, cramping, heavy bleeding and back pains. I had some clotting as well which I haven’t really had much of when I was on the Depo Provera shot which officially left my system on/around June 29th. Of course I couldn’t take any pain or nausea meds because my surgery is so close and I cant have blood thinners. I ended up mixing a red rock ginger ale with a Seagram’s ginger ale which helped tremendously with my nausea. I took some Tylenol for the pain which did diddly squat for my pain. I got out my amazing 13 years old trusty heating pad which helped a lot.

I am hoping this is a sign that my body is ridding me of the awful drug that is Depo Provera and bringing back my cycles. I am not excited about the pain but I am excited to not be irregular or bleeding for 23-30 days at a time. I am just so ready for the possibility that my pain will no longer exist soon after surgery. I know that excision isn’t a guarantee but for me I am hopeful! I can no longer sit around a watch my life and all my potential to be happy pass by me! Soon on August 12th, 2013 I will have the chance to get my life back!

I am feeling amazing!!!

Laparoscopy for Endometriosis: Post Op Care Supplies

I have already posted my Hospital Bag, Bowel Prep & Post Op Ailment Tips. Please head over and check those out for great tips & tricks for before & after surgery. Today I will do a short post about the OTC meds & supplies I have stocked up on for after surgery!

Once I leave the hospital and come home I want to be as prepared as possible. I am sure there can be any number of possible bumps along the road to recovery. Whether it be gas pains or diarrhea(doesn’t sound too pleasant after surgery) I want to be as prepared as possible.

Here is a short list of great things to have on hand Post Op!

  1. Gas-X or another anti-gas OTC with the main ingredient Simethicone. It helps to move excess gas out of the body!
  2. Imodium or another Anti-Diarrheal OTC with the active ingredient Loperamide HCI. Counteracts/reverses diarrhea!
  3. Nauzene or another Anti-Nausea OTC with the active ingredients Dextrose (Glucose) &  Levulose (Fructose). Chose one that also includes an Anti-Acid.
  4. Prilocec OTC or another Anti-Acid like Equate Acid reducer for acid reflux. There are several active ingredients to chose from in OTC Anti-Acids.
  5. Colace or Dulcolax stool softeners.  The active ingredients should be docusate sodium. Avoid stimulant laxatives!
  6. Allergy Relief OTC like the Equate Allergy Tablets. The active ingredient should be diphenhydramine HCI antihistamine.
  7. Kleenex Tissues for any tears of joy or sorrow after surgery!
  8. Hand Sanitizer wipes or liquid to keep infection down to a minimum risk!
  9. Dried Prunes or Fiber supplements. Helps to naturally encourage bowel movements…prevents constipation!
  10. Gingerale or Ginger suckers. Great for helping with nausea.
  11. Thermometer to keep an eye out for any post op fevers!
  12. First Aid kit for any boo boos you may get!

I hope this helps you to be better prepared once your wonderful nurses are no longer there! I will update this list as soon as I find new items that may be helpful! Please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments!

Laparoscopy for Endometriosis: Post Op Ailment Tips!

A few days ago I posted my Hospital Bag & Bowel Prep tips. Please check those out if you would like to know what I have packed & purchased in preparation for my upcoming surgery.

I have noticed that lots of my fellow Endo sisters complain about Post Op Ailments like gas pains more than the actual surgery it’s self. So I figured I would go ahead and post what helpful tips & tricks I have collected over the last few weeks. I hope you all find these to be helpful and will be prepared before & after surgery.

Lets get started!

Gas Pains OR Shoulder Pain…..

Unfortunately this pain is most likely going to happen regardless of how much your surgeon tries to suck out all the gas. They will never be able to get it all so regardless you will have excess gas trapped in your abdomen. Beautiful thing about this is that it has no where to go. It can’t exit the digestive tract so it has to SLOWLY be absorbed into the blood stream. This can take minutes, hours & for some even days.

  • Immediately after surgery take some Gas-X. I know I said that the gas can not be expelled through the digestive track. However it can’t hurt to try & see if it works! : ) This will of course help if you have any gas in your digestive track.
  • Sip on hot tea with peppermint as soon as you are able to hold down liquids.
  • Drink plenty of carrot juice…it naturally helps absorb the gas!
  • Use a heating pad on the front & back of the area you are having gas pains. It helps to bring increased blood flow to that area & allow the gas to be absorbed faster! It also helps with the pain!
  • Walk as much as you can as soon as you can! Most hospitals have patients up walking within hours of surgery. This helps to move the gas around & out of the abdomen. It also helps to increase blood flow to the body. Once you are home walk a few times around the house or even outside….careful not to over do it!
  • Avoid cold food/drinks…I find that they give me gas. May just be in my head but it could not hurt to avoid it for a few days post op!
  • Elevate your feet & head to allow gas to pool in the center of the abdomen instead of in the shoulders!
  • Elevate your hips and allow your head & feet to rest lower….this also helps to disperse the gas!

Constipation…..

Constipation is something that just comes with the territory with surgery! All the pain meds & General Anesthesia stops you up! Only issue is that it makes ‘going” extremely scary when you are sore almost all over but especially your core muscles.

  • Keep your diet light for the first few days! This a great time to start the Endo diet.
  • AVOID foods high in fiber for at least the first 2 days Post Op.
  • Take a probiotic daily…make sure that it has at least 5 different strains & live cultures.
  • After a few days eat foods high in fiber like prunes apples, bananas & pears. Yogurt also helps to keep your bowels moving. Greens are also great for this!
  • Stay hydrated & drink plenty of liquids! At least 8 glasses per day!

Diarrhea….

In case of diarrhea Post Op this can be very uncomfortable! I would suggest if it is severe or you have a fever to call your doctor.

  • Try OTC anti-diarrheal.
  • Try fresh ginger in boiling water…this can help to stop diarrhea naturally.
  • Chamomile tea is also known to possibly decrease diarrhea.
  •  AVOID soda or things with carbonation.
  • AVOID  dairy.
  • AVOID caffeine.

Nausea and/or Vomiting…..

For me after surgery no matter what meds I am given I am nauseous. Not so much the vomiting but still no fun! I think it has more to do with not having anything to eat than the actual meds. Some articles I have read report that nausea occurs more often in gynaecologic surgery than others.

  • Ask your surgeon or anesthesiologist if nausea meds can be given along with GA. This way you don’t wake up with nausea.
  • Lying flat helps to reduce nausea.
  • Gingerale or sliced ginger in boiling water does wonders on nausea.
  • Teas with ginger in them also work well!
  • Snack on saltines or graham crackers.

Pain….

Of course since this is a surgery you will have some pain. It really depends on your level of pain tolerance & amount of “work” done to determine how much pain.

  • Stay on top of your pain! Take your meds BEFORE your pain hits. It is often too hard to stop pain once it starts.
  • Fill your prescription BEFORE leaving the hospital. In case you have pain on the way home once the hospital meds wear off.
  • Use a heating pad for any left over pain that the pain meds did not take away.

I really hope this helps you to care for any Post Op issues you may run into! I know for one that I am not looking forward to the gas pains but I am prepared to handle them with the tips I provided above.

If you have any other tips please leave them below in the comments!