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: What’s in my hospital bag?

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24 days out until surgery and I am finally all set up! My bag is packed and waiting by the door. My bedroom is organized and stocked with my Post Op Surgery Supplies. Now it’s just sit and wait it out!

For weeks I had the hardest time finding a list or blog post of things to take in my hospital bag. I got extremely lucky with some tips from some wonderful ladies in my Endo support groups! I am hoping that this will help you to decide what to take with you. I have included all the things that I hope will make me to feel comforted before & after surgery. Feel free to build off of this list and pack things that will make you feel at home away from home! I am not sure if I will stay 1-6 days so my bag is a “just in case” measure.  Not everyone will need or want to take all of these things! Most of these things I already had on hand in my home. No need to go out and buy all of this stuff if you don’t think it is a must!

If you are traveling out-of-state for your surgery I will include a few extra helpful tips at the end of this post!

What I packed in my hospital bag:

  • Loose Fitting Clothes– Relaxed clothing with no zippers to wear to and home from the hospital.
  • Robe & Pajamas- I will be taking pajama sets that are 1 size bigger than I normally wear. They all have soft waist bands with lots of give.
  • Comfy Slippers/Socks- After surgery you will need them for walking plus hospitals are notorious for being cold.
  • Loose Underwear- I recommend buying either bikini or hi-cuts at least 1 size bigger. Some hospitals give you those stretchy mesh panties. They are wonderful…take as many home as possible.
  • Menstrual Pads- In case there is any post op bleeding. Most hospitals offer them to patients….but just in case take your own.
  • Feminine Hygiene Spray- I am not sure how soon I will get to shower…I prefer to bring this just in case!
  • Deodorant & Body lotion- Your skin can get really dry and itch…try to take something slick and long lasting.
  • Body Wash- In case you are there for a few days & have a shower in your room!
  • Mouthwash, Toothbrush, Tooth Paste, Floss Picks- Floss picks come in handy when your hands are shaky but you have food in your teeth. Traditional string floss can be tricky.
  • Body Spray or Light perfume- Easy way to feel fresh & pretty after surgery. Please keep it light in case a nurse or etc. has an allergy.  
  • Shampoo/Conditioner- If you have a shower in your room and feel up to it. Instead of buying the small travel size get those small clear bottles and use your current product!
  • Comb/Brush- The smaller the better!
  • Hair Ties or Head Bands- You will not want to deal with hair in your face.
  • Facial Cleansing Cloths & Moisturizer- Easiest way to refresh your face without needing a mirror or sink.
  • Chapstick or Vaseline- Your lips will be really dry after surgery!
  • Hand Sanitizer & Wet Wipes- Mostly for any visitors or my partner if she needs to change my bandages or etc.
  • Throat Lozenges- Your throat will be incredibly dry and a bit sore after surgery from the intubation tube.
  • Mints/Gum- Will work wonders for dry mouth and nausea if you have any!
  • Nail Clippers, Nail File, Nail Polish- Since you cannot wear polish into surgery I find that painting your nails after surgery is a great way to peep yourself up. Yellow is always a great color choice!
  • Ear Plugs & Eye Mask- If you will not have a private room these will be your best friend.
  • A small soft pillow- For the car ride home. Put it in between you and the seat belt to protect your wounds. Also will come in handy of the pillows provided aren’t very comfy.
  • Light Weight Blanket- In case you are cold and want something from home to comfort you.
  • Magazines, Books or Puzzles Books- You may be waiting before going back & get bored. They also come in handy for your family/friends that will be waiting during your surgery.
  • Phone, Tablet, Chargers- I will need these for updating my fellow Endo Warriors! Also create a soothing playlist of music before surgery to relax you!
  • Camera, Charger- If you would like to document your surgery!
  • Medical Records, Insurance Card, ID, SS Card- These are a must!
  • Emergency Contact list- If you are traveling without your closest relatives this may come in handy. Just in case!
  • Medication/Allergy List- In case you are too sedated and the nurses may need to give you a new medicine. It is good to have a current list as well as things you are allergic to.
  • Pre Op Forms/Hospital Registration Forms- Cannot forget these!

Those of you traveling out-of-state please consider bringing the following:

  • Food & Drink– It may be less expensive to bring these in than to buy once at your hotel or etc.
  • Hot/Cold Packs/Cooler– To keep foods cold while driving. Cold packs are also great if you have swelling in your joints.
  • Allergy Meds– In case you run into pollen or etc on your drive. Pollen levels are different in various states.
  • Pain Meds– Fill them in advance in case your pharmacy isn’t out of state or you have pain on the drive.
  • First Aid kit– In case you get in minor burns or scraps.
  • Razor & Shave Cream– To prep before surgery!

I hope this helps you to prepare for your surgery! I know it can be overwhelming to go through surgery as it is without the stress of packing. Hopefully having your bag packed and ready to go will free up some anxiety and allow you to focus on more important tasks.

What are you hospital bag must haves?

My Endo Journey begins: 30 days out til surgery!

Today June 13, 2013 marks 4 weeks until my excision surgery! I am exactly 30 days out from surgery!

I had not idea time would start to fly like this. I am glad that I have OCD and started prepping as soon as I did. I am extremely  happy to say I have absolutely nothing left on my Pre/Post Op Surgery list!  My hospital bag is already packed and my home care supplies have been set up. I will do a blog post soon with my recommendations for your hospital bag and home care supplies. I will also be doing a post with tips on the bowel prep & post op ailments that can happen once you are home.

On another note….I logged in today to find my last post was 7 days ago…I didn’t even realize that. Crazy thing about having Endometriosis is that life can change in seconds! My pain went from moderate to intense in a matter of hours! I pretty much sat in bed for 6 days straight except to go to the restroom or eat. My partner has been working overtime to save a few bucks just in case any other bills/emergencies come up before or after surgery. I realize I am really lucky to have her support.

Only issue we are dealing with now is trying to figure out my sleeping arrangements prior to surgery. We don’t own a recliner and our futon is way to firm and low to use as an option. Our current bed is a full and very hard with broken springs. She is also a wild sleeper so there isn’t much room for someone with stitches to recover LOL. I would not want to be sleeping and to be jolted by a knee or elbow. In order to prevent this very possible disaster we want to get a queen bed. We had saved for a queen size memory foam bed but that money has had to go else where. That leaves us with 30 days to figure out where I will sleep.

I also just realized that my ID expired June 30th and I have to get a new one. I have 30 days to do so for surgery but 20 before I need it for a FNA(Fine Needle Aspiration) of my Thyroid on August 2nd. I am starting to stress a bit and worry but I know it will all work out!  I am sure it will all get done…I am making it a priority starting next Monday.

I am so excited for my new life….new me will be born on August 12th 2013.