I let myself cry, and then I write. This is usually how it goes. If I hadn't been diagnosed with a second cancer, I'd be doing neither of these things- presumably, I'd be tying up loose ends and embarking on my very first cross-country-moving-adventure. But, let's not presume. Let's not think of the what ifs and perhaps maybe might have beens. Here are the facts:
1. I have papillary thyroid cancer that has spread to most of the lymph nodes on my neck.
2. Said nodes have been scraped out, along with my thyroid, parathyroid glands, and a bit of my trachea, which shows cancer involvement.
3. In 3 weeks or so, I will receive radioactive iodine treatment to take care of any cancer cells the surgeon left behind. My pee will glow in the dark. I will be dangerously radioactive. If you touch my skin, yours will burn. Seriously!
4. I am definitely staying here for awhile. I need to be monitored closely.
The surgery was supposed to be 3 hours but turned into a 9 hour affair due to the many surprises my neck provided. When I awoke and saw that it was 1:45 am, I was convinced the clocks were broken. Nope. Just me.
Recovery has been painful, but I am now able to eat soft foods and turn my head slightly. I have been taking advantage of this and eating heaps of ice cream. Here's a picture during my hospital stay, with the drains still in:
haaah, wait, here it is:
and here is a picture of how it's healing:
One of the first things I noticed about the incision was how beautiful and even my surgeon's stitches were- seamstresses would call this a blanket stitch. In this photo I'm still very swollen and unable to turn my neck or sleep on my side. lameness. Literally!