[Submitted by: William Anton Lee]
Post-op appointment today brought great news. Dawne’s thyroid tumors were totally encapsulated, meaning the cancerous stuff was contained within each tumor and not in the thyroid itself. When the thyroid was removed all of the cancer cells came with it. Combine this with earlier news that the lymph nodes draining her thyroid are clear of cancer and there is ample reason to celebrate. METASTASIS IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY.
More good news. Pathology results combined with predictive modeling the doctors use suggests that there is no advantage to doing “radioactive iodine” (RAI) treatments. This is huge. These treatments have really bad downsides for many patients. We’ll take the doctors recommendation to not do these.
Dawne did have two tumors. A 3.5 cm one in the left thyroid and a less than 1 mm one in the right thyroid. Both were found to be cancerous. Interestingly, prior to surgery the left tumor was thought to be only 2 cm and it was the only one to have a biopsy done on it. How good is it that Dawne decided in advance of surgery to have her entire thyroid removed? Darn good; it turned out to absolutely be the right decision. No future surgery will be needed now.
Recovery is in process. Balancing thyroid-hormone replacement is key and the doctor expects this will take a few months. Slit throat needs to heal and it is looking pretty good for being several days old. And unexpectedly, muscles need to heal in her arms and the back of her neck. The doctor explained how Dawne’s head was titled back at an abnormal angle and arms in the crucifix position during this protracted surgery which over stretches these muscles.
So family and friends, scream thank you doctor!
Sharing troublesome news today, Dawne now has Thyroid Cancer. Surgery is scheduled for the end of next week. Initial biopsies indicate she has Papillary Thyroid Cancer. If this holds true after final biopsy, this cancer growth is completely distinct from Dawne’s previous ‘HER2-positive Breast Cancer’. We are told Papillary Thyroid Cancer is infinitely easier to treat than Metastasized HER2 Cancer. Small break! We expect no new information, as concerns what stage of thyroid cancer, until after surgery.
We started several weeks ago to update you all on Dawne’s breast cancer journey; her preparations for the end of this year and the anniversary of her breast cancer diagnosis. We paused when her doctor spoke to us about possible Thyroid Cancer. It took us back quite a bit. It has been a difficult month as we went from precautionary examinations to final diagnosis. Dawne and I thought long and hard about writing and posting about these new hurdles. We didn’t want to upset folks causing them to think the worst; yet we have been nothing short of candid in our previous writings. Dawne believes in cancer awareness and with that comes a willingness to share personal matters, even nuances which are uncomfortable. So it is that Dawne asked me to write to you today.
Quite bluntly, Dawne’s recovery from breast cancer surgery and treatment is nowhere near complete and this added more layers of physical and emotional stress. You all have been a vital part of Dawne’s support team. I’m certain Dawne could use some additional encouragement right now. Breast cancer recovery is proving more difficult than anticipated. Those details we will save for later. Noteworthy today, is an important aspect of Dawne’s Cancer Story. She would not know she has thyroid cancer had it not been for the PET scans done to further the diagnosis and treatment of her breast cancer.
Interesting to me is that Dawne has suspected for some time that her thyroid has been causing her to experience marked weight gain and renewed dealings with menopausal hot flashes. Regular bio-chem lab tests have indicated no cause and effect, yet her physical experiences indicate otherwise. It may be that Dawne is more in-tune with her body signals than the lab tests. Is it possible that with this unexpected surgery and post-op treatment that she may experience a return to health with the help of closely monitored thyroid replacement drugs? We sure hope so!
Thank you for your support.
… written by William