Before I start, I have to confess that the "photo" which is the subject of today's post is not mine. You'll understand why in just a few seconds!
Tomorrow, I will have the ninth surgery of my life. It's not because I think that spending time on a chilly stainless steel table in an eerily smelly sterilized room is the ideal way to spend a couple hours of spare time that I will embark on yet another surgical adventure. Trust me, I can find plenty of better ways to keep myself occupied! Nope, the time has come to remove yet another malfunctioning part of my body so that it will no longer interfere with those parts that do work as they still should.
The surgery itself isn't a big deal as far as operations go. In fact, compared to some of the others I've had, this one is as simple as a trip to the grocery store. The only hitch in the get-along, as my Papa used to say, is that the shopping list has a huge question mark right in the middle of it.
The right side of my thyroid gland (see "photo" to locate it) has a nodule about the size of grape on it. It moves around when touched and when positioned just right, can actually make it difficult for me to breathe or swallow properly. A needle biopsy taken several months ago showed changes to the cells in the fluid contained within the nodule, prompting the doctor to warn me about the big C -- cancer. The biopsy didn't get enough of the fluid or cells to determine which type of cancer, but that doesn't really matter because the nodule and the portion of the thyroid to which it has attached itself have to come out of my neck.
So tomorrow morning, my very own Dr. Oz will play slice and dice on my throat. He will remove the right half of my thyroid gland and send it off to the lab for analysis to determine just what those changed cells have done to it. Based on the results and what he sees, he will determine whether or not to remove the rest of the gland before stitching me back together. Honestly, it doesn't matter to me whether I have half a thyroid or none at all when all is said and done. I care more about making sure that what remains works the way it should and has none of those funky changed cells in it!
The surgery is supposed to be an outpatient event, and I anticipate being home in the early afternoon. There is, however, a slight possibility that I will have to stay in the hospital overnight -- something that will make me a very, very unhappy camper should it come to pass! I'll do my best to post a Twitter update as soon as I am able but if I disappear for a couple of days, you'll know that it's more than likely because I ended up having to stay at the hospital.
**Source for the "photo" -- I couldn't use my own thyroid gland because, well, I'm not about to slice open my own throat to get a bird's eye view not even for a blog post!