Jennifer evicted her multi-nodular, Hashimoto’s attacked thyroid

I had been struggling with the symptoms for approximately the last three years. I was always cold, experienced unexplained weight gain, severe headaches, digestion problems, losing hair, dry skin, brittle nails, and consistent trouble swallowing. And one of the worst symptoms was the feeling like something was stuck in my throat 24 hours a day. I had to work at even swallowing my own saliva!

About a year and a half ago, I went to my doctor and after an ultrasound they discovered multiple nodules on my thyroid. A FNA biopsy was done and no cancer was found so I was told to follow up in about six months. In the meantime I was told my symptoms could not possibly be contributed to my thyroid.

I had every medical test I could think of to include an Endoscopy, ultrasound, swallow test, blood tests, MRI, and I was even scheduled for a CT scan, but by that point I had given up all hope and didn’t go. I was very discouraged.

My blood tests always came back within the “normal range” so It seemed synthetic thyroid hormones would do me no good.

I finally insisted they test me for antibodies and low and behold I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s. However, even with this diagnosis my blood test came back within the “normal range”, so no medication was prescribed. I was again advised to follow up in a couple of months and I just had to deal with all the symptoms.

For a little while I just gave up and dealt with that until I couldn’t take it anymore and went back to a doctor at a clinic sponsored by my employer. I finally found someone to listen to me and she sent me to a general surgeon. He assured me I wasn’t going crazy and the swallowing issues were in fact likely due to my thyroid nodules. New nodules were also found an a follow-up ultrasound so it was decided I would have a total thyroidectomy on September 28, 2015.

Fast forward to today. I am approximately three weeks out from my surgery and I have zero regrets! There was a fair amount of pain after surgery but nothing compared to what I’ve experienced the last three years. The pain medication took care of it. I was also given levothyroxine immediately after surgery and started it the next day. The surgeon said my thyroid was quite large and had started wrapping around my esophagus and that was why I was having the swallowing issues. He told me with my diseased thyroid out of my body I would begin to feel much better and guess what….

I feel great! feel like I have finally got my life back. I’m able to stay warm, I have energy again, the headaches have decreased drastically, and most importantly I CAN SWALLOW! I am experiencing tightness and swelling in my neck where the incision is, but I have faith that that will soon disappear with time. The scar is minimal and is already starting to fade. I am using silicone strips and they seem to be doing the trick.

I,too, only found horror stories about the surgery and recovery, but I’m happy to share that mine is just the opposite and I have faith I will only continue to improve. I know my medication may need to be adjusted, but right now it seems to be working and I’m very happy with the results.

My only advice is to advocate advocate advocate for yourself. You know your own body and when something feels wrong trust your instincts. I wish I would have pushed to the doctors years ago and not suffered the last couple years but I’m not going to look back I’m just going to look forward and be glad I have been getting my life back.

Thanks for allowing me to share my story and I wish you all the best!


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Grave’s Disease

Hey there!  My name is Laura, I’m a 31 year old female from Missouri.

First of all I want to thank you for starting this blog – I read the stories over and over as my thyroidectomy approached.  It really helped calm my nerves, hearing real stories from people who went through it.

I was diagnosed with Graves disease (hyperactive thyroid) at the age of 25.  I was feeling awful – sweaty, shaky, a constant upset stomach, racing heart rate – I had no idea what was wrong with me.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a fast heart rate and super fast metabolism.  My husband always calls me his hummingbird, because I reminded him of one with my sped up body functions and nervousness.  I hadn’t had my thyroid checked in a good 5 years or so (my pediatrician checked this a lot when I was young, as I was always very small), and I didn’t even think about it at the time, because I had no idea what thyroid disease actually meant.  So I went to the doctor and they checked multiple things, thyroid levels being one of them.  They called me with my results of Graves disease, and sent me immediately to an endo.  From that point on I was on different levels of methimazole and beta blockers.  After a year or so, my endo tried to take me off of methimazole to see how my thyroid would do, and it came back even worse than before.  So there we were, I was told I would have graves disease for life. 

In 2013 I became pregnant and immediately stopped the methimazole, at my endo’s request.  Thankfully my levels straightened out during my pregnancy, so I didn’t have to take any medication.  I felt the best I have ever felt when I was pregnant!  July 2014 I had my amazing beautiful baby boy, and continued to feel good.  I actually thought MAYBE my thyroid had corrected itself for good.  I had an appointment with my endo scheduled for 6 weeks post partum, but I felt so great and was so attached to my baby that I cancelled my appointment and made one for 6 weeks later.  Big mistake not going to my original appointment: within 2 weeks my thyroid had spiraled completely out of control, it was so enlarged that I was choking on food when I tried to swallow, and my resting heart rate was 140.  I called my endo the next day, and once again, my thyroid was worse than it had ever been, nearing a storm, and my thyroid was also making me very anemic, almost to the point of needing a blood transfusion.  This is when surgery was highly recommended.  I went for a second opinion, and she also agreed that I am a perfect candidate for a thyroidectomy, and it’d be best to do it as soon as possible.  When I met with the surgeon, he immediately made me feel more confident about this procedure and decision, but I was still super nervous about it.

I was so nervous leading up to surgery, as this was my first time having surgery, plus I was losing a part of my body, a major part – an ORGAN!  This blog really helped me understand the process of surgery and healing, and it was great to have support from others that had gone through this.  My surgery went well, it was about 2 hours, which was longer than expected, because it was much larger than they thought.  I will admit, the pain that first day was rough – I didn’t even want to drink water.  So with the help of drugs, I slept most of the day and ended up staying overnight for observation, although before they saw how big my thyroid was, I was originally expected to go home the day of surgery.  The next morning, they checked my calcium levels and they were way down but they let me go home anyway.  They sent me home with a plethora of meds – 2 different pain meds, anti-nausea pills, synthroid and calcium.  Note: I took the liquid pain meds bc the idea of swallowing a horse pill on this tender throat made me cringe.  Dr said it would only be about half as effective but it was up to me.  I took that risk and did just fine.  Ahhh home sweet home :) My husband showered me with lots of ice packs, ice cream and love. After a long weekend of resting at home, with ice packs and ice cream and soup I was feeling pretty good.  My voice started coming back way faster than I expected, only 2 days of having no voice and then it came back pretty quickly.  I felt good enough to go back to work a week after surgery.  I was tired, and my voice was hoarse, but over all I felt pretty good.  

I am now 7 weeks post surgery and so far I am glad that I had the thyroidectomy.  It is amazing having a normal heart rate, and one of the first things I noticed was that when I take a deep breath in, I can breathe easier!  It’s amazing.  Oh yeah, and I don’t have that massive bulge sticking out of my throat.  My scar looks great, I have been staying out of the sun and putting Vitamin E oil on it morning and night.  I’m very happy with my surgeon and how well he did.  My endo recently upped my synthroid from 75mcg to 100, as my TSH was 19.  I am feeling a bit tired and lightheaded here and there, but otherwise I can’t complain!  I can’t wait until my levels are completely straightened out – but I think we are on our way :) I hope my story continues to be a positive one, and I hope I can encourage or help someone else going through the pain of thyroid disease.


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Grave’s Disease Long Time Sufferer finally gets a Thyroidectomy!

Hello, my name is Shelby and I am a 22 year old female from Oregon.

I was diagnosed with Grave’s Disease (hyperthyroidism) when I was 14 years old. Oddly enough, it was first noticed during my sports physical by our family chiropractor that first noticed something was off (except for my sister, she kept saying that something was wrong and no one believed her – always listen to your sister) – my resting heart rate was 114 beats per minute, as well as some other indicators. He referred me to see a pediatric general practitioner, who worked with me and a pediatric endocrinologist and were able to get me mostly in-range with monthly blood draws and a lot of medication adjustments (I was on methimazole and beta-blockers). My weight fluctuated greatly (never easy for a teenage girl), my hair was falling out rapidly (even my eyebrows and eyelashes), my thyroid grew into a small goiter, and I was ALWAYS tired. By my senior year I had lost about half of my hair (which I know because my mom is a hair stylist and couldn’t believe what was happening) and I finally cut it off in a short pixie cut, because I was tired of having so many fuzzy little layers at it grew back in.

College was when I really started having problems with my thyroid. The stress of school, living on my own, and learning how/what to eat again (I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease the spring of my senior year of high school) created a situation to turn my hormones onto overdrive. By spring term of my freshman year my thyroid was so enlarged (defiant goiter) that I was hoarse and coughing all of the time. My endocrinologist (I was on my second one by then) was changing my dose every month and didn’t believe I was even taking my medicine, because my levels would fluctuate so rapidly and severely.

I was still against killing my thyroid at this point because I wasn’t ready to give up the fight. Plus, my doctor was really fond of using radioactive iodine and I just didn’t feel like that was the right decision for me, especially because I was so young and couldn’t find any case studies on anyone else my age having it done. So I kept trying to suppress it with anti-thyroid medicine and keep going with my life – I also changed doctors again. My new doctor was onboard for not killing my thyroid and trying to work with me.

All and all I don’t think I would have made it through college without my amazing boyfriend to keep me grounded throughout all of my mood swings, tired phases, memory loss, and all of the usual trials and tribulthryoid 3 weeksations of normal college life (and of course my family’s complete support through everything). However, by my senior year of college I was just done fighting my thyroid: I could no longer sleep on my back because it would choke me, I couldn’t eat without something to drink to get it down, the heart problems that it caused where as bad as the thyroid ones (my regular resting heartrate was 110bpm, and I was told I had to stop exercising when it went over 200bpm), I choked on my food constantly and wouldn’t eat if I was home alone, it had become all-consuming of my life. Plus, all of the side effects of Grave’s disease itself, I wanted it out, and everyone around me was onboard for the decision…except my thyroid (who was named Theodore by my sister when I was in high school, bit of a standing joke with the family). Because it is considered an “elective procedure” I needed to be in range for the surgery. So I waited, and waited, and waited. After graduation my doctor asked me if the stress level of my life would decrease now that I finished school (I wish!), I replied that my dad had just gotten out of the hospital with 11 broken ribs and a punctured lung and my boyfriend was about to deploy (so much for stress free).

Finally, the beginning of 2015 had a change of fate for me and I was approved for the surgery. I was referred for a wonderful surgeon who I had complete trust in and had a total thyroidectomy on February 11th. The surgery was actually faster than they had anticipated and only took 2 hours, although my thyroid was bigger than they had believed and I had a much more extensive blood supply than they thought (even after 10 days of iodine). My thyroid ended up being approximately 9cm wide, by 7cm tall – much bigger than it should have ever been, and was biopsied and came back clean. I stayed in the hospital overnight for observation and was released the next day with synthroid, mild pain killers (that I only needed for 3 days), and nausea medicine (that I never used). And I finally didn’t have to be on beta-blockers for my heart. After a long weekend of lying on the couch with an ice pack on my neck, and eating soft foods I was feeling good again.



After a week I was driving again and doing stuff around the house. After about 1.5 weeks I went back to work, and at 2 weeks I was on a plane flying to my boyfriend’s homecoming from deployment – this was first approved by my surgeon with instructions. It will be 3 weeks post-surgery tomorrow, and my incision is already scarred over and healing great and I feel wonderful. The thing that still feels strange to me is swallowing, because I hadn’t realized that I was swallowing my food multiple times to get it down, and now I don’t have to. And I was used to feeling my goiter and all the muscles bob around when I swallowed or talked and now it feels like something is missing. I am sure that I will get used to that soon! I know that I am in the minority of being young for thyroid problems, but if anyone else out there is in a similar situation, you are not alone, I did it and am feeling great.

*The pictures are of my removed thyroid (which I requested to see because I was curious), and of my incision scar 3 weeks after the total thyroidectomy


Sparky here (the operator of LWaT). I asked Shelby the following question: “do you think you would have done this sooner, knowing what you know now?”

Her reply:

Knowing what I know now I would have probably had it removed a few years ago. The problem was that I had a love/hate relationship with my thyroid. It would go out of control (which we called my “roid rage” – sometimes you just have to make bad situations into a joke) and it would grow and cause problems, but then when the stress calmed down my thyroid would shrink again and I would want to give it another chance to work like it was supposed to. Because I was so young when it was diagnose my doctors always thought that it would go into remission and wanted to give it time. Really though, when it started interfering with my swallowing is when I should have insisted on the surgery.



Filed under Grave's Disease

Medullary Thyroid Cancer Post Surgery Story

I feel compelled to write my story, as this site helped give me some hope before I had my thyroid removed.
I am Glenda, a 48 year old woman from Alaska.

I had a diagnosis of Medullary Thyroid Cancer and had a thyroidectomy in October 2014. Although it’s only been two months, I’m here to testify that I am feeling great and hopeful.

Prior to the surgery, all I was reading were stories of people suffering with weight gain, hair loss, skin issues and/or mental fog/problems, among other issues. I felt so good before the surgery, in spite of the cancer, that I was afraid to lose that well-being. I had never taken any kind of
medication consistently and even avoided aspirin and other pain relievers in my day to day goings on. Now I was going to have to take medication every day for the rest of my life; it was worrisome to anticipate. I didn’t know if I’d be one of the “can’t get off the couch, I feel awful all the time, this is a nightmare” stories.

Fast forward two months and I feel almost back to normal. The surgery was difficult as the general anesthetic made me so sick. Regardless, I started on my synthroid and calcium/vitamin D and within a week felt good enough to travel 14 hours back home by plane. Soon after, I started walking on my treadmill and have been doing 2 to 3 miles a day. I have ample energy and am optimistic! I sometimes have had nights where I got 5 hours sleep (not associated with my health) and I’ve had the stamina to get through the day, even choosing not to nap when given the chance.

I’ve had a little issue with blood pressure being high and heart rate increased, a little breathlessness, but that is settling down. I haven’t gained any weight at all, my hair actually seems like it’s thicker and I’m losing less than before the surgery. I’m back to work as a teacher and have the energy to wrangle third graders. At one point, my blood tests showed me hypo-thyroid and my medication was increased from 112mcg to 137mcg. It was funny because I honestly didn’t feel the effects of being hypo. My doctor thinks the under-medication could have been causing my high blood pressure, which is currently much lower.

My doctor also addressed my fears pre-surgery by telling me that many people who have problems may be attributing it to the loss of their thyroid, when really it has more to do with hormonal issues associated with menopause. I’m sure there are people who legitimately experience negative effects but I’m here to say “It doesn’t have to be everyone”. I have a friend who lost her thyroid 30 years ago. She is now in her 60’s, and she looks and feels fabulous. I also was surprised to find out that actress Sofia Vergara doesn’t have a thyroid and is able to work out and maintain a healthy lifestyle and busy schedule.

So if you are facing surgery, keep positive! Those negative stories out there don’t have to be you! Get your exercise, eat right, do a little yoga and/or have some quiet meditative time to quiet your mind. Good luck and blessings to you!


Filed under Medullary, Thyroid Cancer

A Londoner’s Thyroidectomy Story – Hyperactive and Nodules

What was the reason for your thyroidectomy? – Hyperactive thyroid: thyroid nodule
What age were you when your thyroid was removed? – 34
What is your current age? – 36
What is your gender? – Female

Our London friend’s positive post thyroidectomy story!:

At the age of 17 I discovered a lump in my throat: a thyroid nodule. My thyroid was only a bit hyperactive, but doctors recommended an iodine treatment. What a hell my life was afterwards. I got severe hypo and gained massive weight while hardly eating anything. (That’s not great during puberty…) The swing in thyroid levels made me depressed and not knowing that the depression “wasn’t me but purely hormonal driven” was scary.

With thyroxine (thyroid-hormone) I got my life back on track. After 2-3 years doctors asked me to reduce my Thyroxine as my blood levels showed I was slightly hyper. I responded really badly to lowering my medication! For me personally, it’s a detox period of 3-8 weeks in which I was depressed, tired, cold and am gaining weight. This time I knew, though, it was the thyroid hormones playing tricks with me and I could deal with the feelings of being depressed. Still… wasn’t too thrilled about the weight gain. I was thrilled I was off the thyroid medication after a few months, though, and considered myself cured!

However, my nodule came back. The nodule kept growing and growing and doctors decided to put me on Carbimazole (to lower the thyroid hormone levels) to make sure I did not get hyper. They gave me a bit too much and 2 months before my wedding I gained 7 kilos and could all of a sudden not fit in my wedding dress anymore (the one they ordered in a bit too big as they would make it more fitted later). There were quite a lot of tears. Doctors were very sympathetic, changed meds and on my wedding day I had lost it all and looked radiant. (If only losing the weight that quickly would always be so easy!)

During my first pregnancy (no troubles falling pregnant whatsoever, which is fabulous having learned of other stories from thyroid patients!) I was monitored carefully. I seriously have great doctors. The Carbimazole was increased slowly during my pregnancy up to the highest level acceptable during a pregnancy. We agreed that before a second pregnancy, my thyroid had to be removed as by now I was taking too much Carbimazole for a pregnancy. So we did.

I had my complete thyroidectomy a month before I turned 35. I was scared, but the operation was quick and I recovered quickly. Of course, I gained a few kilos after: that’s part of the game playing with your thyroid. By then I was training with a personal trainer who also helped out with a diet (without being hungry) and without losing any weight, I looked the best I ever had.

4-5 Months after the thyroidectomy I fell pregnant (again without any problems). During my pregnancy I had to increase my Thyroxine to quite a high level, but the baby and I were doing great. Now, 8 months post delivery, we’re again slowly reducing my Thyroxine. I am in the middle of such a detox period, but I know I will get through.

Still: it’s a positive story! (My apologies if I am hiding that part a bit). I am glad the thyroid is out as having a thyroid with a complete life of its own and not listening to my body was so tiring also as doctors were less responsive with medication hoping my thyroid would start to pick up a normal rhythm. Now that I don’t have a thyroid, we know we “just” need to balance it with thyroxine. And I’m realistic: for me, increasing thyroid hormone levels is easy (although being hyper isn’t great), lowering thyroid hormone levels is hard for a few weeks (and being hypo even worse).

It’s a balancing game and you need to make sure you’ve got doctors listening to you (and not just looking at your blood-test-results) to help you. There are certain times in life where you need to find the right level of medication, which make you feel all kind of things you might not want to feel (like feeling a patient!). But most of the time, when set at the right levels, I am just me without an unreliable thyroid.

I don’t want to give any advice and am already happy if people enjoy reading my story, but if I am asked to share with you the one thing that made a true difference: After being a thyroid patient for close to 20 years, I have made myself quite knowledgeable about my specific situation, which has given me a sense of control (as much as possible) over my own body, realisation of what’s going on when feeling bad and made me a partner of the doctors when making decisions about my treatment. At the same time, I am trying to keep a good lifestyle with healthy eating and going to the gym to lower the frustration of weight gain when playing with my thyroid. Without all that, the thyroid (or the absence of it) would probably have controlled my life and how I feel too much, which should not be necessary.

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Trina’s TT story – Thyroidectomy due to Autoimmune Issues

We have a fantastic positive post thyroidectomy due to autoimmune issues story today from Trina!!
Thank you, Trina, for sharing your story!!

  • What was the reason for your thyroidectomy? Chronic signs and symptoms that were autoimmune in nature even though all the possible autoimmune disorders ruled out. Plus, thyroid changes on a repeat ultrasound.
  • What age were you when your thyroid was removed? 43—- I am 1 month post-operation.
  • What is your gender? Female

and most importantly of all, here is her positive post thyroidectomy story!

I had dealt with hypothyroidism since 2010 and was on medication for it prior to ever having surgery. However, I continued to be more and more symptomatic. Being a Registered Nurse, I was able to discuss my issues with my primary care physician in great detail and she sent to me to an Endocrine Surgeon. This was ideal because she had the medical experience of an endocrinologist. Based on my history, ultrasound, presenting signs and symptoms she stated that surgery was an acceptable path to take but if I wanted to wait 6 months and get another ultrasound, I could. We discussed everything in detail as well. I made my decision then and there to take it out. After surgery, the surgeon indicated though my blood work never suggested Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis it was obvious my thyroid was inflamed. She said that it could be a form of thyroiditis that has not been discovered yet. My pathology report came back negative for cancer.

I am one month post-op from a Total Thyroidectomy (TT) and I feel wonderful. My long list of symptoms are almost gone. I am warm for the first time, my hands especially, my hair is not falling out like it was, my nails are growing and look healthy, I sleep better, feeling flu like is gone, and puffiness is gone. Best of all the fatigue is gone! I still have some issues left but they will resolve in time. I have not gained any additional weight since surgery.

Many of the forums can sound like doom and gloom that might make you want to back out. Please, do NOT make your decision based on these forums. You have to look at your individual issue and how it is affecting your life. Those who have a TT for hyperthyroidism most likely will experience weight gain after surgery because they have went from a super charged metabolism to all new low metabolism.

Go into your post-op care educated from reputable sources. You have to be mindful of what your body is telling you. It is also important that you educate yourself on your medication. Understand the prescription (Brand name vs Generic) itself and how to take it. You need to avoid doing things that interfere with the drug absorption to get the optimal benefit from your medication. I am hopeful that I will continue to improve every day.

I do not regret having surgery for one second.


Filed under AutoImmune

“Flip or Flop” Host Diagnosed by Fan

Source Article where below originally appears – reposting

HGTV’s Flip or Flop has loads of fans, but one in particular changed host Tarek El Moussa’s life entirely.

Ryan Read, 31, a registered nurse, was watching a marathon day of season one earlier this year when she noticed a lump on El Moussa’s neck.

“She didn’t want to seem like a crazy fan,” says El Moussa’s wife and co-host, Christina. “Instead of writing to us, she Googled and found the production company and sent an email saying, ‘This is not a joke. I’m a registered nurse. I’ve been watching Flip or Flop. I noticed that the host Tarek has a large nodule on his thyroid, and he needs to have it checked out.’ ”

Tarek, 32, knew something was amiss. “I was having a harder time swallowing, and this lump was getting bigger,” he tells PEOPLE. “I actually went to the doctor twice for it, and they said it’s nothing. So, once I saw [the note from Read], I was like, ‘You know what? I need to get a second opinion.’ ”

An ultrasound initially showed a 5 percent chance of the lump being cancerous. But when the doctors conducted a biopsy on June 12, they realized it was cancer, and the lump had to be removed entirely.

“They said they would remove half of it and be done in an hour,” says Tarek. “But it ended up being four hours, it was cancer, and they ended up removing my entire thyroid. … When I woke up, my wife was crying and the first thing I asked was, ‘It’s cancer, isn’t it?’ And she said, ‘Yeah.’ ”

Flip or Flop Host Tarek El Moussa Battling Thyroid Cancer| Health, TV News
Christina El Moussa and Tarek El Moussa and their daughter Taylor
The bad news didn’t end there. The cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, and he had to undergo radioactive iodine therapy, which meant he had to be isolated from his family for their protection.

“It was a nightmare,” he says. “They stay in a different bedroom, and I can’t stay with my daughter for more than a few minutes at a time. She wanted to hug me and watch TV every night and give kisses, and we couldn’t do that.”

Last Friday, Tarek did get some good news. “I was told that the cancer didn’t spread beyond my neck,” he says. “I’m hopeful now. We’re filming a bunch of episodes and going on with life as best we can.”

Tarek and Christina will discuss their battle with cancer Thursday on an episode of the syndicated talk show The Doctors.

Tarek will find out in the next week if he is cancer free, but he has already learned plenty from the experience. “I’ve always been very work, work, work,” he says. “So, I stepped back and re-evaluated what I wanted, like spending time with my family and all that good stuff.”


Filed under Thyroid Cancer

NON Malignant Thyroid Nodules – Might not need a thyroidectomy!!

I got the following email sent to me the other day. It is VERY interesting for those that are doing searches on thyroid nodules. Please always consult with a doctor, but know the options!

If anyone is looking for a less invasive treatment for thyroid nodules instead of a thyroidectomy, I can share an excellent alternative.

I had a thyroid nodule that put pressure on my trachea, causing coughing, difficulty swallowing and pain. My first endocrinologist immediately recommended thyroid removal surgery, despite blood tests showing levels normal, and ultrasound confirming the nodule was benign. I didn’t get it – if the thyroid worked well, why remove the whole gland, why not just remove the nodule? I searched for non-surgical treatments, learned that a more targeted approach, Radiofrequency Ablation (RF), could reduce my thyroid nodule. RF is a well known non-surgical alternative for thyroid nodules in Asia and Europe, but not in the US. In Southern California, UCLA Gonda Diabetes Center seemed to have the most advanced & experienced endocrinology team, so I was hopeful I could reduce the nodule vs cutting out my thyroid.

I was pleased with my second opinion at UCLA, specifically Dr. David Geffner (Endocrinology), and Dr David K Lu (Radiology). They were respectful of my search for an alternative, patient & informative, and the option they recommended was the right, conservative next step for me. Pain was minimal, results were immediate – no sign of a nodule now – and my thyroid is still there!

Perfect for me as I never understood why thyroid removal would be a first step in my case, as my previous endocrinologist had recommended. I’ve been very impressed with my care under my new endocrinologist Dr. David Geffner, and pleased with his referral to Dr. David K Lu in Radiology for my targeted nodule treatment. I had the highest quality care, most advanced expertise and skill, a sophisticated imaging facility at Ronald Reagan Hospital, with excellent assistance & participation of other physicians and technicians under Dr Lu’s direction (UCLA is a teaching hospital).
When I was searching for alternatives, reading blog posts led me to RF and UCLA, so I hope my experience may help someone.


Filed under Nodules

Q&A – Post Thyroidectomy Depression

Happy Holidays! The holidays often bring about situational depression for many people. Losing your thyroid also leads to depression – don’t let post thyroidectomy depression sneak up on you and affect your life!

Here is a letter from someone that is suffering from Post Thyroidectomy Depression:
“Hey, congrats from one cancer survivor to another! I just stumbled upon your blog when I was googling about thyroidectemys. I had one a week ago and im worried about the outcome of it… My dr. removed my whole thyroid because of a pesky nodule. I was just wondering if you suffered from severe depression before or after the surgery? And I see you are over a year away from your thyroidectemy, I just would like to know, from another fighter, tberes a light at the end of the tunnel… feel pretty hopeless right now.”

My Answer:
I had severe depression before my thyroidectomy, but since the thyroidectomy it’s been quite a ride!!
I just passed my two year anniversary (wow!).

I have found that the #1 thing to keep in mind is paying super close attention to your moods. If you don’t normally suffer from depression, then feeling blue/depressed/hopeless is a strong indicator that your thyroid levels are too low. It’s only been a week for you, if I am reading correctly. You just had a MAJOR surgery, and lost a critical gland that controls everything from metabolism to moods.

If you have not had pre-existing depression, it could be depression from a major life change (situational) as well as depression related to low thyroid levels (biological). Give yourself a few weeks on your current dosage and if you still feel depressed, contact your endocrinologist right away. DO NOT let yourself suffer OR let it ‘creep up on you’ (very common). Keep a journal where every night you write down how you felt that day. If you see a trend of sadness/loneliness/hopelessness, please contact your doctor immediately!!!

If you had pre-existing depression, you might need to change up how that is being managed (ie different medications, etc). I ended up halving my current anti depressant since we run my thyroid levels high, and I am on cytomel (a thyroid hormone replacement) which helps with depression. I tried being on just synthroid and went bonkers. I became downright scary and scared my doctor with my crazy person emails! It’s funny now I look back on it but it was NOT funny or OK at the time.

So if you are already on anti depressants, please meet with the doctor that prescribed them to you (preferably before the thyroidectomy) to discuss, and keep a very close eye on how you feel (mentally and physically)!

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Q&A – Post Thyroidectomy Breathing

I get many emails from people with questions about living a life without a thyroid (such as post thyroidectomy breathing concerns), or what the thyroidectomy process is like. I figured it might be helpful if I made the questions and answers public (redacting the person’s information, of course) so others may find answers to their questions. Please click here if you would like to send me an email or share your positive post thyroidectomy story!

“Hi there ! I found your blog while trying to find something positive to read about having a total thyroidectomy. I am in Ottawa, Canada, and was diagnosed with papillary thydroid cancer. My surgery will be on January 2…You mentioned that it was difficult to breathe when you woke up from surgery – this has me quite worried. How long did the sensation last?”

My response:
It is a little difficult to breathe when you first wake up because you have a breathing tube inserted, so when you wake up it’s a VERY strange sensation! Also, you may have the ‘where am I, what is going on’ sensation. The nurse will immediately come over and take it out the breathing tube. In some hospitals, it might already be out and someone is actively waking you up. It’s important to stay calm (I started to panic which made it worse, as I was not expecting this). So if you are worried that panicking when you wake up is a concern, start fortifying your brain into knowing you should NOT PANIC when waking up after the surgery.
I had shortness of breathe during the evening of the surgery. The nurses made me blow into a little device (called a TriBall – it has three balls in it) to strengthen my breathing. When you blow hard enough, the little balls rise up. I hated it and was tired, but I did as told. Your throat will be sore and your neck will be swollen, but otherwise you should not have any issues breathing.


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