Total Thyroidectomy and Doing Great

My name is Anel; I am a female currently 25 years old.
About two months ago, sometime in August 2017, I went for a regular check up to the doctor and the doctor noticed I had enlarged thyroid glands.
Therefore, I was sent for blood work and a neck ultrasound. My blood work came out normal – the thyroid levels were what they are suppose to be but my ultrasound revealed that I had 4 nodules, two on each thyroid gland.

I was sent to a specialist for a biopsy and turns out I had papillary thyroid cancer. The biopsy came out inconclusive on two of the nodules they tested; only one nodule came out positive for cancer so they couldn’t tell me what stage cancer it was.

I was told I would have to have a complete thyroidectomy. After staying up so many nights watching videos and reading stories about the terrible symptoms people get after surgery, I was super nervous. I read that you gain weight even if you eat right and exercise, have a foggy brain, feel tired, lose hair and loss of energy.

I had surgery to remove my thyroid on September 19; it is now September 29 so I am 10 days post op and I feel GREAT!

I had surgery at 11 am and woke up at 7:30 pm from the anesthesia. I felt good after the surgery, a few hours later I just had a really sore throat from the tube they stick down to breathe. I spent one night at the hospital to make sure my calcium levels were okay. From the day of the surgery till today I have not had to take any pain medication, my neck was just really stiff and tense nothing major.

I was given 135 mcg Levothyroxine to take the very next day and now for the rest of my life. I wanted to let anyone who is reading this know that it is not always negative – it can be a positive outcome.

I have not felt any different since my surgery, I started going to the gym just 3 days later, I have been taking it lightly as to not lifting any weights over 10lbs per doctor’s order. I have changed my diet as well; I am following a gluten free diet and I know I can easily make this a lifestyle change and I have felt a difference in my body – I feel healthier in general. I will be doing the radioactive iodine in about a month and will be getting my thyroid levels tested in 2 weeks in case I need any adjustments.

But so far so good no complaints 🙂

13 Comments

Filed under Thyroid Cancer

13 Responses to Total Thyroidectomy and Doing Great

  1. Samar Rebeiz Isaksen

    Thank you for this post. I have a date scheduled to remove my thyroid, and like you, I’ve been reading awful/scary things online. It’s nice to read some positive feedback for a change. Crossing my fingers that my experience will be as your.

    • Hi Samar,
      Has your thyroidectomy happened yet? Please let us know how you are doing 🙂
      Best,
      Sparky

      • Samar Rebeiz Isaksen

        Hi Sparky,
        Sorry for the late reply, haven’t stayed posted with the updates on the website.
        Yes, I have done surgery, and the results came in that there was no cancer. I was so nervous before the surgery, the idea of losing an organ from my body just wouldn’t sink in! It didn’t help much either to read all the negative posts online about other people’s experiences. All in all, it was a pretty emotional time for me.
        I decided in the end, for my sake, as well as for my family’s sake, to have a positive attitude and to just take it as it comes.
        The operation itself was okay, but I was put on morphine afterwards, and that affected me pretty badly….The first couple of weeks after the surgery were a roller-coaster, both physically and mentally. It was as if my body was trying to understand what it has missed and trying to regulate all of its balances again. I was exhausted and laying on the couch for a long time. I’m usually full of energy, and people who know me, know I’m not a coach kind-of-a-person. But I had no choice, my body was demanding it. I was also going through hot/cold splashes, one minute freezing the other sweating. I had a LOT of sweating attacks in the night: waking up all of a sudden with a my heart beating like crazy and laying in a pool of sweat, so bad that I had to change my pajamas a few times. Luckily, I was surrounded by the support of my family, friends and boss. At home, my husband took over totally and was there for me, supporting me all the way. At work, I had the support of my boss, who really made me feel welcomed back and encouraged me to manage my working hours as I thought best I should.
        I wasn’t supposed to train for the first couple of months, and that was a bit challenging for me. I usually run and do muscle training, but I wasn’t allowed to lift weights, and running was out of the question. I was okay with it the first 3 weeks, but as soon as I started getting my energy back, I felt a bit restless. As for my weight, I lost around 3kilos those first few weeks. But in retrospect, I’m not sure if they were 1-because of the surgery and not eating much while I was on the morphine, and 2- losing muscle weight, as I stopped exercising.
        At my first doctor’s check, around 1½ months after my surgery, the doctor didn’t really “buy” the weight loss, as she could see that my metabolism levels were lower as to prior to the surgery. She put me on Euthyrox 20 microgram medicine, and she meant that if I don’t get on the medicine, I will very soon start gaining weight. Again, it was hard for me to accept that I am going to be on medicine the rest of my life, but again, there wasn’t much I could do about it.
        Fast forward to today. I would say that I have my old life back again, completely. My energy levels are up, the latest blood tests I did showed that my metabolism levels are leaning back to the normal levels, I am exercising again 4 times a week, and all in all I trying not to think of the” what ifs”, but rather focus on having the attitude that I am normal. I should probably mention that I gained 2 kilos, over the weight I had prior to my surgery, but understandable with the way I eat . But all my clothes fit me perfectly well, and since I exercise with weights, it can also be muscle weight. In general, I’m not bothered by it, I try to keep an eye on the scale from time to time, just so I don’t lose track, but I’m not obsessed by it. The scar is also there, I put sunscreen on it, and try to cover it when I’m in direct exposure to the sun, but it doesn’t bother at all. I look good and I feel good
        I hope my experience can be of some positive help to others. Good luck to anyone who is about to go through the same experience. This life is a journey, and we don’t know where it’s taking us……….
        Best,
        Samar

  2. Roxann

    Anel, Thank you so much for sharing your positive experience. It was very uplifting for me to read. I am scheduled for a thyroidectomy in 28 days and have been very nervous and concerned since I was told that I should consider total removal. I too have spent many hours reading stories of people who have not had a positive experience since their surgery. Thank you again for sharing your story, it gives me hope. I hope that you continue to do well. Take Care!

  3. Kristen

    Is this for real? Are you a real, true human? Because I have a very similar PTC diagnosis just last week and am having a similar pre surgery experience as you. Reading the horrific posts from ppl who are absolutely miserable. It’s making me so depressed already. I needed to read your story. Thank you. I hope you continue to feel healthy and happy forever and ever.

  4. Rhi

    Oh girl, you’re two weeks in. Give yourself two years and you won’t be feeling so hot

    • Yeah – I hear a lot from people who are just one or two weeks in. We all feel fine 1- 3 weeks in. THEN it hits, like a ton of bricks!
      But if you are still unwell two years later, fire your doctor and find one that will work with you.

      • Gina

        Sparky, That’s a terrifying thing to read on a positive thyroid experience thread! 🙂 So at what point do you consider an experience to be a positive one cuz I’ve read and seen some pretty horrifying stuff just days after surgery, so I consider doing good at 2 weeks a positive thing. I know it takes time to get everything regulated, but every good step is positive.
        Still doing well at 4 weeks out. 🙂

        • I agree, 2 weeks is a very positive thing!! Maybe you misread my comment? If someone is very unwell after two *years*, then they definitely should get a second or third opinion on their medical care 🙂

          Right after surgery, people definitely need to cut themselves slack. It’s a major surgery!! Largest endrocrine gland cut out of your body – take it easy ^_^ Please check back in, would love to hear how your journey continues 🙂

  5. Heather

    Thank you for your stories everyone – my 15 yr old had her total thyroidectomy yesterday and needed to see some positive outcomes. She had a hard time coming out from the anesthesia and is worried about “feeling normal” again. We lost her dad to cancer 7 yrs ago and with her diagnosis of hashimotos and the fact that hers was 2x as big they wanted to get it out ASAP. She was very thankful to find some positives among all the horror stories on the web.

  6. Susan

    How are all the people doing now? Compared to just a couple weeks out from surgery. You were still functioning on stored thyroid energy.

    • Hi Susan – I agree with you. I have started to not publish thyroidectomy stories that are immediately after the surgery, as they are not fully indicative of the longer term effects which can take at least 2+ months of the initial adjustment, and then the years afterwards. I do ask those that submit their stories to also provide follow ups 🙂

  7. This website is simply mad, I had TT and felt grand for one month after surgery (I learned later it was because of the hormonal rush of residual thyroxine) after two month my life started to be miserable. It’s three year now and my life is a nightmare, please STOP telling that TT is a walk in the park. Removing thyroid interrupt a delicate hormone feedback process that cannot be restored! Synthroid and thyroid medicine are inaccurate, instable and incomplete, stop telling positive stories because on the long period there aren’t

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