Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The lump on my thyroid..

Updated on 16th Dec'15

And so I went for my review on Monday, all ready to make appointment for a surgery. I was told it's unlikely cancerous and the doctor wouldn't be too worried about it. Doctor said I could opt for some small incision surgery behind my lower lip or armpit (he didn't say armpit, he used a medical term). He suggested the options as I am prone to keloid and the nodule is small enough to be removed such. At the end of our few minutes conversation, I switched off a couple of times when he told me the names of the glands, possibility of bleeding, etc.

And so, coz I was not ready for anything for my lower lip nor armpit, I chickened out. I could live with the lump on my throat or neck. No one notices that anyway. At least so far only one friend on that ONE occasion.

So, I chose not to do the surgery, and asked for a review 6 months later instead for surveillance.

4th Dec'15

Glad to update here that the scan went well. The radiographer told me the nodule doesn't look harmful, and there's minimal blood flows in the nodule. So the nodule is not feeding (something like that). That really lifted the whole big rock off my shoulders.

And oh ya, the doctor is still talking about the very same nodule! Heehe!

And I feel like I could live normally again.

Really thankful of YJ who offered to keep me company for every visit. She was with me this scan, boy, was I glad and R.E.L.I.E.V.E.D!

Next review: 14th Dec!

Note to self: Remember to ask Dr Tan if I can continue my befriending role with CCF

30th Nov'15

As hubby had to send IZ for his eye review in KKH, I told him I could make my own way to SGH, from the office.

Registration was easy, the staffs were very friendly.

After waited for a while, there was a handsome young 3rd year medical student asked me into a room and started an interview. As we spoke, I realised there were some symptoms that may or may not be related to the lump.

Dr.  Tan came to introduce himself and told me he'll be back to me after the interview. He checked the lump and told me it's highly possible that it's not cancerous. I don't know what to say. Maybe deep down, I asked "how would you know?" Later, I regretted not asking.

He told me he'll do another ultrasound scan to confirm. So there were him, 2 other medical students, and a nurse around the treatment room while I had my neck scanned. He hesitated a while and then moved on to ask for FNAC (fine needed aspiration cytology) to be carried out. Then they left me in the room with the nurse.

I asked if the procedure would be painful. The helpful nurse gave me a piece of instructions to read. It'll be fine needle, so I don't suppose it'll be too much of pain. But in some events, I may be poked a few times. Technicians were called. They will be checking the specimens if there's enough cells to be checked.

Came a Dr. Stefan Mueller, asking me for my authorisation signature for the cytology. And he said he was highly confident that I'll be alright. It worried me as Dr Mueller is from oncology dept. Later, I also noticed he was the one who signed on my MC. I don't know if it's the SOP.

So, I was poked. I was surprised by how painless it was. And I thought it was all done when Dr Tan retracted the needle the first time. And then he did it again.. and again. Total 3 needles. By the time he was done with the 3rd one, I felt all the blood in me drained. My head started to feel light, my hands were heavy. I was passing out. I called out to them saying I was giddy.

Dr Tan was very assuring. Dr Mueller lifted my legs. Slowly I "regained" consciousness.

Later Dr. Tan told me what happened was normal. But I was not listening to the term he used. I was thinking of "hyper-ventilating" and "anxiety attack". Hahaha useless me!

So after rested for what seemed eternity, I told the nurse I could leave on my own already. She asked me to wait at the waiting area for payment and next appointment.

Was shocked when I was told I actually had to do another round of ultrasound scan. I had to go to Radiology Dept which was just across Head & Neck dept to fix an appointment. I peeped at the referral form "noted new right thyroid nodule (sloid/cystic) for assessment. WHAT?!?! Did they mean they found another one? Or was it the very same one?!

To be found out on 4th Dec.

25th Nov'15

Clinic called and told my referral letter is ready. My appointment is fixed at Head & Neck Centre in SGH on 30th Nov'15 with Dr. Tan Hiang Khoon, a senior consultant.

I didn't collect the referral letter until 29th Nov.

23rd Nov'15

Review with Dr. Chong. She said the growth is partly cystic and partly solid. It doesn't look like normal thyroid, so she'll recommend to refer me to specialist. I told her I'd prefer govt hospital.

You know, the part "partly cystic and partly solid" couldn't register in my mind. I had to ask her to repeat a few times, before I can remember. Was it my memory or was I in denial?

22nd Nov'15

No news about the ultrasound scan so I decided to drop by the clinic physically to check. They told me the result has just arrived.

18th Nov'15

Went for ultrasound in AMK.

17th Nov'15

All thanks for the shifu's pointer about taking extra good care of my health and about early intervention, I decided to see doc immediately. Waited for a good 2 hours, to be told I'll get a referral for ultrasound.

16th Nov'15

I caught a glimpse of the lump on my neck on the mirror. I already walked past it, but I went back to the mirror and took a good look at it. It was obviously a growth on my neck.

Then I thought of the day YJ pointed out something unusual with my neck. She used her phone to take a photo to show me. But I can't remember when was that.

Little I did know, that would be one of the questions to be asked. When exactly was the lump first noticed?

Months.. how many months, I'm not sure anymore.. Neither can YJ..


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