Treading Water

Had another follow-up for the vocal cord injection yesterday.  Luckily the sore throat I had for the first one is gone.  Spent more time with the speech therapist than I thought I would.  She was using a Surface Pro 3, lol.  I mentioned to her how cool I thought that was.  She then told me, “good, maybe you can help me figure some things out!”  She asked me about the last time I went to speech therapy and how long ago it was.  If I had learned anything and if it helped.  We went through some exercises, asked me several questions, blah, blah, blah.  She asked me what it is I do for work and why my voice it’s so important that I keep trying to get more than what I have now.  I was slightly offended by the question, I mean, you really have no idea what it’s like when you lose your original voice.  All you want is to have that back again.  I’ve been willing to do anything to get it.  However, I think I’ve reached a point where it’s just not going to happen, I’ve got to come to grips with the fact that what I’ve got it just about all I’m going to get.  I told her that I think the next surgery will be my last.  I need a break.  I need to have a month away from a doctors office.  Just. One. Month.

Moved rooms to talk to Dr. Hillel.  Somewhere along the way, they had came to the idea that I had told them that I didn’t want to do anymore.  Uh…no.  We’re not done here folks, there’s more in that throat.  I told him that the next surgery we do will likely be the last one for me, and that I’d still like to get it done this year for insurance reasons as I’ve hit my out of pocket max for the year.  He was sympathetic to that and said we can get the surgery scheduled for early December and in the meantime I can go to speech therapy to see if she can coax some better behavior out of my throat.  We agreed that if I was happy with the outcome of therapy that I would cancel the surgery.  I really don’t think there’s much more that therapy is going to provide, but I’m willing to give it another go.

Problem 1:  The therapist at my appointment today is booked until the end of November.  That’s not gonna work.
Problem 2:  I get a call from the scheduler today.  He says the first available appointment they have is for the end of this month and there isn’t another opening until the end of November.  Uhhh…It takes several weeks of speech therapy, not once a month for several months.  Unless they’re able to work out some scheduling miracle, I don’t think it’s gonna happen.  They’ve got about 7 weeks until it’s early December, which is coincidentally, the same amount of time I had speech therapy the first time!

Let’s see what they can do.

Work is moving back to Redmond next Tuesday.  Unfortunately, this means it won’t be AS convenient to get to my appointments at UWMC and SCCA.  Hoping they can get me in early in the morning for those therapy appointments that way I can just go before crossing the bridge to work.

This move is a bit bittersweet for me.  I’m going to enjoy not having to pay for parking anymore, but I’m truly going to miss the people down here, and all the various food options!  Oh, and windows.
However, not paying for parking will quickly make that pain go away, that and not going to pay for a coffee once a day.  Gonna be saving a substantial amount of money a month.  Nice.

So excited for next weekend.  Going to learn so much and listen to people speak about their personal journeys through Thyroid Cancer.  I was a bit disappointed when I read the original list of sessions as there really wasn’t one for those that suffered voice issues after their Thyroidectomy.  However, Friday they added one.  Yes!  Really looking forward to that one.  I hope the entire weekend is as informative as I’m hoping.  It’s also going to be fun to be in Denver for the first time.  Should be able to do a little exploring in the evenings and Sunday afternoon.  Happy my Dad is gonna be there as well.

Some of the highlight sessions for me are;

  • TSH Management for People with Thyroid Cancer
  • The Quality of Life and Survivorship in Thyroid Cancer
  • Cancer Survivorship: Coping and Navigating the Long Road Ahead
  • Contemporary Surgical Treatment of Differentiated Thyroid Cancer and Recurrent Thyroid Cancer, Including approaches to potential complications with Voice and Swallowing Issues
  • Disease Monitoring in Thyroid Cancer: When will you tell me I’m “cured”?
  • Roundtable: Young Adults – Friendships, Dating, Relationships, and how Thyroid Cancer Affects Them
  • Roundtable: Going through Cancer alone
  • Voice Issues: Incidence, Causes, Prevention, and Solutions
  • Thyroid Hormone Replacement: Should I be on a Suppressive Dose? What are your other questions?
  • Roundtable: What are the Key Issues for Young Adults?
Anyway, not sure if I’ll have anything more to say prior to the conference, but I know I will after.

UPDATED 10/09:  They called to schedule the surgery this morning, sounds like I’ll be going in on December 10th and stay overnight.  Unfortunately, that’s a Wednesday, but it’s apparently the only day he’s available for this surgery and I’ll likely be the first one of the day, which means EARLY!  That’s fine though, it just means that I’ll be able to drink water sooner!
Still no news on the speech therapy, but I did mention it to the surgery scheduler.  

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