Humming Bird

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month.  It’s a shame that it doesn’t get more coverage.  I had never known it was a thing.  I mean, I didn’t really know all that the Thyroid does until it was too late.

Had an appointment with Dr. Hillel yesterday.  Nine months after my last surgery to check how everything is looking and sounding.  It turned out to be a bittersweet appointment.  After two years and ten months or so, I’ve been told that I no longer need to see a doctor for my voice.  After seeing everyone at the Otolaryngology clinic at UWMC for what seemed like every month for nearly two years, for 4 visits to the operating room (voice and sinus), getting a needle jabbed into my neck muscles and nerves to see what’s working and what isn’t, many, many videostroboscopes down my nose, a whole heck of a lot of speech therapy (I worked with all but one of their speech therapists) there’s no longer anything that can be done where the benefit would outweigh the risk to improve my voice. I actually enjoyed going in there to see everyone after being away for six months.  I’m glad that I no longer need to go though and have come to accept that my voice is now what it is.  It’s felt kind of like graduating.  The next day you’re like, “what now?”

It’s 100x better than it was on November 30th, 2012, but not what it was on the morning of November 29th, 2012 either.

That’s ok, at least I’m able to talk, right?  Right.

I’m going to miss seeing them.  They’re genuine, good people.

I’m getting ready to head to St. Louis on Thursday for the 18th International Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Conference.  Some of the sessions I’m looking forward to are:

  • The ABC’s of Thyroid Cancer
  • Ultrasound in the Management of Thyroid Cancer
  • Optimizing Quality of Life for Cancer Survivors
  • Surgery in Differentiated and Recurrent Thyroid Cancer, including avoiding complications and solving voice and swallowing issues
  • Complications of Thyroidectomy: Parathyroids, Recurrent Laryngeal Nerves and Impacts of Neck Dissection
  • Thyroid Hormone Replacement: Should I be on a Suppressive Dose?
  • Voice Issues: Incidence, Causes, Prevention and Solutions
  • Disease Monitoring in Thyroid Cancer: When will you tell me I am “Cured”?
  • Coping with fear and anxiety about recurrent or persistent disease

Should be an informative and busy Friday, Saturday and Sunday!  Hoping to get some sightseeing done in the evenings and on Monday before I fly back as well as eat some good BBQ and Soul Food!  I’m looking forward to seeing the Arch and the Mississippi (yes, I sang that) River.  Might try to get on a paddle boat tour as well as check out the Anheuser-Busch Brewery on Monday.


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