Post Thyroid Cancer Surgery Update

Last week I had my thyroid cancer surgery. I was surprisingly not nervous. I really felt comfortable with my surgeon and our game plan. If it was as it appeared on the ultrasound contained to the right thyroid and no lymph nodes were involved he'd take just the right thyroid (lobectomy) but if it was more involved he had my OK to take it all (thyroidectomy.) Just the right side would be a big win and would mean fewer complications (parathyroid damage/calcium issues), no additional treatments (radioactive iodine I131 which is annoying and lonely sounding) and potentially little to no medication if my left thyroid continues to do its thing. I woke up in recovery and recall my surgeon saying that he, in fact, was able to just take the right side. He came in later that day and told me again. The cancer hadn't gone beyond the thyroid, no lymph nodes were involved, it was still about the same size, about a 2 cm rock. Woot Woot. I won't know about the need for thyroid medication for a while pending blood work but I am hopeful.

Catch-up on my Thyroid Cancer journey: Part 1: Diagnosis, Part 2: Treatment Plan.

I was the first surgery on the schedule so required to check-in at 5:30 AM. I live about 50 miles from the hospital and the traffic in the AM can be pretty bad so we decided to stay the night closer and head over in the AM. I wanted to give a shoutout to the Marriot La Jolla who not only had a great AAA discount but when I commented on the pretty cheese platter they posted on their Instagram account surprised me by having one in my room waiting when I arrived.

Marriot La Jolla California Southern California

Thankfully, I was able to eat or drink until midnight so my Mum and I sat in Marriott fluffy robes and had a little cheese tidbit party which as you know from past cheese tidbit parties is our thing. I don't eat crackers as you know so my Mum scored. I missed my cucumber crackers and cold cuts I usually accompany my cheese eating but mmmm cheese.

Everyone at UCSD Thorton Hospital was great. I was thankful I brought my Mum along. I usually go it alone by choice (RNY, plastics, etc.) but I'll tell you it was so nice to have someone feed me ice chips those first few hours while I was in recovery, no one would have kept coming to do that at the rate I wanted them. I was moved to my own room at around 11 AM, better bed, closer bathroom, and TV. I highly recommend the No Sugar Added Vanilla Pudding. It was heaven on my throat. My throat was sore and pitchy for a few days but I think my talking voice is almost back, not singing just yet.

We lucked out and I had no one in the bed next to mine so Mum spent a more comfortable night. She ate my fish and steamed veggies for dinner. I tried but I was still having trouble swallowing so I just ate tomato bisque soup and of course more pudding. I didn't sleep at all... which as you know is an issue for me anyway but then add-in pain and noises and scratchy hospital gowns and vitals. Speaking of scratchy hospital gowns this is me sporting mine post-op...

Lobectomy Thyroidectomy

I was thankful that night for the Food Network marathon of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives but after about 20 episodes I'm OK if I never see another again in this lifetime. I ordered an omelet for breakfast and I actually ate about 1/4 of it. So I felt like that was a big improvement from the night before already. I was released before Noon on Saturday. The ride home was long and I felt every bump even with a pillow so when I got home I was glad it was time for a pain pill. I spent the day on the couch, propped up. Sunday I took my first shower and began to feel human again. The first few days were uncomfortable and I definitely needed the pain meds but I also hate how they make me feel so I axed them after a few days and have been just doing the occasional ice pack for the last day or so. Soft foods and protein shakes help...

Celebrate Vitamins Wildberry Protein 20 Frappe

Shelly's Valentine Protein Shake

8-10 oz. Milk (any)
1 packet Celebrate Vitamins Wildberry Protein 20
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Strawberry Torani Syrup
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Vanilla Torani Syrup
a few ice cubes

Blend on high. Top with optional No Sugar Added Homemade Whipped Cream & Nonpareils

More Eggface Protein Shakes

I also made heart-shaped pancakes for Valentine's Day. Well, technically I only made one heart-shaped because I was on drugs but they weren't THAT good...

Sugar Free Sugarfree Low Carb Protein Ricotta Cheese

Shelly's White Chocolate Ricotta Pancakes

1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free White Chocolate Jello Pudding Mix, dry
1 Tablespoon Sugar-Free Vanilla Torani Syrup
3 Tablespoons Multigrain Pancake Mix

Mix all ingredients together. I use whole milk ricotta, if you use part skim, drain first. Spray pan with non-stick spray. Spoon a dollop of the mixture into the pan and pat flat. Cook on low till golden, flip, pat flat, cook till done. Serve each pancake with a drizzle of warm Sugar-Free Maple Syrup or chopped Strawberries mixed with a little Sugar-Free Strawberry Jam that has been warmed in the microwave or they are delicious just plain. Makes 8 pancakes.

These can be frozen between slices of wax paper or kept in the fridge a day or 2 and reheated (nuke 25 seconds) for breakfast during the week. Surprising good cold too. Leftovers usually get some SF jam, almond or peanut butter smeared on them, wrapped in foil and they become a great breakfast-on-the-go.

More Eggface Pancakes

I ventured out for the first time on Tuesday to Starbucks. I went to the supermarket for a few things the next day. Yesterday I went to the Hemo Doc to get my 3rd iron infusion. So my outings are getting a little longer. No exercise yet but I am hoping to get back to my walks next week. Now is when I am thankful I work from home because I am yellow bruised from my chin to my boobs. I have steri-strips and they are still on so I haven't seen my scar yet. Ehh just add it to the many others on this body. For those who ask about it... I already have a creative story about my short-lived career in the circus as the assistant to the one-eyed, knife thrower. LOL.

Thank you for the prayers, lovely messages and I've been enjoying the beautiful flowers the Obesity Action Coalition Board and Staff sent me. My issue of Your Weight Matters Magazine came yesterday and I sat and read it cover to cover while dipping cucumber spears in plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with Everything Bagel Spice. I'll know more after next Tuesday's check-up. Fingers crossed the post-surgery pathology says they got it all.

I'm starting to cook more so I'll be back posting more recipes this week! Thanks for following along on this unexpected part of my journey.


Donna said...

I had my thyroid biopsy last Friday, but have not heard the results as of yet. I had a nodule on both sides. I am getting more anxious and worried. Your article has helped to calm my fears, I just wanted you to know you helped!

Tammi Goff said...

So glad to hear the cancer had not spread & that you’re on the mend. If you should have to take thyroid medication, it’s not that bad - just a tiny little pill. I take it daily, myself.
Again, glad you’re healing well 🙂

shrink violet said...

Congratulations on getting through the surgery, and it's great news that they only had to take one lobe. Sending healing thoughts your way!

Janis Bagby said...

Thank you for sharing this. Have a speedy recovery.


Mel said...

Been reading your blog for years! Keep doing what you're doing. God Bless you!

Mary Chavez said...

Thanks for the update Shelley. You are such an inspiration. Sending you best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Lynne said...

So happy to hear how well you're doing! Hoping for more good news on Thursday!

pugsmom said...

Thank you Lord for answered prayers and for Shelly's continued victory! God bless you Shelly.

Jeanine Sherman said...

Thank you for sharing your story Shelly. You continue to inspire me.

Tracie Gilbert said...

So glad things went well and you're doing ok.

Lady D said...

Shelly, I'm so glad to hear you're doing well! I have to follow up with my endocrinologist every few years because I too have nodules. I hope that they got it all, and I'll keep you in my thoughts. :)

Kelly McCollum said...

Shelly, I had no idea you were dealing with cancer. So glad to hear surgery was successful! Prayers for complete healing and a smooth recovery. And THANK YOU for this blog and all you bring to us.

Unknown said...

I have been praying for you daily! You are strong and have conquered so much and are such an inspiration!! Hang in there and know you can get through it

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to hear that the surgery went well. Best of luck in recovery, Shelly. You're an inspiration to so many, including myself.

Southern Lane said...

You looked great after surgery, We had the exact same surgery, mine was on Nov. 21, 2017. I had tremendous swelling. I have followed you since my weight loss surgery five years ago. It was not the success I had hoped for but trying to get back on track.