Can you help this control freak with a timeline?

Okay, I had a biopsy on the thyroid. "Suspicious, atypical" for papillary. Surgery recommended. Surgeon wants an ultrasound on the neck (so she knows what to expect going in.) Ultrasound leads to biopsy (this morning). Now I get to wait *again* for results. Is surgery next? How long from now? How far ahead can a surgeon schedule a TT? A week, two weeks? When I spoke with the surgeon on July 1, she was thinking the surgery would be the end of the month. Sounds like beginning/mid August to me.
I don't have any major events to plan around ( I did see a fine concert last weekend) but hey, I just want to know, and the surgeon's staff just says, we'll let you know when we get the results. Can anybody ease the mind of a judicial control freak? :)
Thank you all for the calming words.....

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Every situation is different, but I'd guess you'd hear about the biopsy results in a week or less. You'll likely have to meet with your Dr. again to go over the results/get the low-down on your surgery. I doubt your surgery would be scheduled that fast because OR room time needs to be booked and your surgery is not considered high priority (it's not an emergency triple bypass, etc.), insurance preapprovals need done, etc.,etc. I waited nearly 8 weeks for surgery, but part of that was I already had a non-refundable vacation planned. My surgeon actually encouraged me to take it beforehand and delayed the surgery for me so I didn't have to cancel. I understand your eagerness...I was ready to drive straight to the OR and jump on the table after I left my ENTs office, but unfortunately it usually is a long drawn-out process. Answers come slowly and in drips and drabs. If you really are a control freak the whole process is going to be difficult for you...remember patience is a virtue. Good luck! :)

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Oh, TLBones, thanks. I didn't realize I'd meet with my surgeon again. They are thorough and detailed. That's good, but it's also natural just to want the whole process to be over and done with. :) And you're right that it's not high priority (thank heavens). It does allow me to adapt to the changes. I've never been in the hospital overnight before, so that will be an adjustment. Let go, let go, let go.... :)

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This process does have a lot of wait time, but it also depends where you go. When I was getting my ultra sound, biopsy, it seemed to take forever. After I got my diagnosis, I decided to go to Cleveland Clinic. They have next day appointments. I was scheduled for a consult with the endo on Monday at 9:30, by 11:30 I had met with the surgeon, and then had surgery scheduled for that Friday. And not because it was fast growing. I was 1 cm and stage 1. It is just how their schedule worked.

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I would expect about a month for a non emergency surgery. Perhaps longer if you go to a big name hospital.
Most state run med schools and cancer centers will be around a month.
If you want it sooner, as opposed to later, and can get ready pretty quickly. Tell your team you can take a
cancellation if one comes up. Keep in mind, you will need to be off most meds and supplements before surgery.

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Yes I would think 2-4 weeks sounds appropriate. Now my advice is enjoy everything you can right now. You will have a road to recovery afterward that will be a bit longer than 2-4 weeks. Enjoy, relax, and take a deep breath!! Lol

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Yeah, I may be getting ahead of myself. I've never had surgery before, and certainly nothing as seriously as this. It's okay with me if it takes a few weeks. I just function better with a schedule. I'm judicial on that Myers-Briggs scale! So, I will meet with the endo before surgery, too? It's a learning curve, ain't it. Enjoy everything I can? That sounds like a good philosophy.

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Hello PDXRose....My nodule was found on annual exam, same age. I had an ultrasound the very next day. Two days later I had an appointment with an ENT doctor--I went to the office personally and told them I was more important than seasonal allergies and they had a cancellation. I had a biopsy 12 days later, saw the ENT surgeon again soon after my biopsy and was told I needed surgery, suspicious for papillary cancer. My partial thyroidectomy was 14 days after my biopsy. Then more waiting as they could not determine for sure during surgery if it was or was not cancer. This also fell within Thanksgiving week so my biopsy was sent to Mayo Clinic. After 12 days I got the call that it was cancer and they needed to take me back to surgery to remove the other half now that they were sure it was cancer (they want to leave half of the thyroid if not cancer). It had been too many days since my first surgery (wound was now healing too much) so my second surgery (completion/total thyroidectomy) had to be postponed for another 6 weeks and 2 days. From finding the nodule until the end of radiation it was 4 months. It does take patience, yes, sorry to say. For a while your schedule will belong to the doctors, but it will get better!

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My situation was quick and I didn't have time to think so I spent the last month processing my diagnosis.
In summary:
5/28 felt swollen lymph node in neck. Told to watch it for 2 weeks.
6/7 I pushed my doctor for more testing. Did CBC and ultrasound. Received results that day: suspicious
6/12 Had a needle aspiration biopsy of thyroid and lymph node.
6/13 Received results: positive
6/14 Appt with Endo (scheduled that morning)
6/18 Appt with surgeon - he had an immediate opening for the next day
6/19 Surgery - TT with right radical neck dissection
6/21 Home from the hospital.

It was a whirlwind! Now I'm waiting to start my LID on 8/6 and then RAI on 8/22.

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Wow, ajm, I don't think I could adjust that fast. And starstamper, you have a good point--the schedule belongs to the doctors. I thought this whole thing might be done in two months. Looks more like three-four, counting the lovely experience of the LID and RAI. Thanks, everyone.

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Everyone is different. Mine was found around March 2013. Ultrasound a week later. Met with surgeon 2 weeks later. Dumped by surgeon because my case was too difficult and met with another surgeon in May. Given surgery date of June 10. Didn't trust surgeon so went to Dana Farber in Boston. I requested an appt on a Friday via email, on Monday they called with my appt times for Wed. More tests needed. Ended up having surgery June 28th. So about 3 weeks after meeting with surgeon.

I suggest you take the time to enjoy yourself now (easier said than done, I know). I am 3 weeks post op and just now starting to be able to drive (I call it old lady driving...single lane, short distances...no highway, yet) and I spend most of my day on the couch because I have no energy.

If you end up needing RAI you will be down for the count even longer.

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Hey pdxrose

Had my TT at ohsu. I was able to postpone in a few weeks due to vacation but easily could have had it a week after my consult with the surgeon. I saw Maisy Shindo. Awesome doctor. You can't even see my scar!

Best wishes

Patricia

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Hey BigFoot Mama, yes, I'm in Portland, Oregon. I'm working with a surgeon at Providence. Sara, you have a point about enjoying yourself now. I've never had surgery before, so it's hard to know how my body will react to the operation. I am very glad to report that I went up to Seattle last weekend to see Paul McCartney in concert. I'm a longtime fan, and it was the highlight of the summer. So, my health challenge has not threatened that. I do have another concert here in town in mid-August. If I can delay the dreaded LID till after that, I'll be happy. I"m hoping it will take me just a few days to recover from surgery. Who can tell? I have lots of video to watch, and plan on eating plenty of fudgsicles. Keep calm and carry on....

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PDXRose: an hour before PT surgery my endo talked with me in pre-op. I'm not aware of the time frame of part of this day. I was in post-op for quite some time because there wasn't a bed avalable. Got into my room late afternoon. Had soft dinner. I had terrible heartburn around midnight and had to ask for saltines. Had to sleep in a chair because I could not get up from a reclining positon. Spent 1 night at hospital. Sutures removed at 8:00 the next morning and I was discharged by 9:00.
Dr. said no driving for 2 weeks. Sounds crazy but it is true. Went back to work fulltime when I could drive. Hope this helps.

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PDXRose, if it's any help to you, I'll share my experience since my TT was my third operation. I had gastric bypass at age 28 (laparoscopic) and 6 months later had my gallbladder removed (laparoscopic). Gallbladder was day unit and I was back home in under 4 hours. It was easy, painless and a quick recovery. My gastric bypass was pretty good although I was morbidly obese so I was unhealthy on general. As soon as I woke up from both, I stopped the IV pain meds and didn't take anything stronger than extra strength Tylenol.

For my TT, I expected to be feeling better faster. I don't know if it's that much more invasive (I had a right radical neck dissection with 44 LN removed also) or because I'm 4 years older... My surgeon said a lot of people go back to work 1 week after TT. There was no way I could do that!! Holding my head up at a desk was still extremely difficult 3 weeks after surgery. While in the hospital I took Tordal for pain but I did not take the Percocet once I got home (I have a 5 month old and can't be out of it). I needed the pain meds though! I took extra strength Tylenol only because I can't take NSAIDS due to my gastric bypass. My surgery was Wednesday, I got out of the hospital on Friday and felt pretty good in the hospital. Got home and hit a wall. I don't really remember the first week due to anesthesia fog and pain. I do know that after Monday it started to improve each day.

Some of your recovery will be based on LN involvement and whether parathyroid glands or vocal cords are undamaged. Mine were fine but my spinal accessory nerve is not so I have to do PT. I have limited range with my right arm and poor strength.

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My process went extremely quickly. Biopsy July 31, result/diagnosis Aug 3, met with surgeon that same day as he happened to have an opening, scheduled TT for Aug. 7. I had done lots of reading beforehand so knew fairly well what was happening. My situation was not an emergency at all, I just wanted to deal with it quickly. Best of luck to you.

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Waiting is very stressful! I found my nodule in early February. Went to ENT DR about a week after I found it. Had US in late February, which led to biopsy. My biopsy was mid March, which led to surgery. My surgeon could not do my surgery until May 22nd. He is a surgeon specializing in thyroid and parathyroid surgery in Augusta, GA. Waiting and not knowing what was going to happen for about two months was very stressful! I got the call that it was cancer about 8 days after my surgery. My second surgery was on June 4th, which was a little less than two weeks after the first. I went back to work the Monday after both my surgeries. Now, I wasn't going to be able to see an ENDO until August 28th, so more waiting! I have talked to the ENDO's office to express my concern over waiting so long to get in and having to see an ENT DR that knows nothing about thyca. Now, I will see her in about two more weeks. Like I said before, waiting is very stressful, and that's the worst part so far! :)

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Oh, thank you all for the details on your own experiences. I just got a voicemail from the surgeon. The biopsy on the neck proved negative for cancer spreading to the lymph nodes. So, she's ready to schedule me for a TT. I will call them tomorrow. I'm also scheduled to see a naturopath tomorrow. All hands on deck.

I'm so glad this board is here.

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Yay, I am scheduled for surgery on the 7th, with post-op appt. on the 27th (of August). I'm meeting with the surgeon to discuss the details. I also met with a naturopath today who suggested some supplements for my gut (I have an irritable bowel). Any Portland people on this board, I hope to meet you this Monday evening at the support group meeting.

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