Paul's Heart

Life As A Dad, And A Survivor

A Possible New Battle Looms

All I have of my battle with Hodgkin’s Disease are my memories.  The steps I took to recovery from my open heart surgery are undocumented.  I have no notes on the little side things that have occurred since that surgery, including a diagnosis of sepsis and pneumonia.  But for some reason, I will start now.  In preparation, I will designate this officially as “Battle #4″.  Not that the other medical things I have had to deal with are not as important, this has the potential to be a true game changer, like cancer, cardiac surgery, or a life threatening blood infection.

Two weeks ago, I received a phone call from a nurse at one of the doctor’s office’s  that takes care of my late term side effects.  Though my thyroid level has been checked every year through bloodwork, this year marked the second year in a row, that an ultrasound was performed on the thyroid.

Last year, it was noticed that I had nodules on a very small thyroid.  Everyone ends up with nodules at some point or another in their life.  But the small thyroid was due the extreme amount of radiation I had been exposed to when I was treated for my Hodgkin’s Disease.  To give you an idea of what I had been exposed to as far as levels, I received four times the lifetime maximum allowed of radiation to cure my Hodgkin’s.  Who am I to complain?  It’s been over 22 years!  It is quite possible I would have been safer reporting on Three Mile Island from outside the cooling tower back in the 1970′s.

Back to the phone call.  My results from the current thyroid ultrasound still reveal the small throid and three noticeable nodules.  Two are cystic at about 2mm on the left lobe.  But on the right lobe is a hypoechoic solid nodule, containing internal vasularity measuring at 5x5x4mm.  I am scheduled to undergo a needle biopsy on only this nodule (as far as I know).

I am actually quite calm about this, much like my heart surgery.  I was unconscious for the sepsis, but totally freaked out over the cystoscopy that I had done (Google it to see what it is if you must).  I will get this done on Tuesday, and hopefully have results before the end of the week.  Knowing so many before me, exposed to what I have been, I know the possibilities.

And so it begins.

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