By BJ Reyes
No one ever wants to hear they have cancer.
But there is a sorta/kinda "joke" among doctors that if you have to get some form of it, thyroid cancer is the kind to get.
Apparently, it is among the least aggressive forms, grows slowly, is treated easily and is close to 100 percent curable. In elderly patients, sometimes when the cancer is found, the treatment is nothing. And in some who die in advanced age, pathology shows they have had the disease for some time, but never knew it because there was no effect on life.
That all said, you still don't want to hear that you have cancer, especially if it's for a second time.
So 28 years after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma in my femur (which has been in remission since then), doctors said the little bump on my throat was indeed papillary thyroid carcinoma. Which, apparently, is good, right? (See above.)
You can never laugh off a cancer diagnosis, but having gone through the femur situation (much more on that to come) this was barely a blip on the radar, particularly since the diagnosis came the same day I learned I would need the major femur replacement surgery (again).
As this blog gets rolling, the thyroid already has been removed (required only a one-night stay in the hospital) and preparations have begun for treatment: a radioactive iodine pill that has no real physical side effects such as hair loss or nausea. Only thing is after you take it, you're radioactive for a stint and kind of need to stay away from people for about a week. So long as it doesn't affect any mobile devices (I'm told it doesn't!) that's all fine.
The toughest part? The preparation requires a low-iodine diet, so since last week Friday, it's been no iodized salt, no seafood and no dairy products. Thus, no dining out along with a lot of oatmeal, fruit, plain salad, kosher salt and no-salt matzos. Mazel tov! (Try the matzos with unsalted almond butter -- I'm not sure what cardboard and vegemite tastes like, but I'm guessing it's something like that). Probably more on the diet later, too.
The point is: It's do-able! (Regardless if you've been diagnosed with cancer previously!)
For more information on thyroid cancer: American Thyroid Association.