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Hello, I am a (white) 22 year old mother of two... also, a wife. I was diagnosed with three masses when I was 16-17 years young. I registered via this forum, due to my extreme fear of having thyroid/lymphoma cancer. I do get yearly ultrasounds, however, I am refusing a biopsy; though, my Endo. isn't too concerned -- the masses have been stable, since they were discovered. I told them that if my nodules ever needed to be biopsied, just take the suckers out! I have my personal reasons, trust me. Anyway, I'll cut to the chase:

- 2CM complex thyroid nodule, which is hard/firm/fixed and not very mobile.
- 9MM hypoechogenicity (sp?) thyroid nodule, possibly solid.
- "Pinky print" sized firm/fixed mass on my mastoid bone.
- All the above were found at 16 (17?) years old and remain stable.
- My g'ma had a thyroid nodule, sadly she died (of old age) and don't know much about it.
- I also get this dry cough that is daily, but not constant.
- I do have daily and almost constant heart palpitations, though.
- All blood work'n tests came out "normal," every single time.
- I've seen 3 different ENTs/Endos, so... yeah, none of them seem too concerned.

Why do I believe that I have cancer? Simple. I see a lot of risk factors, but none of my doctors are worried (yes, I've even mentioned all of my concerns to them.) Moving on, here is a short list of reasonings:

- My age! 22, but this was all discovered in my teens.
- My masses, come on... hard, firm, fixed, hypoechogenicity (sp?)
- The mastoid bone "lump," just seems too... odd, I guess.
- I do have bad dental issues and use to have severe ear infections.
- My daily cough, which could be from smoking cannabis 3-4 times a day.
- Have my card for pretty intense scoliosis; meds. won't work and make me feel horrible. It also helps with my depression, so...
- Other medical issues include, but are not limited to:

Anxiety, panic attacks, Duanes syndrome, OCD, oh... I'm also a hypochondriac, surprised? I'm serious about this post, however.

Bored, yet? Almost done! My next appointment(s) are next month, for another ultrasound. Should I just have them yank it out? Advice, please. I feel like everything I do is pointless, since I'm just going to "die off" soon.

Thanks! :hugs:

(P.S. I've tried anti-depressants and I will not consume any more, gained weight and was partly suicidal. Also, in the process of looking for a new "shrink," since I moved to a new state.)
 

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Bored, yet? Almost done! My next appointment(s) are next month, for another ultrasound. Should I just have them yank it out? Advice, please. I feel like everything I do is pointless, since I'm just going to "die off" soon.
I say have them yank it out and be done with the worrying.
 

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Yup, get it out.
 

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I'm curious...why are you refusing a biopsy, yet you are willing to have your thyroid removed without one? I mean this in a really nice way, but that seems irrational to me.

The biopsy is very simple...they do it with a needle, and it may be ultrasound-guided. If you did that, you'd at least have much better odds of knowing what you're dealing with. (Sometimes, the biopsy results are inconclusive.)
 

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I didn't want a fine needle biopsy for one reason. I'd read that it can be unreliable SO, in my feeble mind, I figured what kind of reassurance would I have if I got negative results? And, that was the #1 reason I had my thyroid removed.

THEN, the first thing the surgeon told me was I had a tiny papillary cancer buried deep in my thyroid (which was three times bigger than normal) - FNA would have never found it. I had several nodules that were the size that would dictate being biopsied and my endocrinologist wanted to biopsy them but I never could accept that even after doing that I'd still wonder.

I was lucky - I dodged a bullet.
 

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I refused the biopsy, twice. Endo agreed my reasons were very valid. Mine was coming out because of Graves...which caused me more troubles than cancer. Life has been much better without the thyroid.
 

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For anyone/everyone wanting to know why I am refusing a biopsy, it's because... for me, it'd be pointless. You see, if I got a biopsy and it turned out to be benign -- it would NOT matter to me, because I worry so much! I'd constantly be thinking "What happens if they missed the cancer?" That constant worry doesn't seem fun to me, so it stays - or, it goes. If any of that made sense.

Oh, and thank you! I hope to get some more replies... you guys/gals seem so very helpful. It's also nice to know that I am no longer "alone."
 

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So...if we play this out...you skip the biopsy (and I understand your reason for doing so) and go straight to a total thyroidectomy...will you then find something new to worry about, or will this calm you down permanently?

My point is this...will getting your thyroid removed really solve the root issue, or will it just be one less thing to worry about? If your nodules have been stable for six years, it just makes me question whether you'd be needlessly having your thyroid removed...or having it removed for the wrong reasons, if there are wrong reasons. Just trying to look at this from different angles.

Are you getting psychiatric help for the chronic pain, worrying, and anxiety?
 

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One more question...you say your bloodwork comes out normal every single time. Have you had your thyroid antibodies tested, or just the basics?
 

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I'm currently in the process of getting some mental help, due to moving to a different state; lost my old "shrink." Shouldn't be too much longer, but yeah - I get another ultrasound next month on the 9th and if everything is still stable, I may just leave it be and continue to monitor it. I guess my reason being is, I don't want to keep "watching and waiting," then BAM!! Cancer, too far spread to treat. It has been about six years, after all. I won't know for sure about anything, until next month. My age worries me, however. My g'ma got her thyroid nodule removed (sadly she passed of old age and I have no clue if it was benign, though I've heard rumors that it was.) To be honest, you're right -- after surgery, would I still worry? Probably, yeah. Hell, I'm even terrified of getting the surgery done. I just love life, so much, and want to live it to the fullest. Once again, wow... I'm glad that I finally joined this board. Helps to calm my nerves a bit, ha!

P.S. I've had all of the "basic" blood work done and some thyroid tests; TH-something, sorry... I suck at this, lol. It was all normal, though. However, I find my frequent heart palpitations odd. They started in 2009 and haven't slowed down since, hm? Anxiety, maybe.
 

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I may identify with your anxiety more than most people. I don't doubt that I suffer with hypochondria...but there is always the doubt. Is it something, are you imagining it, the symptoms seem real but are they, etc.? It's a curse! My mother is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the reason I have such health anxieties. My earliest memories are of Mother calling a doctor to our house (I'm OLD!!) for absolutely no reason. I suspect Mother has always been so neurotic and takes hypochondria to new heights because her own mother died young but her anxieties have compromised my life beyond reason. I never had a headache that Mother didn't fear was a brain tumor. A sore throat was esophageal cancer. A bruise could be a bloodclot. Every cold was pneumonia. It never, ever stopped AND it still continues to this day. My mother will be 91 next week, has no major medical problems, her mind is sharp, she gets around without a cane, doesn't wear glasses, has perfect hearing...yet all day every day she talks about medical problems and potential health issues. She is probably the healthiest 90-year old woman in town but has a new health crisis every single day!

I hate it. My husband's mother had a major stroke when she was in her late 40's and never really was healthy again...but she never complained, she never spoke of health issues, she minimized her symptoms. My husband has had two open heart surgeries, has macular degeneration, takes a ton of drugs...but never, ever complains.

Anxiety about health problems is a hard thing to deal with. It can take over your life whether you want it to or not and no amount of reasoning can change those doubts and fears.
 

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I'm actually amazed your Endo didn't tell you right off the bat that the thyroid had to be taken out. I remember that when I went in to get checked out by my general practitioner, she was rather concerned (I had a visible lump on my throat - a blood-filled cyst) and sent me straight to a surgeon instead of an Endo. I think my case may be more unique than yours since I had an obvious LARGE lump in my throat that actually made swallowing difficult.

What I'm getting at is that my surgeon did an FNA on me. After the FNA, he told me in all likelihood that no matter what, my thyroid would have to be removed, even if any nodules weren't cancerous. I don't remember exactly what he said, but aside from the cyst, I think he said it just wasn't worth keeping in there because one of the several nodules I had in my neck could very likely become cancerous. Not really a great reason to go ahead and pull the trigger. However, again, in my case, given the large cyst, I basically had no choice but to go ahead and get a total thyroidectomy. Side note...he drained my cyst and I could swallow normally again for a good 12 hours. The next day, the cyst had re-filled. There really was no other option for me than removing my thyroid.

The bottom line is, if you're going to worry about it constantly, I'd definitely at -least- get an FNA done on your nodule(s). It's a little uncomfortable of a procedure, but worth it if the results will help calm you (either if the news is good or...not so good, you'll know what's going on and what paths to take to correct the situation).

As for the anxiety, I can say that I admittedly laughed off anxiety and depression growing up. I never believed in it...until about 3 years ago when I started getting hit hard by them. I swear, to this day when I get them, I feel like I'm having a heart attack (I've in fact had numerous EKGs, an echo stress test, and even went to the ER once to get checked out. No heart troubles detected). So, I feel you on that. But I wonder how many of the rest of you have anxiety as well? I am curious to know if there's a link between thyroid cancer (or hashimotos, etc) and anxiety. If so, I'd like to think that when I started getting anxiety/panic attacks 3 years ago, it was because my thyroid may have started acting strangely back then. I dunno.
 

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bluemoonguy said:
I'm actually amazed your Endo didn't tell you right off the bat that the thyroid had to be taken out. I remember that when I went in to get checked out by my general practitioner, she was rather concerned (I had a visible lump on my throat - a blood-filled cyst) and sent me straight to a surgeon instead of an Endo. I think my case may be more unique than yours since I had an obvious LARGE lump in my throat that actually made swallowing difficult.

What I'm getting at is that my surgeon did an FNA on me. After the FNA, he told me in all likelihood that no matter what, my thyroid would have to be removed, even if any nodules weren't cancerous. I don't remember exactly what he said, but aside from the cyst, I think he said it just wasn't worth keeping in there because one of the several nodules I had in my neck could very likely become cancerous. Not really a great reason to go ahead and pull the trigger. However, again, in my case, given the large cyst, I basically had no choice but to go ahead and get a total thyroidectomy. Side note...he drained my cyst and I could swallow normally again for a good 12 hours. The next day, the cyst had re-filled. There really was no other option for me than removing my thyroid.

The bottom line is, if you're going to worry about it constantly, I'd definitely at -least- get an FNA done on your nodule(s). It's a little uncomfortable of a procedure, but worth it if the results will help calm you (either if the news is good or...not so good, you'll know what's going on and what paths to take to correct the situation).

As for the anxiety, I can say that I admittedly laughed off anxiety and depression growing up. I never believed in it...until about 3 years ago when I started getting hit hard by them. I swear, to this day when I get them, I feel like I'm having a heart attack (I've in fact had numerous EKGs, an echo stress test, and even went to the ER once to get checked out. No heart troubles detected). So, I feel you on that. But I wonder how many of the rest of you have anxiety as well? I am curious to know if there's a link between thyroid cancer (or hashimotos, etc) and anxiety. If so, I'd like to think that when I started getting anxiety/panic attacks 3 years ago, it was because my thyroid may have started acting strangely back then. I dunno.
i think so BlueMoon guy,
Over time,chronic anxiety will kick your adrenals to death.and mess with your thyroid, stress triggers many an illness I'm sure because of it's effect on the body.I used to laugh when people said that, but i learned differently.
Last 12 years i have had nothing but well founded anxiety fear and panic about both family members and myself. 2 deaths and 3 cancer diagnoses later we arnen't the carefree family we were before it began.
the anxiety doesnt switch off properly when the crisis is over and thats what probably does the damage... becomes ever easier to go over the top about less and less, after severe stress the the panic bar is forever lowered.
It takes very little for the adrenalin to start surging. we really arent recovered,
My youngest now has panic attacks and has medication- my Thryoid/adrenal is messed up, my eldest has other problems.
Whats missing is the off switch for the stress reaction ... I think it does tend to run in families too,plus some people are naturally disposed to be stress heads.
Maybe it does all start in the head but it ends up in the body..
 

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Can you please post what labs you have with dates and ranges please.

Your palpitations tell my you are likely on the side of high.

My thyroid was full of nodules - nobody ever told me until it was removed. If I had known - I would have been a worried wreck.
 

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Brittanerd said:
For anyone/everyone wanting to know why I am refusing a biopsy, it's because... for me, it'd be pointless. You see, if I got a biopsy and it turned out to be benign -- it would NOT matter to me, because I worry so much! I'd constantly be thinking "What happens if they missed the cancer?" That constant worry doesn't seem fun to me, so it stays - or, it goes. If any of that made sense.

Oh, and thank you! I hope to get some more replies... you guys/gals seem so very helpful. It's also nice to know that I am no longer "alone."
That happens to be true and it could be a "seed cancer" as well. Disturbing it could cause metathesis.

I opt for having it out also. Get this behind you. Plus, pathology will give it a good going over and you will know for sure one way or the other.

What do your thyroid lab tests look like? Can you post the results with the ranges included, please?

 

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I'll do my best to post some of my results later on today, since I'll have to do some "digging" around. However, I did find some records that could be helpful. Anywho, yeah - I'll see what I can do with that, but I know... I was pretty surprised (and still am) that NONE of the ENTs/Endos. that I've seen find it odd. I've always thought it was cancer, even still. I'm pretty much in 100% belief that I do indeed, have thyroid/lymphoma cancer. Everything points towards cancer, anyway. With that said, knowing that I may have to get surgery really scares the CRAP out of me and I'll cross that bridge later, but God... all of this is driving me nuts. I feel like I'm already on my "death bed." Blah. I'll update you all with something, or another later. Just overwhelmed and can't sleep; it's 7:30AM, for me.

Thanks, again! You all are a blessing.
 

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If your nodules are stable, leave them be. If you were slowly dying of cancer, they would be growing. Having a TT can lead to more issues... mine lead to a hysterectomy. I was done with kids(kinda) but I would have been a mess if I had it done at 22.
 

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Brittanerd said:
I'll do my best to post some of my results later on today, since I'll have to do some "digging" around. However, I did find some records that could be helpful. Anywho, yeah - I'll see what I can do with that, but I know... I was pretty surprised (and still am) that NONE of the ENTs/Endos. that I've seen find it odd. I've always thought it was cancer, even still. I'm pretty much in 100% belief that I do indeed, have thyroid/lymphoma cancer. Everything points towards cancer, anyway. With that said, knowing that I may have to get surgery really scares the CRAP out of me and I'll cross that bridge later, but God... all of this is driving me nuts. I feel like I'm already on my "death bed." Blah. I'll update you all with something, or another later. Just overwhelmed and can't sleep; it's 7:30AM, for me.

Thanks, again! You all are a blessing.
Believe me, I was scared outta my mind before surgery. I guess I tried to take the stance of "well, I have no choice but to go into surgery. I might as well get it over with." No matter what happened, it was out of my hands at that point. That's a scary feeling, especially if you embrace control in your life like I generally have. Anyway, looking back at it now, I compare the experience to almost like jumping into the pool the first day of the summer season: I really don't want to do it, but I know that once I do, I'll realize that I was avoiding taking the plunge for no reason. And, that's basically what happened with the surgery: I was scared at first but glad that the issue was more or less resolved after I had recovered. Just...do me a favor and make sure that if you -do- have to go under the knife that you've got the best surgeon in town/in the region! :)

I think I'd have to generally agree with susieintexas. If I could have, I would have held on to my thyroid for dear life. What might be a simple, harmless procedure today might turn out to be a mistake down the road. I've been hearing over the past several years that removing tonsils is generally no longer a common procedure whereas it seemed like everyone 20 years ago was getting them removed. Everything, whether we know it or not, in our bodies is pretty much there for a reason. Who's to say in 20 years from now, some doctors/surgeons might come out and say 'we've been doing it wrong. We shouldn't be removing people's thyroids no matter what.' I honestly hate the fact that I'm a 33 year old guy and won't have a thyroid for the rest of my life. So, as I've said before, make sure to get tested/get an FNA done before doing anything if your'e really that worried. There's definitely no need to rush into action at this point, especially if you've been dealing with it for 6 years. Just make absolutely sure that going into surgery is the right step!

One last thing before I go, and this put me a bit at ease: my surgeon told me that thyroid cancer wouldn't kill me. They caught it and even if they didn't, it's a very slow spreading cancer (I had papillary carcinoma). He said that it'll be a minor nuisance the rest of my life (getting checked up on twice a year, full body scans, medication the rest of my life, etc), but I won't die from thyroid cancer. I'm not sure if I still fully understand his meaning behind that, but I'm guessing what he meant was that even if the thyroid cancer metastasizes, it's still very highly treatable. The survival rate of papillary carcinoma patients is extremely high and I've been told that if I were to get cancer, this was 'the one to get' due to being so easily treatable. And believe me, if you have thyroid cancer, you don't have anaplastic carcinoma. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be here talking to us right now if you did (I heard that anaplastic carcinoma spreads extremely fast and is a very nasty type of cancer).

But, hey, we don't even know if you HAVE cancer, so this is practically all a moot point anyway right now. :) Please go get yourself tested if you're really worried!
 

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Yes, thyroid cancer is unlikely to be the cause of your death. It's just a pain in the arse to deal with. :)

I think its important to remember that we've all had different journeys and very different experiences. Me? If I had known getting my thyroid removed was so easy...if I had known the recovery was so quick...and most importantly, if I had know how completely and fundamentally my life would change for the better, I would have done this years ago. I'm healthier and happier, physically and mentally, without that nasty thing in my neck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I still am in the process of gathering up all of my records and I want to apologize in advance, just in case I can't get them all. I haven't had an ultrasound in about two years, so I am kind of nervous about all of this; obviously. I feel my main nodule every day, along with the mastoid process lump. No growth, so I am hoping with this up-coming appointment (9th and 21st) that I will be more reassured. To be honest, I fear lymphoma more than ThyCa. Still scared of the previous, however. Damn, life is a crazy thing... death is inevitable, no matter what. Look at the shooting that happened today via CT -- you just never know.

P.S. I will pray tonight for all of the families/children that were unfortunately involved with this disgusting shooting. I cried, more than once, while watching the news this morning. My heart goes out to them all.
 
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