Friday, December 18, 2009

A Light at the End of the Tunnel

The CMTA announced today that Congress has passed a $1M bill to begin a national CMT Resource Center for patients and families of patients of CMT.  Finally, a step forward in increasing research for this debilitating disease.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Hurry! Buy One Surgery, Get One Free!

Just when I was beginning to accept my diagnosis and was getting preparations underway for my impending surgery, I visited the endocrinologist this week for my semi-annual exam to monitor my thyroid growths we discovered 18 months ago.

My visits with Dr. Brett are few and far between, but she is always pleasant and talkative during the exams. But, Tuesday's appointment was different. While viewing the lumps on the ultrasound, she was very quiet. . . I immediately knew something was wrong . . . well, actually, I already had my suspicions that something was wrong before I even walked in the door that morning.

After the ultrasound, she immediately brought out her sketch pad and began writing down a surgeon's name as she proceeded to tell me that the lumps have not only enlarged again, but have become calcified, which has been causing my general discomfort and increased fatigue the last few months. She said that Dr. Genden is very well renowned and would be able to remove my thyroid with a very quick recovery time and limited discomfort. What? She's recommending we remove my entire thyroid?

Fortunately, Dr. Genden had a cancellation this afternoon, so I got the chance to sit down with him and get his valued opinion. He agrees that the recent changes to the lumps do pose a serious risk for cancer in the future and recommends that we remove the thyroid. He warned me that while the removal is imminent, it was definitely not urgent. But, when I mentioned to him that I already have an orthopedic surgery scheduled for January, he immediately got excited at the idea of doing both surgeries simultaneously. He told me he can work on one end of me while Dr. Weinfeld remains master of his own territory at the other end. . .

So, come next month, we'll be removing my thyroid and repairing my ankle. . . I'd be lying if I didn't say that I am doubly scared now, but I think that anything to avoid cancer is good and the opportunity to have only one hospital stay and one dose of anesthesia is also good . . . perhaps I should ask the hospital if they have some sort of "twofer special" or if I can get a free upgrade to a private room with my large spend next year. And, fingers crossed, maybe I can get Dr. Genden to turn my metabolism "up a notch" with my post-op meds, allowing me to drop a dress size or two . . .