I had my first patient truly pass through the entire hospital system as his primary care doctor from inpatient to outpatient to home again to back to the hospital. Then breaking the news his cancer was no longer curable and was going to kill him in a matter of weeks to transfer to the palliative care unit and miraculously making it to home hospice. He died last week and I'll admit it hurt my heart. Yet, I will carry his great big smile and greeting of “Hola Dr. Megan!” with me for the lessons he taught me about being a doctor but also about the lessons he taught me about myself.
Now is where is will share some bad news followed by good news. As many of you reading this know I'm a private person, not much of a Facebook feelings poster so this feels a little awkward. However, this is for my family and friends who have supported me, encouraged me, and are willing to drop everything at a moments notice to be there for me.
The bad news begins like this. I was feeling great and went to establish care with a primary care doctor because I need to practice what I preach, right. My doctor during the physical exam felt my thyroid (a gland in the neck) and thought it was big. She sent me for an ultrasound that showed two nodules that are not suppose to be there. Due to the size of the nodule, I was sent to an endocrinologist (a specialist in thyroids) to have a biopsy taken. He stuck a needle in my neck to get some tissue and here's the bad news, this tissue showed papillary thyroid cancer.
Yes the scary word cancer, however that is also the good news. Papillary thyroid cancer can be removed and cured. The survival rate after removal is 99% at 5 years. I won't have to see an oncologist, no chemotherapy, and no radiation. An ENT surgeon is going to remove the thyroid gland and since the cancer nodules were caught early I most likely will not have any other treatment. I will be on replacement thyroid hormone for the rest of my life, that’s it. One small pill.
My surgery will be Wed Jan 27 (tomorrow) and my family will be able to fly in to New York despite the airport delays to help me heal. I want to use the website as an update page, Em will post updates on the blog and man my phone as I recover. I appreciate everyone's thoughts prayers and good vibes. I'm thankful for the outpouring of love and support during this challenging time from family and friends from all parts of my life.
So here’s to 2016 – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger! Meg