Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sharing something that I haven't really talked about

I underwent a major surgery last March 2009. It was so major, and almost life-threatening. I didn't tell anybody except for my family and boyfriend because I couldn't deal with the questions that time. I wanted to focus on my surgery and recovery.

When I got admitted in Tacloban last December 2007 because of high-grade fever which turned out to be dengue, I got another rather shocking diagnosis. I had a mass in my throat, somewhere near my thyroid.

I immediately had a biopsy when I returned to Manila and it turned out to be benign. THANK GOD! Still, I consulted with an endocrinologist who prescribed thyroid pills to balance off my hormones because I was having hypothyroidism. The goal was to reduce the mass. I religiously took my pill daily for a year, and had the regular blood tests to monitor my thyroid hormones.
After a year, the mass still kept on growing. Pardon my look, but this was the only picture I could find where the mass is visible. This was taken while I was vacationing in Bohol, a few days before my operation. Yes, I went on vacation before going under the knife. See the quite obvious bulge on the lower left of my neck? That's the mass, which grew many centimeters more than expected, despite my pill therapy.

My doctor gave me two options, to just keep the mass in my body and let it grow (they were suspecting it was goiter, which runs in the family), or remove it. I consulted with other doctors (traditional and alternative), and researched intensively on the pros and cons. I decided I wanted to have it removed.

My sister's sister-in-law who is a doctor at St.Luke's also had the same case, but hers turned out to be thyroid cancer, and she underwent radioactive iodine chemo after her surgery. She recommended her doctor, and arranged for the operation. After undergoing so many tests, I was given the green light for my operation.

The night before my operation, I was already admitted at St.Luke's and a horrible accident happened. Mama, Papa, Ate Dynah, and Ed (her husband) went out to Pizza Hut which was just across St. Lukes QC to have dinner. After crossing the street going back to my room, they were ran over by a speeding jeep. If not for the metal railing in between them and the jeep, they would have been totally ran over, and God knows what else would have happened. To this day, I still thank God for keeping them safe that night. I was only told of the accident when they were released from ER. Kawawa talaga silang lahat. Bugbog katawan nila. Mama had a head concussion, Papa's toenails were slightly removed, Ate Dynah who just gave birth that time also had severe "pasa".

Going back to my operation, I hardly slept because of the freak accident and the nervousness combined. I asked for sleeping pills before I was wheeled to the OR. For that, I have no memory at all of my operation, just the way I wanted it. When I woke up, I was already in the recovery room, and the first thing I checked was my voice  if it was still intact. Sabi kasi ng doctor ko, if worse comes to worst, aside from possible cancer, my voicebox would be the one affected by the operation, and I could totally lose my voice.

Anyway, my voice was retained, thanks to my great surgeon, and I had no cancer! They had another biopsy on the actual specimen and it turned out to be colloidal goiter. I recovered pretty well after almost a month of home arrest. To this day, I still have the scar, pero konti lang. I got tired of using Contractubex, and quite honestly, I love seeing the scar on my neck. It reminds me of the near death experience and makes me appreciate my life more.

 This was after the operation, when I was wheeled back to the room. It was a good decision to take the sleeping pills before going under the knife. I had no scary memories.
 Sieg & I were still on long-distance during my operation. He flew from Cebu in time for my operation.
 I remember feeling really OK and did not experience extreme pain during my recovery. The difficult part was shampooing my head because I could not bend or stretch my neck for 2weeks after the operation. My mama was with me the whole time, from my operation to my 2-week recovery in Manila, until I was allowed to fly to Tacloban to continue my recovery there. She shampooed my hair every other day while I was lying in bed.
Taken during my discharge day. May energy pa ako magmake-up. Nakaka good mood kasi :)

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