I finally had the ultrasound-guided core needle thyroid biopsy today.
The doctor gave me a local anesthetic and then took 8 or 9 tissue samples from my thyroid. I have quite a large goiter, plus nodules on the right lobe. 80% of these biopsies come back benign, so I'm not worried about cancer. Still, I suppose I'll rest easier when I get the results from pathology, which will hopefully be tomorrow. I never saw the needle, but Darren said it was small, and as best he could tell, sort of worked like a potato peeler once it was inside my neck. Instead of just extracting cells, it actually cut some of the thyroid tissue out. Everytime he removed the needle, the doctor would scrape the tissue off onto a slide or something, and then insert the needle again in a different spot.
The procedure was painless. I didn't even feel the prick of the anethesia needle, and when he kept saying, "You'll start feeling a burning sensation," I finally said, "I don't feel any burning." "You have a high threshhold for pain," he replied. I must admit, that made my sit a little taller. (Never mind that I was lying flat on my back. lol!) I never felt the core needle going in and out, either. The only sensation I had was that of pressure, every time he "clicked" the needle and cut tissue from my thyroid.
My neck is sore now, but not too bad. It just feels bruised, and I have a little difficulty turning my head to the right.
The hardest thing during the whole procedure was not being able to watch! I wanted so badly to turn my head and watch the sonogram on the monitor. Darren said he could see the needle going in and out of my neck on the screen, and that it was cool looking. I wanted to see, too, but I figured that turning my head would've broken the thing off in my neck, and that would've been a bad thing.
The radiologist who did the biopsy is the husband of one of my clients. He offered to give me a second opinion on my nuclear scan in January, and totally put me at ease with his thorough answers to my questions. I knew that if I ended up needing a biopsy, I'd want him to do it. Sure enough, his bedside manner today was very comforting. I think I'll write him a letter and tell him so. When Darren and I were at the same hospital in November visiting a friend who'd just had a baby, we we happily surprised to see Stu's photo on the wall in the foyer. He was named "Doctor of the Year 2004". Now I know why.
I didn't ask Darren to go with me. I truly wasn't scared of the procedure, and didn't want to bother him to take an afternoon off work. But this morning, he surprised me. I thought he'd left for work, but when I started hearing hammering coming from the backyard, I realized he was home. "I decided to stay home today and go with you to the hospital," he explained. "But I didn't even ask you to!" I said. "I know," he replied.
Yah. I think I'll keep him.
I love this man. I love him, I love him, I love him.