Friday, June 29, 2007

Chalk one up for the ladies.

Yesterday I went to UCSF's Women's Health Center ( a HUGE building in the city) to get a second opinion on my thyroid cyst. This time I got an ultrasound guided Fine Needle Biopsy.

It was so cool. I remember ultrasounds from being pregnant. But this time I didn't have to hold my pee for hours. I got to lay on my back and look at the screen while a very nice lady moved the ultrasound thingie all over my neck. I saw lots of interesting things. But sadly the huge balloon in there was my cyst, which even sadlier turns out to be a nodule (because it is solid and not fluid).

BUT instead of the gruff, old man who told me it wouldn't hurt (it DID!) the first time, I got a gruff, middle aged woman who promised me she'd help me get over my former biopsy experience. She said she's seen tons of patients who come in traumatized by thyroid biopsys. I guess skill does really matter here.

So, there I was surrounded by women, lying on a table looking at a beautiful mural on the ceiling. My Dr. gave me a pain killer injection - no biggie. Then, she held the ultrasound thingie in one hand, the needle in the other and watched on screen while she poked my nodule. She could see her needle on the screen (inside my neck!) and tell just where to pull cells. Cool. And it didn't hurt too bad, about the same as a bad sore throat - and only for 10-15 seconds. Then she did the same thing on the other side, cause it turns out I have a small one on the right side as well. Then she looked all around my thyroid and theorized that I have thyroiditis because there were lots of bumps all over it.

So the bad news is that I have lots of bumps and nodules. The good news is that as long as my thyroid functions I don't have to do anything about it. PLUS the cytologist (also a woman) checked my cells right there under a microscope to make sure we got tissue cells (the first time he only got blood cells). She came over to me, put a hand on my arm and said, "It all looks benign, so don't worry. Of course, that's preliminary but it looks good." Whew....

I don't get the official results until next week. I sure hope they are not different!

But cancerous possibilities aside, I have to say that the overall experience was caring and technologically satisfying. The ladies were kind, took their time with me, and were thorough. What a nice change.


Anonymous said...

glad it went better, hope tomorrow goes well!