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a pain in the neck

I have been frozen up the last month and a half, finding it hard to write anything -- a blog post, emails, comments...even on twitter more than half the time I stop typing partway through my 140 characters and close the page. And here's why, because I need to get this over with:

Our luck has been bad this year (two massive basement/storage space floods, appliance fails, and my shoulder maladies* to name a few things) but it took an astounding turn for the worse when, while Evan was away at a signing in September, I found a lump in my neck. Hoping it was just a swollen gland, I gave it a week to get better. But it didn't. The next week I saw my doctor, who noted that the lump was on my thryoid gland and immediately sent me for a scan and an amazing battery of bloodwork. The bloodwork came back fine (in fact I'm astoundingly healthy according to five pages of test results). But the scan found a very large and "complex" nodule in my neck, on my thryoid. Next step was to see a specialist (an otolaryngologist, what a word!) but the wait for that appointment? A month! (And I do have insurance!)

So, we spent a month with all the worst-case scenarios unspooling in our brains, making contingency plans and trying to avoid stressing out the four-year-old any more than we can avoid. In the meantime, I have been stuck between talking about it (because I really didn't want to more than I had to) and avoiding talking about it....which meant saying nothing because "normal" conversations made me feel like a phony.

This week, I saw my specialist, who is great. Statistics are on my side, and he is full of infectious optimism so I am feeling much better. He was able to biopsy me without surgery (I was told that wasn't possible) and while we won't know those results for a few more weeks, even the worst case scenario is not that bad. So, all in all, the stress levels are starting to float back down to their normally heightened levels around here, rather than the state of full-on-panic we've been in.

So finally, I'm getting this monkey off my back so I can write/speak/etc again without feeling like I'm hiding things! Hopefully all will be well -- and to be honest, being forced to wind up loose ends and make contingency plans? Never a bad idea.

*One of the blog entries I never finished/posted was about my shoulder, in fact. Some of you may remember the mystery injury and all the tests I endured earlier this year -- turns out, I have something called "frozen shoulder". No-one knows what causes it, and there is no proven effective treatment for it. It takes a year or two to go away, no matter what you do. Yay!

Lovely things people have had to say:

Wow I had noticed you'd been gone and wondered if something was up. I'm glad a load has been taken off your mind, I hope the results come in fast take more of the weight off.

So sorry things have been so tough lately

Hey Sarah,

Weirdly, I know at least 5 people who've had thyroid problems (mainly cancerous tumors) in the last 10 years, and all are healthy, happy people today. Two were diagnosed while pregnant, and were even able to delay surgery, etc until after birth and a few weeks of breastfeeding. Take heart!

I'm so glad you're back and sorry to hear about all your stress - I can't imagine how hard it must have been on you. No wonder you felt blocked. I hope Halloween brings you some sweets and fun and a chance to relax and enjoy yourself!

Sarah, I've been missing your blog posts and even your twittering when I did manage to log onto Twitter. And your sewing. You know, I just miss ya being around. Here's to everything getting better. I really hope 2010 rocks for y'all, but 2009 has been crap.

p.s. Would some violet crumble help?

I was thinking about you not 15 minutes ago. And here you are. I'm SOO sorry that you are going through this. I can understand not wanting to talk about it. Some things we need to do alone.. at least for a while. But I'll be keeping my fingers crossed and looking for your update. {{big hugs}}

Great to hear things are on the up.

The world needs it's heroes.

So sorry about everything....hoping for the best of news and then ,selfishly hoping for more fun posts from you!

Holy crap. Yeah, you folks have had a bad year. On the plus side with the medical stuff is that you're in the NYC/NJ area: Home of doctors upon doctors upon doctors, some of whom who have innovated all sorts of procedures/cures, etc. Hope it turns out better than you expected.

Oh Sarah, thinking of you! I've been through health stuff as well and it sucks. But it's true, NYC has some of the best docs in the world, so you are in good hands. Much love. xxoo

I had noticed the lack of posts. I can't imagine the stress. Glad to hear that even the worst case scenario isn't too bad.

aw, thanks everyone!!

Hey, great news! Better to know that there's a rat in the basement than worry that it's a dragon.

Sending happy thoughts your way! I hope things settle down for you guys soon and things can get back to normal.

I've been wondering where you were! I miss you bunches - and I'm rooting for you to get better and come play more lol!

You are in my thoughts and prayers, and I really hope that this year winds up being more good than bad, and you are able to look back and smile, despite all the stress.


So very glad to hear that everything is looking brighter! I know how scary it is, waiting that long long long time for an appointment, with every worst case scenario dancing demonically in your head! It's almost worse then being sick! No good to know that you are ok! Sending happy healing and better-luck vibes your way!

Wow! That's insane, I recently went through a similar deal with my thyroid, which I've been forced to ultrasound and test for the past six years. Most recently my PCP informed me that I had two nodules on my thyroid that are most likely very serious and that I needed to go to a surgeon immediately to get them biopsied. Like you, I went to an otolaryngologist (in fact this was just this past Thursday). Luckily upon an examination of myself, the several reports and massive amounts of blood work, she assured me all is fine. My hope is that you will have the same results :)
best wishes

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Comments on older entries are closed -- thanks so much anyone who stopped by to comment! And if you have a question or comment about this entry, feel free to drop me a line!




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