My mind kind of emptied out. I had played three sets of pretty hard mixed doubles tennis the day before, and survived, made it through, we had won and I thought, oh well, you know I can’t be that sick. I would get tired very easily. I thought I was just heading towards middle age and stressful situations, but it was more than that. Everything seemed to be status quo, except he noticed on my right side swelling in my neck area. I had a biopsy and that day, that Monday morning, I went in and they said, ‘Yeah, it’s cancerous.’.
An unusual form of thyroid cancer, it’s called medullary thyroid cancer. It’s about 5 percent of all thyroid cancers. He looked like he had a pretty enhanced disease. I think I had surgery within a week of the diagnosis. Operated on him and tried to take out all the disease that we could. Tried to spare all of the important structures in his neck. I remember going into surgery and just figuring I’m going to find out that there’s more to this and I remember Ray coming in and saying, ‘Look according to everything we’ve tested.
You on, it does not look like it’s spread outside the neck.’ We were very fortunate in that after surgery his calcitonin levels went down to zero and stayed that way after 3 years, which is actually quite remarkable that that you know right now he is disease free. But, I think I was especially lucky, because of the quality of life improvement was pretty dramatic from the word go. Two or three weeks after surgery I think I played some tennis. These lumps often have no symptoms. They’re just there and because they have no symptoms.
Complex Neck Surgery Helps Medullary Thyroid Cancer Patient