Surgery Update

Hello all.

I thought it was about time that I shared my latest update with you on this C word journey.


In my last post I reflected on my diagnosis of Thyroid Cancer, between then and surgery not a lot really happened except waiting around for the date of the surgery. We were given the option to wait until after Christmas which we took as just having a nice, simple Christmas for Rufus seemed like the much easier option. Though the period post Christmas up to New Year I found really difficult, it’s always a bit of a wasteland of days post Christmas buzz anyway but for the first time I was really starting to feel very down about everything that was happening. Luckily that was reasonably short lived and with the New Year arriving, old routines returned: back to work and back to school.

So all got back to normal for a bit. I bought a lovely Cath Kitson weekend bag in the sale to put my new pj’s, my new dressing gown and my new slippers in. I had books and magazines to read. Sachets of peanut butter for my toast in the morning (I mean really, who wants apricot jam in the morning)? I did what I do best, I planned and I organised. I went for a CT scan to see if it had spread any further than they already expected and then I went to my pre-op appointment to find out the results and the final details of my op. Except my pre-op appointment didn’t go like that at all, that’s just what I expected it to be and essentially it was just asking me lots of questions and telling me my BMI (yeah cheers for that); and again here was where I got a bit wobbly about it all. I’m fine about pretty much everything in life so long as I know what is happening and if I’ve organised what’s happening well, good, even better, it’s likely to go off without a hitch. However put me in a situation where I don’t know what’s happening and I’m not going to know until right before it happens and that something is major surgery, well that’s pretty terrifying.

So, last Thursday I took my well packed bag to Churchill Hospital to have my surgery. The guys at Churchill Hospital are total specialists but as with all surgeries they arm you with a whole list of things that can go wrong. The worst being with this surgery that I end up with a traciomotory. The more likely that I end up with some damage to my voice. I’d been laughing this off in the weeks leading up to this…”I’m going to sound like Barry White…” but the reality was, that I really really did not want to lose or damage my voice. I’m not about to embark on a singing career or anything but you know as a Vegan it is my duty to tell you this at least once a day, how would I do that?

Waking up from my surgery then, and being able to talk, hearing my voice was unchanged was a bit of a biblical moment for me. I was completely overjoyed. The nurse looking after me in the recovery room turned out to be quite interested in politics so we had a good old natter.

I really find it hard to express how unbelievably grateful I am to every doctor and nurse that has looked after me over the 4 days that I was in hospital. My consultancy team especially have been so caring and thorough. My stay in hospital was pretty uneventful. They had a vegan menu so I didn’t have to resort to deliveroo; though I did get visitors to bring me peanut butter and vast amounts of fruit. Fruit was pretty much all I wanted to eat post surgery and I drank jugs and jugs of water (this has now just been replaced with wanting to eat all the food, most specifically donuts)!

The main reason for me staying in hospital post surgery was the drains in my neck. I had the first removed on the Saturday and then there was some debate over whether they should remove the second on the Sunday, which they decided in the end they would, which meant I could go  home. I’m not going to go into too much detail about having the drains removed as I know I have some fellow thyroid cancer patients (is patients the right word)? following my blog. It’s not painful having them removed but it is really weird and thinking about it makes me feel a sick, but I have to say 20 minutes after having both removed I felt fine.

I was expecting that my two week recovery period at home I would be pretty much laid up watching Netflix and feeling sorry for myself. Well we’re on Thursday and I’ve been out of the house everyday, I’ve been doing housework, cooking dinner, picked R up from school and might even be replying to some work emails. I feel fine, I actually feel pretty good. I’m not really in any pain, my neck is uncomfortable at times; it feels like when you have swallowed a large tablet and it’s stuck in your throat. I got a little bit wobbly on one of the days where I thought my wound area was swelling up (mostly because now I’m out I don’t want to go back), but this hasn’t got any worse so I’m chilling out about it. There has also been another bit of a wobble regarding my medication and soya – but I’m going to save that for a future post (you lucky things, you)!

I do want to say a massive thank you to everyone who has visited me and who is planning on visiting me. For all of the messages on social media, the cards, the flowers and thank you to my family for holding it all down and looking after me. Really is very much appreciated and I know, I’m the worst patient in the world, taking it easy is not something that come naturally to me. Hey, we all have stuff to work on!



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