On January 29, 2009, I had my thyroidectomy.  Before I went in for surgery, the doctor was not able to tell me if he was going to do a partial or total thyroidectomy because they were not sure if it had spread.  So the plan was to send part of my thyroid over for testing while I was still under.  If the results came back that it was cancer, they would remove the rest.  I knew in my gut that they would end up taking out my entire thyroid. 

Most of my fear was not because of the surgery or even the cancer.  I felt alright about both because I knew that it was what needed to be done and that I would be alright.  My fear went deeper into thoughts about having to take pain medicine after the surgery.  I am a recovering addict and at that time had a little over 4 years and 9 months clean.  I had heard so many people share in meetings about how they had lost years of clean time because they had a surgery and started to abuse the pain medicine.  This was one of my greatest fears.  But I got through it.  I had a great support system of friends and family that knew about my concern.  The doctor was aware that I was a recovering addict as well.  So when I stayed at the hospital the night after my surgery, they offered me pain medicine.  I wasn’t in too much pain and didn’t take it.  The next day my doctor wrote me a prescription for pain meds and I tore it up.  I paid the price the following couple of nights when the pain woke me up over and over.  I managed to get through those times without the pain medicine.  Looking back now, I needed to take it at night.  If I have surgery again and am in a lot of pain, I will take the pain medicine.  I will not put myself through that pain again. 

Here I am 8 months later and my scar is barely noticable on my neck from the thyroidectomy.  My speaking voice is back to normal, but my singing and cheering voice is still damaged.  But the cancer is gone and I am still clean with almost five and a half years.  Miracles do happen!

1 day at a time