Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Long and Short of It

So, a short update from my appointment with the thyroid surgeon on Monday. Brace yourselves. The roller coaster ride continues.

Even though the pathology report read benign and that is what the nurse told me on the phone, my actual diagnosis is a follicular neoplasm. And this information that I googled is pretty much word for word what Dr. L told me on Monday:

What is a follicular neoplasm?
Follicular neoplasms are thyroid nodules that may be benign or may be a form of thyroid cancer. This situation occurs when samples from a fine needle aspiration biopsy of a nodule reveal clusters of increased numbers of epithelial cells grouped together in specific patterns with small amounts of colloid present. This configuration marks a nodule as a particular kind of growth that is referred to as a follicular neoplasm. If the cells that have grown to form this nodule remain contained within a thin capsule of tissue that surrounds it, it is a benign thyroid nodule called a follicular adenoma. Alternatively, if the cells grow to penetrate the capsule of tissue to invade normal thyroid tissue or blood vessels within the thyroid gland, it is malignant, representing a form of thyroid cancer called follicular thyroid cancer. It is not possible to distinguish a follicular adenoma from follicular thyroid cancer on the basis of a fine needle aspiration biopsy sample. To make a definitive diagnosis, it is necessary to surgically remove the nodule so that it can be cut into sections and examined under a microscope to look for any evidence of invasion of normal thyroid tissue or blood vessels.

So, I will have to have at least my right thyroid lobe (and the neoplasm) out after the twins are born. They will test it that day to see if its cancerous, if it is, then I will have the left lobe out the following day. Recovery is one day in the hospital. But if it is cancerous, about 5 weeks later I will have to take this radioactive iodine pill and be isolated from other human beings (lest I radiate them) for about 5 days.

1) I want to have this done during this plan year before my insurance deductible starts over ($3K, ouch!) and 2) how freaking hard would it be to be away from your 3-4 month old babies for 5 days, and to be alone in a cabin in the woods or wherever they send you when this happens? But I have to have it out, I can't just pretend I might not have cancer. That would be stupid. Then it might spread. In the meantime, I have too many other things to worry about. I plan to schedule the surgery for mid-July. But we'll play it by ear.

I had a totally craptastic ending to my day yesterday that I had to then obsess about all night. One thing about me, is that if there is conflict in my life, I will dwell on every word of every conversation, keep myself up all night, pray to God to let me let go, and still obsess for a day or two before I can move on. Here's the story:
I was working at one of our other stores in town, because one of their employees quit with no notice. So, I was helping another employee learn that job. Since I was near another one of our stores, I stopped by to help them with some issues. B. (the bad guy in this story) had also called my cell phone several times, and then my cell phone died. He had left messages, but he is super impatient and continued to call, even before I had time to return his previous call.

So, when I got there, I went directly in to help the first person who had called.
When I had finished with her, I stopped by to chat with another friend for a
minute. B. approached me from down the hall, and I apologized that I had
not called him back and explained that my cell phone had died. He said there was no rush, I told him we were done, and I proceeded to walk down the hall with him.

As we were walking down the hall, I noticed his attire. He was wearing jeans, a blue shirt that I don’t think had a collar, a shaggy beard, and baseball cap with hair sticking out from it. I made a joking comment that he looked kinda like a dirtbag today. We continued down the hall joking and talking.

When we got to the his department, I helped one of his people with a question she had been asking about me earlier in the day, but my phone had died twice during our conversations. (Seriously need a new phone!) Then, I answered a question for him which involved calling our Controller and figuring out a plan that would work for both of them. And finally he asked me a question about how the system would handle reordering a part. He didn’t seem to like my answer to that question, so I said, “You seem upset.”

He turned to me and visibly shaking raised his voice to me about how I had called him a dirtbag, how it was totally disrespectful, how I have a quick tongue and he’s not going to put up with that, he won’t be talked to that way, etc. etc. etc. All of this at least 10 minutes after the comment was made, and as his entire department listened. I apologized profusely, explaining that I was joking, I didn’t mean it, I was glad he told me, that I was so sorry. When that didn't work, I asked him to PLEASE accept my apology. But, he didn’t seem to be losing steam, so I finally
just said I was going to go, and quickly grabbed my purse and left the building
without saying goodbye to anyone.

The entire drive back to my office, I was shaken and tried to figure out where I went wrong. He and I had joked during our past 6 months working together on his computer conversion, and I thought we had a joking relationship. He had teased me about things in the past, so this was not out of character. However, I know that he and his staff can be negative about the new system and that this had worn on me during that week I spent over there after their conversion. I’m sure I was not always the softest in explaining my position, especially after they had argued with me, or personally attacked me about the system. But I always remained civil and helpful.
Ok, so a manager at our company should never berate anyone like that in front of others. If he was really mad, he should have taken me aside out of earshot of the others. Let alone that I work at the corporate office, not for him, and that I'm not his peer, I'm his superior in all ways. Add to that, that its not even my freaking job to help him at all, but that I was doing so out of the goodness of my heart. And my willingness to be a team player. My banter about his attire was totally appropriate - what kind of a leader dresses that way? And was also an attempt to be collegial with someone I find it difficult to stomach. I was really, really trying to be friendly. Really.
So, in the meantime, I told the President about this incident. I find this best, so he doesn't hear about the story from someone else, I always think its better to have your version out there first. He thought my comment was funny, and something else must be going on in B's life. I keep expecting an apology phone call from B. but its 9:40 and the phone has not rung yet.
My approach to him or anyone on his staff who calls me from now on is to refer them to someone else. Um, wow, that's a tough one, I'm going to have to refer you to IT. Passive-agressive, I know, but self-preservation is all I really care about at this point. I spent the night obsessing about this conversation and I really have better things to do with my time. And don't think the emotional turmoil is worthwhile. Seriously, he freaked out over nothing, picking on a poor innocent pregnant girl.
Last point, then I'm going to stop venting about this. I H.A.T.E.D. working with them after their conversion. They were very negative and hard on me, and argued with me. So, I quit them before my week of post-conversion support was over, preferring to work in my office. But when I left, I didn't see the point in causing conflict, so I just told them they were doing well and I didn't think they needed me anymore. But what I meant in my heart was you have worn me out. I cannot take all this abuse anymore. And you don't really have questions, you just want a punching bag. So, after I bit my tongue all that time, and try to take the high road, he dumps this bs on me the day before Christmas. He sucks. And should be ashamed. And I am totally never taking his calls again.
Oh, and I am SO glad I am taking the next week off. I definitely need a break!

1 comment:

JamieD said...

Ugh - I know what you mean about replaying a situation over and over in your head. I hope typing it all out was cathartic and you can push it out of your mind. You have things that really matter to think about!

I am sorry about the news on your thyroid. I am still praying benign and hope the whole thing is nothing but a nusiance.