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My final thyroidectomy recovery and updates

My final thyroidectomy recovery and updates

This is my second surgery, a left thyroidectomy which will result in being a total thyroidectomy. These are the journals that I kept during the process. You can read all about my first surgery and cancer diagnosis here.

Second Surgery Day

Here we go… I slept really well last night and enjoyed sleeping on my side one last time….I have to be at the hospital at 11:00 am and I am slated for a 2:00 pm surgery. I can not eat or drink today. I took a long hot bath to divert my attention off of food and my nerves. 

We checked into the hospital at 11:00. The surgery area is packed and they were running 2 hours behind. I sat in the waiting room with Aaron until 1:00 and then I was called back. I changed into my gown and got ready for the big day. The anesthesiologist came in and helped the nurse, Anesthesia did my IV and I dread iv’s, today my veins were flat so they had to put the iv in my wrist.  I had great care, everyone was amazing. The crew who took me to surgery were A+++++ soothing all of my nerves. This time, they gave me a “Mickey” before leaving my room so I don’t remember the stroll down the cold hallways to the operating room. The surgery only lasted 1 hour. Doc said all went well. I was in recovery for 2 hours, I was in a lot of pain so my heart rate started dropping with the meds. They did my bloodwork to check my calcium and called my doctor to see if he was happy with the results. Once he was happy, I was back in my room and ready to go home!

We got home in the evening.  There was a lot more pain this time. I don’t know if it’s because they went back into the same spot or just the toll of 2 surgeries in 2 weeks. I stayed on Hydrocodone every 3 hours throughout the night. A cool thing—-one of the National  Guard took me into surgery, I have heard they have been deployed to some of the hospitals during the Pandemic. He was awesome!

Post Op Day 1

Pain. I started back on my vitamins today. I am staying on pain pills every 3 hours…I am a lot sorer and in pain.  My mouth was tingly so I have started on 1,000 calcium and that fixed it. I have a cough and more phlegm than I did last time.. I am trying to cough so nothing settles in my chest. I started that dreaded hormone pill today, Synthroid 150. I take it at 9 pm every night.

Post Op Day 2

Same as day before. I am in pain. Still coughing. Temp 99,1

Post Op Day 3

Pain is not as bad…I only had to take 1 pain pill…I started walking around the house..Still coughing, worried that this may settle in my chest so I am doing breathing exercises and walking every 30 minutes through the house. Temp 99.1

Post Op Day 4

Flu symptoms hit. These hit last time on the exact day so I know it’s part of the recovery….Temp 99.1, extreme fatigue, body aches. Bad headaches in the evening. My pathology came in!

The rest of my thyroid was BENIGN!!! Thank you, Lord, for healing!!

Post Op Day 5

Cough phlegm has cleared. Around 3:00 a headache came on and I was so sick all night. I felt very nauseated. I used ice packs and Zofran. Praying I wasn’t getting a stomach virus. It passed the next morning. The fatigue is something terrible. I emailed my dr just to let him know what was going on in case it was a side effect of Synthroid.

Post Op Day 6

Same as the night before. The headache and nausea…What is this??? I ordered magnesium to start taking for my headaches. I will try this tomorrow.

Post Op Day 7

I am feeling the same. I woke up with a bad headache and nausea. I am having a blurry vision as well this morning. My magnesium came in so I took 600mg. Praying this helps.  Around 1:00 I decided to lay down because the fatigue is kicking my tail, I woke up with a temp of 99.1 and did not feel better. I am trying to drink a gallon of water today to flush this out of my system.  

This is Day #24 in my house so I have no clue where I would have caught something. I decided to not take my Synthroid tonight and try it in the morning….We will see how this works until I heard from my Dr.

Post Op Day 8

I woke up feeling good. I took my Synthroid at 7:20 am. I accidentally took my calcium at 9:30, I forgot to wait 4 hours…I started getting a little headache at 10:15 am..I am feeling hungry. I think I am going to eat every 3 hours today and tomorrow and see if that helps with the headaches. My dr doesn’t know why I am having migraines. He said taking Synthroid at night is fine so that shouldn’t matter. He has me coming in today to do bloodwork.  I have felt pretty good today.  My headache didn’t start until around 10 pm tonight. 

I upped my water to 1.5 gallons today.

Post Op Day 9

I woke up at 4 am with muscle cramps and couldn’t sleep. I also slept in my bed for the first night and I am definitely not ready for that yet so I moved to the recliner at 4 am. I decided to take my Synthroid at 7:37 am and see if my day is the same as yesterday.  I had coffee 1 hour later. I have a tinge of a headache this morning and leg cramps but that could be from not sleeping well. My stomach became very upset about 1.5 hours after my Synthroid. I had my calcium 4 hours later. I started getting dizzy around noon. I am drinking some caffeine to see if it will help.  My leg cramps have worsened throughout the day but I think it’s because of no sleep.  I went to bed with leg cramps and suffered throughout the night with them. Waking up early due to the cramping.

Post Op Day 10

I barely slept. I had leg cramping all night long. I am going to up my calcium today. I had my Synthroid at 7 am today, I am trying to take it earlier so I can start adjusting when I go back to normal life/schedule. I upped my calcium to 1200 at 11:45 am. I have laid on a heating pad with my legs elevated all morning. I am not for sure why my muscles hurt this bad. I am really focusing on my eating today. I started focusing on drinking more water over the past week and I went back to my organic decaf coffee today to hopefully get my gut back in shape.  I swallowed a steak today…maybe too soon, LOL! I upped my Vitamin D and Magnesium by an extra pill too.  Unfortunately, my cycle started today. I have heard horror stories of how bad it is after a total thyroidectomy but I am claiming completely different for my experience. My Endo has already approved my birth control. I will add that pill tonight at 9 pm. He didn’t foresee it causing an issue with my levels and I am believing it will not. I should get my lab results back tomorrow. I will share when I do.

(Note: I had all of my vitamins but skipped Immuplex and Congaplex today)

Post Op Day 11

Slept great last night! I woke up at 4 am but went back to sleep. I had my Synthroid at 7 am. Calcium at 12:30 pm. I had a major crash of energy around 1:30 pm today. It was fatigue like the last surgery…super sleepy. This fatigue hit me on post-op day 9 of my last surgery. Hoping it passes and it’s not my levels. Exhaustion got worse as the day went on. A slight headache and body aches. Flu-like symptoms. Praying it’s just a little fatigue and that tomorrow will be better. Laid on a heating pad all day.

Post Op Day 12

Slept great last night! I woke up at 6:30 am and I had my Synthroid. Weight 219. I took a bath and washed my hair, Ok, I was so done for the day and barely made it through washing my hair. Literally, I went to the chair and didn’t move for the rest of the day. My temp started getting elevated in the afternoon and I had a slight headache coming on. I kept drinking water to try and get rid of it. I started getting a lot of pain and burning at my incision site and limited neck mobility in the evening. It got to where I had to take a Hydrocodone which I have not had since 2 days post-op. I also have a migraine with the pain.

I had a terrible night. The incision pain became worse, brought on a migraine, severe nausea (like 2 weeks ago), and awful shakes and chills. My pulse and oxygen stayed normal and my temp. I also had awful stomach pain. It was extremely scary. It didn’t stop until about 1 am.

Post Op Day 13

Woke up exhausted. Like how you feel after a bad sickness so whatever happened last night did take a toll on my body. I woke up late so I took my Synthroid at 7:30 am.  I stayed in bed all day to let my body rest.

Post Op Day 14

Good day. Felt decent. Picked up the house and tried to go out to dinner. I went but was exhausted. I am now officially back in my bed at night.

Post Op Day 15

I have felt good all day until mid-day when a fatigue wave came. My Endo called and according to my labs he upped my meds. UGH, I say that only because I have heard so many bad stories BUT I am claiming that is not my story! Praying over this medicine. 

My results were Thyroglobulin Antibodies-3, Thyroglobulin-0.6, Vitamin D-19, TSH 7.74. All of my other numbers looked great including my parathyroid hormone. 

Post Op Day 16

Started Levo (was on Synthroid) and am taking a new dose of 175 at 7 am. 

I woke up with a tinge of a headache and by 9:30 my headache arrived full force. I noticed my blood pressure was elevated all day, I could feel it.

Post Op Day 17

Took Levo at 7 am, really upset my stomach all morning. Blood pressure is elevated still. I am just giving the adjustment time to happen.

Post Op Days 18-24

Stomach upset has left, nausea and headaches are all at bay. I’m tired. I’m very winded if I try to do much of anything.  I know it’s part of the journey, giving my body the time to heal.

Thank you for following along with my journey. I’ll continue to update you through the phases of this. Have questions? Leave a comment below.

My right partial thyroidectomy and cancer diagnosis.

My right partial thyroidectomy and cancer diagnosis.

This is my journaled notes from my first thyroid surgery. I had a right partial thyroidectomy. This also the timespan where I found out that I have Thyroid Cancer.

The Day Before Surgery

Pre-Op Appointment and Covid Test

They gave me a medical body wash to shower before bed and an Ensure to drink.

I am extremely nervous but my pre-admission nurse was amazing at calming my nerves.

Day of Surgery

I am set to arrive at the hospital at 6 am and surgery is scheduled for 7:30 am

I shower at 4:30 am, but my nerves were too much for me to drink the Ensure

I was nervous but I could feel the prayers as I went into surgery.

Iv went in the first time-Hallelujah! They gave me Pepcid for my nerves, a nausea patch, and had me take 2 Tylenol before going into surgery. The anesthesiologist said they would make sure and try to control my nausea during surgery…

Said bye to my hubby and they wheeled me to the OR, they had me move onto the operating table and breath into a mask 3 times and the next thing I remember is that I was waking up in recovery. My husband said I was in recovery for 2 hours and he said the operation took 30 minutes longer due to the size of the nodule but all went well.


I was sore and had a little bit of a voice…..The nurse put an ice pack on me to bring swelling down. She gave me sprite to help with my dry mouth and sore throat….I was feeling a little nauseated so they gave me something for nausea.  

I had pain once I got back into my room after recovery so the nurse gave me a pain pill. I got dressed, walked around my room and the nurser discharged me.

I went home and got straight into my remote control recliner…I already had a table set up with all of my necessities before I left that morning… (a blog post on that coming soon)

I drank cold drinks all day and around 5:30 pm I was able to eat two bowls of Zuppa. I was up answering emails and talking. I would fall asleep on and off. I stayed on Hydro every 3 hours for about 24 hours and then I started tapering off of it. I don’t like the way any medicine makes me feel.

Post Op Day 1

I stayed on Hydro every 3 hours all day. I was sore and I kept my ice pack on all day and on my neck. Slept in the recliner—use an eye mask, you will sleep so much better during the day.

Post Op Day 2

I started tapering off of pain meds. I kept the ice pack on all day….I felt like the pain med was keeping me awake so I started tapering off of them. I felt like I had phlegm in my throat which is hard to clear after surgery but it wasn’t bad. It was just a nuisance.

Post Op Day 3

This was my toughest day…I started feeling like I was coming down with something…My chest started feeling a little heavy, my body ached, my temp was 99.5, and I started coughing. My throat felt like strep (razor blades and a lump in my throat)…I just didn’t feel good. I took a bath before bed…I just sit in the tub so I wouldn’t soak my incision. I was going to sleep and call the doctor the next morning when they opened. 

Post Op Day 4

I didn’t sleep much the night before. Sleeping in a recliner is getting old. I called my doctor and he wanted to check on me. My incision also looked rough and I had drainage coming out of the incision. My doctor was out so I saw his assistant. He said my incision looked good and that the “drainage” was lymph drainage. He said my sore throat symptoms and body aches were not normal so he gave me a Covid Test.  I was relieved that my incision looked great and prayed against a positive Covid. He also told me to take my pain pills-I think I took myself off of them too early.  I took one when I got back home and rested well. We decided to make me a bed on the couch so I could try and sleep better and it worked. I had only 1 pain pill this day and it worked.

Post Op Day 5

I slept well last night. I am feeling better today. A lot better. I started walking around the house and outside every 30 minutes. Good day! No pain pills. Started sneezing today.  My Dr called today with my results…..Not at all what I was expecting to hear,

“You have cancer”

My nodule was sent off and came back as malignant. He notified me that I would be going back into surgery next week to take out the entire thyroid. I am just in a state of shock but I know to get people praying. I am believing this cancer has not spread and was contained to only my nodule that was removed.

Post Op Day 6

I slept on my side last night! Awwww! It was nice…I stayed on the couch and slept really well. My back was sore from just laying around so much so I used a heating pad. No pain pills. Still sneezing. I have cried all day from this diagnosis. I am researching everything I can…my advice is to stay off Google. We decided we will not use Google and will watch Disney movies and funny shows all day. I am in such a state of shock with all of this. 

Post Op Day 7

I slept in my bed last night….It wasn’t comfortable. It pulled on my incision all night.   Still sneezing.  Anger set in today, like honestly. I am just shocked and angry with this diagnosis. I actually asked the question today, “Why me?”

Post Op Day 8

First day for hot morning coffee. I cleaned house today, worked in my office and was busy most of the day….Slight headache all evening.

Still sneezing. I cleaned and cried, cleaned and cried. Emotional day.

I decided to go pick up a paper copy of my results so I could see them and send them to my Endocrinologist for his opinion. 

Post Op Day 9

Extremely fatigued, exhausted. Praying I haven’t caught a bug or Covid. Today was just an off day…I have been in the house for 11 days now or I possibly overdid it yesterday….. 

This is the first day I’ve eaten all regular food with no swallowing weirdness.  Still sneezing.

My Endo called me today. He explained all of my results in detail, went over all of my questions, and brought me so much peace. The Lord surely orchestrated this because I could not stop crying; my friend reminded me of the scripture in Psalms; I cried unto the Lord and He answered. This was the sweetest moment. After 4 days of pity parties and letting my emotions out, I decided it was time to put my big girl panties on and take this on. I have my prayer team in place, but I personally started spending my days with a “prayer focus” for each day.

Prayer focus today: My surgeon and my Endo  

Post Op Day 10

Started taking Vitamin D after I noticed that it was ok to take before surgery. 50,000 a day before surgery was suggested for 5 days before surgery——-I will only be able to get 4 days in but it is better nothing.

Worse day yet! Extreme fatigue. Covid tested for safety.  Negative…Can’t lift my head up off the pillow. Absolutely no energy. Light headache. Praying my energy gets built up for this next surgery on Thursday. 

Prayer focus today: My surgeon, successful surgery, and protection against Covid before, during, and after surgery.

Post Op Day 11

Not as bad of a day as yesterday, still really tired. The nerves kicked in a little extra today knowing that my surgery is just a few days away. I called Pre-Admissions bc I had not received my Pre-Admin appt and they said I didn’t have to do another one since I was just in 2 weeks ago. They moved my surgery to 2 pm, I have to be there at 11 am. pre-Admin said the Vitamin D was fine to take before surgery. My stomach has been really upset from my nerves.  The surgery time being so late in the day hasn’t helped my tummy a bit but I am ready to get this over with! We are now deep in planning our Disney reservations so that is helping to make my mind off of things…I was up through the night praying for my doctors and nurses, anesthesiologist, and everyone whom I will come in contact with.  

My word(s) for 2021 is Let Go, I know I am having to Let Go like never before and Let God take control. I never knew this battle would be one that I would fight in 2021 but it didn’t take God by surprise. He is already speaking words to me for 2022 so I KNOW I’ll be telling of my healing and this miracle for the rest of our lives. He doesn’t go back on His Word, the Lord made me promises a long time ago and I have gripped it and proclaimed it all throughout my life and especially this past week that I just have to shoot him back with the promise God gave me. When the enemy wants to invade your mind, kick him out with the promises of God. God said. That’s the end of it. Don’t entertain the enemy’s tactics, we give the fool too much credit sometimes.

Prayer focus: My surgeon, the IV (I’m such a baby with needles), a complication-free surgery and recovery. I am already praying over my calcium levels and my hormone levels, I am praying against any calcium issues and that my hormone levels will not be as much of a rollercoaster as I have heard. My main focus is that I know I am already cancer-free, I know the cancer was contained, did not spread, and that I will not have any reoccurrences of this cancer or any new cancers. I am standing firm and taking my healing in Jesus’ name. 

Toward the evening, the headache and fatigue came back. This is such a roller coaster. I have been in bed all day but around 6:30 the exhaustion hit again. I also have a tinge of a sore throat. I started buying all of my groceries for after surgery today so I am ready. I have a few favorites that I’ll list that really help my throat and etc.

Post Op Day 12

I woke up had coffee and took Vitamin D. I have a mild headache.  I can’t take any medicine so I am hoping to be able to get rid of it. I am still fatigued and have body aches…I don’t know if I’m trying to come down with something again or if this is hormones. The hardest part of going through 2 surgeries right now is being in the middle of a Pandemic. We have Covid tests at home for this reason. My nerves are high knowing I am 2 days away from surgery. Using Peppermint Oil for my head, as the morning goes on my headache has gotten worse. We picked up my prescriptions today for my pain pills after surgery and my Synthroid.

Post Op Day 13

I am not so nervous today. Thankfully the nerves are at bay.  I have laid in bed today and enjoyed moving my neck around because I know what tomorrow holds. I am busy getting the house ready for round #2 tomorrow. I have a mild headache and a sick stomach. I had to take ammonium today. I also had Vitamin D.

I’ll detail my second surgery recovery in another blog post. Stay tuned.