They sent me home with one drain in place and I had to strip the drains and record the amount of fluid which was draining. It was a bit awkward having this drain pinned to me, but I managed to deal with it. In addition, when I was discharged I no longer had to follow the non-fat diet and I consider myself pretty fortunate as I know other people have not been so lucky and have required further surgery to correct the issue with a Chyle leak.
I had ice packs on my neck which really helped with the pain and the swelling. I saw the doc about ten days later on March 2, 2011, to get the drain taken out and received the final pathology report. I was told by Dr. Bentz that I had Stage IVA Papillary Thyroid cancer with Follicular Variant. It was partially encapsulated as it was not completely contained in the thyroid and extended into the lymph nodes. They had removed over fifty-eight lymph nodes with nineteen of them being positive for cancer! I also had evidence of Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which I would not learn until much later down the road. The surgeon said that it was very aggressive and then informed me that External Beam Radiation may be required to totally eradicate this, but that RAI (Radioactive Iodine treatment) would be tried first. Please make a note that I will avoid External Beam like the plague – I believe that there are too many more risks involved with that which I am not sure that I would be willing to take; however, it would have to be the very last option for me!