Sunday, October 16, 2016


Today, I was thinking about how some comic books have one-off storylines about alternate dimensions, pretty much the same as the normal continuity except for a handful of things that are absolutely ridiculous. Like, maybe Batman is actually an enormous bat, and he dresses like a person to scare the bat criminals. I don't know.

What gets me is that no one in those alternate dimensions thinks that all their dimension's shit is crazy. They roll with it. The planet is ruled by a race of Superpeople from Krypton. Or maybe Tony Stark is a closet alcoholic who got hit with some radioactive starch and now he's Ironing Man. It sucks, but what are you going to do about it.

This whole YEAR has felt like we've all been pulled into Earth B. I saw an albino squirrel playing around at the park. Twice. David Bowie died, and he's an immortal. Prince died from an overdose! Donald Trump is running for President, and I've heard maybe ten minutes in total over the past six months where he didn't sound like a hallucination brought on by glue-sniffing.

Thyroid cancer feels like an extension of Earth-B. About 0.005% (yes, one five thousandth of a percent) men get thyroid cancer in a year. That math might not line up; I don't know. It's about ten thousand men in the United States per year, and there's a male population of around 190 million. That's some odds right there.

I met with the surgeon last Thursday, and he had the weary air of a man who has already done a dozen operations by noon. "All I do is thyroid stuff," he said. "Not all cancer. But look at my scheduling book." He flipped through page after page, and I started feeling guilty about complaining about my Outlook calendar. "All thyroid stuff." He set me up for November 8th. Election day. Thanks, Earth-B.

The plan is, they knock me out around 7 AM and start the surgery. I should be awake around, hopefully, lunchtime. Then I stay in the hospital for 24 hours, and then I go home and rest for a week. Meanwhile, they slice up my lymph nodes to see if the cancer's metastasized, and treatment continues from there - if it has, I get radioactive iodine and hide from everyone for a week, and if it hasn't, just thyroid hormone.

None of it sounds BAD, per se, but there's something about someone cutting out a pretty important organ from my neck that makes me feel... gross.

I came into work Friday, and a bunch of people on my team pitched in and filled my office with amazingness, which made me feel kind of sniffly and emotional. I don't know, LOOK AT THIS MAGIC. Sigh. Okay, Earth-B. I don't have a choice, so I'm going with this. At least it's not the nasty Earth-C where Donald Trump actually wins. 

Monday, October 3, 2016


I kind of expected to wait for days and days for an answer, but the biopsy was only Thursday and I got the call first thing this morning. It was not one of those really satisfying calls where you get a lighthearted nurse or a stern doctor. It was like, "Well, unfortunately, we don't like the signs of what we saw and it looks a lot like cancer so the first step is going to be surgery but you're going to be okay."

Papillary cancer! At least, that's what they're going on. Details were kind of scarce, which is frustrating. Like, what stage is this? "That's a good question, but we won't know until we get in there and cut." That's what I heard, anyhow. We don't know if it's a big deal or not. The doctor SOUNDED like no big deal, but then again, I *want* them to act like it's no big deal.  

But everything I've read says that it's not that big of a deal. That's good. Thyroidectomy is the next step. They scoop it out, maybe my lymph nodes if they aren't looking great, and then it's thyroid hormone medicine and annual checkups from here on out. I have a pretty good feeling about this. I plan on eating a lot of nachos and letting my thyroid party for the next month. I'm not even sure what a thyroid even does, really. I ordered a book. We'll see.

Next step: I meet with my surgeon on October 13th. Then we find out the next-next steps.