Total Thyroidectomy

Well, folks, obviously I wasn’t a good blogger and keeping up on here. Last I posted, I had just been told by my doctor that my thyroid should come out. But first, I had some tests. 

– The lab tests revealed that my TSH and T3 were out of range, but absolutely nothing else. No high cholesterol, no diabetes, nothing! Yay! My doctor increased my synthroid dose.

– Then it was time for a thyroid ultrasound. That showed that the growths were big, heterogeneous, and potentially suspicious. It was time to meet with a surgeon. 

– The surgeon read my ultrasound and met with me. He said his plan was to take the whole thing out, because if he left any thyroid tissue, it would get another growth on it. Plus, who knows how well the little thyroid that would be left was working anyways. I was in agreement. 

– Surgery date was August 22nd. All went well – I went to sleep, woke up goofy, and didn’t feel a thing. I had a nice big bandage on my neck. 


– I was able to bring home a photo of the removed thyroid! If you like to see graphic photos of internal photos, you’ll love this. The growth is insane. If you don’t like stuff like that, DO NOT click this link.

– Stayed the night in the hotel, came home and spent a few days alternating between the bed and the couch. With a lot of DVR time logged. The big bandage went down to just some tape, and I got to shower!


– And now it’s one week later. Visited the surgeon today and the tape was removed. The stitches are the dissolving kind, so nothing even needed to be removed. The scar is longer than I anticipated, but it will fade and blend right into my neck creases. 



– And see that last little part of the photo? Its from my pathology report. Turns out, I had cancer. A small, completely encapsulated, section of cancerous cells. But the lymph node is completely clear. So, I had cancer. But I am now cancer free, without knowing I had it in the first place. 

Thank you, Dr. B.

It’s time to get back to Healthy Living Holly. 



Hasta La Vista, Thyroid Gland

I saw the doctor last night. And I got some news I have to admit I wasn’t terribly surprised at: 

My thyroid needs to come out. 

The doctor says “the time has come” and that it is “too far gone” for anything else to be done. For reference, here are photos taken 2 days ago of my neck. It’s actually hard to capture it on film, but I think that even in these photos you can see that something is not right. 



So, the first step is a bunch of blood work. I got the FULL workup done this morning on a fasting stomach. CMP and CBC (that’s got everything from glucose/sodium/potassium to blood platelets and stuff), TSH, T3 and T4 (thyroid labs – and good because a lot of Drs only test TSH), Lipid panel (let’s see if I’ve got high cholesterol too, yippee), AND HgbA1c — that’s the marker for diabetes. GULP. I’ve never had high blood sugars before but… please no. Please, please no.

He also had me sign a release so he could get my previous medical records from the time I was originally diagnosed and had a thyroid biopsy (2007). I see him again next Tuesday to go over the lab results and his game plan and predictions for when surgery will take place. 

Until then, keep up my healthy eating and exercise, keep taking my current dose of Synthroid (even though it’s not enough, obviously!), and he’s going to switch me off of an SSRI for my mood issues and have me try Cymbalta, which should not have a weight gain side effect like the Prozac I have been taking has. 

Looks like there are going to be a lot of changes coming up in my health. It might get bumpy, but I think eventually I’ll be in a better place than I am now. Thank goodness. 

Trying to get my groove back

So, here’s this:

Created by MyFitnessPal – Nutrition Facts For Foods

Here’s the thing. I’m actually trying again. For realsies. Here’s what I’m doing:

1. My new eating program is one my running coach developed, using her two books – Belly Fat Blow-out and Belly Fat Blow-out 2. All real foods, avoiding the white sugars and flour, with menu plans and support though her group.

2. Next week, I (finally) have a meeting with a new doctor. In March, my company got bought out, so even though I have the same exact job, I lost my other health insurance and had to jump through a ton of hoops to figure out the new one. In that time, many of the nurses who work with me have comented on my neck – my goiter on my thyroid has definitely gotten bigger. My thyroid meds haven’t changed in a few years. This could be having a negative effect on my weight and health status.

3. Running with the WOW team 2-3 times a week. Wednesday nights track, Thursday nights at the marina, Sunday mornings various places around the bay. This has gotten increasingly hard for me – the weight gain hasn’t helped, and I’m having troubles breathing lately. This *could* be related to my thyroid as well, but I’m hesitant to blame all my issues on that.

4. Joining Curves for Women – this starts in a week. I purchased a Groupon to start, but due to my doctors appointment, running, and a hair appointment, my intake couldn’t be scheduled until next Monday. I plan on doing that 2-3 times a week as well, for maximun fat burning.

5. Tracking the foods I’m eating into MyFitnessPal, even though I’m following my coach’s eating plan. I like to see this to make sure I’m not just going crazy on portions and also to make sure I’m hitting a 1:1 ratio of protein and carbs (a very important concept in her books).

Last night, when I was mentioning what yet ANOTHER nurse at work said to me – this one who actually recently completed her NP program so is more than a nurse – Josh said to me that maybe the thyroid DOES explain some of what is going on with me. That it has surprised him to watch me following the eating plan EXACTLY, not going over on calories, not eating bread, sugar, pasta, etc, running 2 times each week, and only having lost 3 lbs in the past 2 weeks. Yes, a loss is a loss, and I was happy each time I was on the scale and saw that, but he does have a point. I’m well over 200 lbs. I’m wearing a size 18. I switched from eating chips and crackers and chicken nuggets and donuts and pizza every day to clean, healthy eating and didn’t have a dramatic drop in weight right at the beginning, which is a common thing.

But again… I don’t want to hang all my hopes on a faulty thyroid. I’ve been down that road before. I can’t blame my issues on that and pretend all the pizza, donuts, etc had NOTHING to do with my crazy weight gain in the past 6 months. Or blame my increased lethargy completely on it, eiher… of course I’m more tired with 30 more pounds and far less intensity at workouts and putting complete crap in my mouth. That’s a given.

And let’s not forget life stress… that’s never good for our health, especially not in people whose main vice is overeating like mine is! My job has been more stressful in the past 6 months than it was the previous year I was in this position, so that’s contributed. And my personal life, the one related to my future stepchildren and the custody battle between their mother and Josh, that part has reached stress of epic proportions. Imagine the nastiest divorce and custody battle you’ve ever heard of, add in violence, a life flight to a hospital and a trauma surgery, and the total loss of seeing the very young children while awaiting a hearing, and you’ll have a little picture of what my life has been like since last November. My thyroid isn’t to blame for that. Life is. And the way I handle life – that’s what is to blame. But I would not be surprised to learn that my thyroid played a small part, that it is a tiny piece of the puzzle.

To be really, really honest, the last 6-9 months have been the hardest of my life, even harder than going through my own divorce, which is how this blog was started. As a chronicle of keeping healthy when learning to be on my own. Yes, I struggled as a single person, my weight bounced up and down, I tried weird diets. But nothing could have prepared me for how I would completely give up on my own health in the face of this kind of crisis. How even though I am in a happy, stable relationship with someone who supports me in all the ways I need, that the rest of our life would be so out of control that neither of us would be able to take care of ourselves (Josh gained weight as well, but not nearly as much as me).

And the thing about overeating as a coping mechanism, as a vice, is that when it gets out of control, literally EVERYONE can see it. You can’t hide it from strangers like you can some of the other horribly unhealthy vices – drugs, alcohol, self-harm, those aren’t plastered on your body for everyone to see like fat is. They are certainly just as damaging, and many times MORE damaging, but someone at the grocery store or the restaurant or unfortunate enough to be in the airplane seat next to you as you partially hog their space, they can’t see all your demons. Just the ones in plain view.

This posting from PostSecret says exactly that:


I don’t want people to be able to judge me based on my excess weight. I’d rather they look at me for my smile or my laugh or my sense of fashion. Or see me as a good friend, a good stepmother, a good partner. And I’d like to see myself as those things more often – I know them to be true, but when I’m uncomfortably squishing myself into a pair of pants that used to fit, or when the stadium seats at the ballpark don’t seem to house my larger size butt as well as I remembered… in those times, I forget the good things and I’m just really sad.

But I am taking steps to change that. I have an incredibly supportive partner who is cooking meals for me and helping me stay on the eating program by eating in this fashion as well. I have an amazing running coach who sees the person I am inside and knows my struggles and continues to encourage me even though my health and running ability has gone downhill since she met me. I have health insurance and access to a doctor who can hopefully make sure everything physically is ok with me. I have the tools, and I’ve been using them now for two weeks. It’s a start.


This is to claim this blog as mine with Bloglovin’. Since our beloved Google Reader is going away. Boring post, but it has to be done!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sidenote though… I’m on a healthy eating program with my running group, and after week 1, I have lost 2 pounds. I also registered for Berkeley’s first half marathon in November. I do think this is me turning things around.

Spartan Giveaway Winner!

Sorry for my tardiness, but we DO have a winner!

And that winner is….


I will be sending you an email with the registration code. Everyone else, look for an email from me with a 15% off code. Thank you for joining!

Spartan Race GIVEAWAY!

I’m really excited about this, guys. You’ve heard of Spartan Races, right? I’m thinking a lot of you have, because I’ve seen you click “Like” on Facebook. And then I usually see an image like this one when you like them:

So what IS a Spartan Race? Here’s an awesome YouTube Video they made to give you the idea:

SO basically, these events are like a triathlalon mixed with the muddy buddy type obsticle courses. They look pretty hard – are you up for the challenge?

If you’re located near me (Northern California), the race you’re looking at is in Sacramento on Saturday October 26th. If you’re located outside of this area, click HERE for a list of the other dates and locations (there are many!)

SO now for the BIG NEWS. I have one FREE RACE ENTRY to give away! This is big, people. A lot goes in to this race and it’s definitely worth every penny.

Here’s what you need to do to enter the giveaway:

1. Share the link to this blog post on your social media of choice (facebook, twitter, pinterest, anything goes)

2. Comment back here to tell me where you shared the link. 

3. Tell me which Spartan Race event you would enter if you won. 

BONUS ENTRY: LIKE Spartan Races on Facebook and leave me a second comment saying you did so. 

And that’s it! I will use a random number generator to choose the winner on Friday, June 7th. And EVERYONE who enters will get a code for 15% off their entry fees. 


Good luck! 



Oakland RunFest

So continues my tradition of updating after I do a race!

Today I ran a 5k with my wow team:

Josh came, guarded the tent with all the team’s stuff, and cheered me on:

Hung out for awhile afterwards to wait for the half marathoners to finish:

Got home about 12:30, relaxed at home, and I took a 2 hour nap. Love it. So glad to be back at races again, even if I am moving a lot slower!

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