Living Without a Thyroid

What I wish I had known before making this choice

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Image by author with help from — この狭い鳥籠の中

Contents

Section 1: In the Absence of Knowledge

What you are told

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patient and doctor — Syda Productions

What you will likely think

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pensive woman by Diego Cervo

My initial intuition

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Relieved manauremar

“what does life look like now given that I don’t have a thyroid?”

But why am I so tired?

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Man yawning — Betsie Van der Meer

Section 2: Hormones and You

What are hormones anyway?

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Lovheim cube of emotion

I am not my hormones; I’m me

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Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) proving that time and hormones can change a man

What changes if your hormones change?

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hormone.org — thyroid

The thyroid regulates your metabolism

Your metabolism regulates your vitality

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Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra

Your vitality is the energy available to express yourself

“A vital person is someone whose aliveness and spirit are expressed not only in personal productivity and activity … such individuals often infectiously energize those with whom they come into contact.” — Peterson and Seligman

Section 3: If the Tumor Doesn’t Kill You…

But cancer might kill you

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Battling cancer (Gandharvas studio)

Conditional probability and Bayes’ theorem

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Image by author
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image by author

I don’t think “likely” means what you think it means

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Credit: Princess Bride Movie

The tumor was likely benign but I was told that it was likely malignant. I was denied my right to make an educated choice.

The correct decision would have been to continue to monitor the tumor. Until the tests results demonstrated a greater than 50% chance that the tumor was malignant, there was no good reason to remove my thyroid.

This happens more often than you think

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The first patient treated with linear accelerator radiation therapy was a child (National Cancer Institute)

Thyroid screening in South Korea

Thymus irradiation in the United States

Doctors are men who prescribe (treatments) of which they know little, to cure diseases of which they know less, in human beings of whom they know nothing. Voltaire

What I wish would change

The current state of affairs

So to recap:

Conclusion

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Credit: South Park

Incentives architect for TandaPay

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