So.... it's happened - I had the surgery. I have plenty to write about that experience, but for now long story short, they seem to have done a great job in preserving my parathyroid glands and my vocal chord nerves. The whole thyroid came out, but they say the cancer was isolated in "the capsule" in the nodule, and they didn't need to remove any lymph nodes. I have a follow-up with the surgeon in two weeks and I'll ask more questions then re. follow-up care.
The big issue has been with recovering from general anesthesia. This was my first experience with it, and it kicked my ass. The tube that went down my throat is now making it really tough to swallow, and I am having some lung/breathing issues. (I woke up with fluid in my lungs, pretty gross and horrible. They fixed the majority of the issue pretty quickly, but there's some stuff in there still and it hurts too much to cough it up.) I can't talk very well, but that will apparently be a short-lived issue.
They kept me overnight Thursday, and now I'm at my boyfriend's house, recovering. Very achy, but making do with Tylenol. They prescribed Vicodin, but I don't want to take it as I'm already nauseous and don't want to make things worse in that department.
I've been sleeping a lot today and looking forward to feeling better. Once that happens I'll write more about the surgery day.