Hi, welcome to this forum. It is the best there is. So glad you found us!~
You have certainly had a eventful medical ride lately! The diagnostic trail of events is really an amazing one. I am surprised that you did not have a thyroid panel drawn long ago. Sounds like your mom was having reservations about all that was going on, and I sure am glad that she expressed her concerns.
Well, in reading your post, I am not sure if the mass *is* your thyroid gland. Or is it a “different” mass?
As Kimberly said, many people have thyroid nodules which don't mean anything, and are benign. Your docs will confirm that.
So, as others have said,you have two issues-maybe.
One is Graves'. That cannot be ignored, or untreated. I'd like comment on the option of your comment of just working through it and waiting till the thyroid kills itself. That is not an option, perhaps there was a misunderstanding about that choice. I believe you know the three options of surgery, RAI and ATD's.
The other is the mass. If, indeed it is a mass separate and different from an enlarged thyroid gland, I would imagine the docs will order further tests, perhaps more labs, to have an idea what they are dealing with. I would imagine, too, that it seems that someone would tell you that they would like to biopsy the mass first. At this time, from what you said, there is no documented evidence that it is malignant or benign. Or maybe you did not address it in you post.
I imagine your endo will want to have you take an ATD anti thyroid drug, and perhaps a beta blocker, if your heart rate is high or if you have other cardiac issues probably related to Graves'.
If you have a thyroidectomy, there is a preparation for that, and you will learn about it from the docs and on this site from those of us who have chosen surgery.
If there is a discrete mass in your neck that needs to be addressed, ie, excised, I imagine you will be seeing more surgeons, possibly an ENT surgeon as well as a general surgeon. Sounds like there is a lot to sort out.
It is a good idea, as your mom knows, because she has worked in health care all these years, to be very vigilant and ask many questions. I am a big proponent of 2nd opinions. And 3rd opinions. This is a very interesting experience, especially when the reports differ, sometimes contradict, what you have heard from the first docs. And where they all agree, and confirm the diagnoses, it is very reassuring.
Do write again as the days go by, you have a whole forum of new friends, and good ones, too!
TED 2008-present. OD for pressure on optic nerve 02/02/10
Eye muscle surgery 09/23/10 Upper eyelid surgery 02/01/11
Lower eyelids with grafts from palate, 10/5, 10/25/11
Graves dx/thyroidectomy 1959-Synthroid from 1980