Ruminations / Thyroid Cancer

Here’s What’s New

I haven’t blogged in almost a year. I know… That’s not so good. In my defense, I have had some huge stuff going on. Why didn’t I blog about it, right?!  In all honesty, I didn’t blog anything because I am so exhausted I sometimes wonder if I am half dead.
Still, I have thought about blogging every day.  Solution? Download the WordPress app.
Now I will be honest- this most likely means that I will do quick, sloppy posts more frequently because I honestly don’t have it in me to format something from my app. I figure I am still better off if I am at least getting thoughts onto the screen than if I wait until I have energy to post directly from my computer.  (Look how many times I did that in the past 12 months, eh?)

Here’s what’s new:
Since my last blog post I have accumulated more symptoms than I can count which proved to me that I was clearly as unwell as I have felt for so many years.  I could ignore and justify things no longer. It was time for something to be done. Luckily for us, we finally got insurance to help me do that.

I had I spent the summer preparing for another year of homeschooling. 2 pre-k, 1 K, and 1 2nd grade. It kept me so busy. We started school the first week of September and we were immediately busy. I cherish the time I am blessed to have with my kids, and we were having so much fun!

In October and November I had a series of blood test, ultrasounds, and biopsies on my thyroid and lymph nodes.  First it was in 4 nodules, then it was in 5. They also were clearly growing. Some were calcified, some were not. I can still remember the feeling of that needle rupturing their walls every single time during the biopsy process. (*shudder*)

In November, the Monday or Tuesday after Thanksgiving if I remember correctly, I received a formal diagnosis- Papillary thyroid carcinoma. I took the news fine with the diagnosis. I had a feeling in my gut that it was going to be cancer all along (because how could someone possibly feel as crappy as I did and still be called well), so I resolved to educate myself and prepare before I got the word.

I know I am strong enough. I have never doubted it. I have experienced far more difficult and painful journeys in my lif already, so this has not made me flinch.  It has only been a bump in the road. Plus this isn’t new to my family- my oldest sister has already been through the same thing. (It helps to have someone with whom to talk to and discuss things. I have had the blessing of already knowing the main steps of the journey which I had to now take.)  My endocrinologist has said that it is clearly hereditary at this point and strongly urged all of my other siblings to get checked out as well. Most of them have done or are doing so now.

I have to say that my primary care doctor has been awesome from the start. He took me very seriously from day one and was very aggressive in helping me get what I needed to receive a diagnosis in very little time. He also has that ability to destroy any fear which could have been possible with his resolve that no matter how bad it seemed, we would still beat it. He left no margins of worry whatsoever.

From the day I received my official diagnosis, everything became a blur. My December had more referrals and appointments than I could count. At one point I joked that I was convinced that it wasn’t the cancer that would kill me, but all the never ending doctors appointments might.

I met my new ENT Dr. He is also amazing (and I joked with my husband that I wish I could think of a tactful way of getting him to go on a semi blind date with my younger sister because they would be great together).  I met my Endocrinologist. He is very straightforward and doesn’t waste your time. I have been in very good hands.

I have had so much support from my friends and family that I am speechless. The outpouring of love I felt from all sides was truly humbling.

December 30 was the big surgery day. I was happy to get it all done before the end of the year. I chose it that way so that I could leave it behind me and in 2014 forever.  I had a total thyroidectomy. Surgery went so great!  (Like I said, I have amazing doctors. He was even kind enough to take a picture of the awful thing because I am gorey like that sometimes and I needed a picture as a momento. Haha.) 

That first couple of hours afterwards though, oh boy! I believe that was the most extreme pain I have ever been in!… but also the most fleeting. (This is coming from a woman who didn’t need any pain medicine after a c-section and also went through one vbac without epidural, so I do know what pain is.) Happily, I went home the next day, just in time to enjoy Chinese food and a movie until the ball dropped and we all rang in the new year as a family. I felt so blessed.

Alas, I know I am blessed. I am thankful that everything has gone so well so far. I have a lot that I have not shared yet, including why I complain about being so tired, even though that is probably obvious to many now. I will have to continue the second half of this story for another time very soon. I think being able to sit and type from my phone occasionally will be much easier than plopping my tired self in front of a computer every time I feel the need to share. I have a lot more coming. It is time to reclaim my life, so you will be hearing from me again very soon.


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