Sunday, July 29, 2012

On the Mend!

Okay people, I'm on the mend and feeling like a million bucks!  The surgery was a huge success and I'm officially tumorless...Yay :)
So here are the updates:  The tumor was much bigger than expected (6 cm) and the darn thing had wrapped itself around my vocal cord nerve.  So the doctor had to cut the nerve to get the tumor out.  As a result, I'm pretty hoarse which is a significant trial for a chatterbox such as myself but I'm learning to deal. And the doctor says in time my voice will return but I'll probably never sing in the Mo Tab.  I guess that's fine.  My soprano career is over, but you better believe I'll rock the alto section in the ward choir!  I'll take a little bit of a hoarse voice though, if it means I get to be cancer free, and I know there are lots of cancer patients who have it much worse than me, so I feel pretty lucky.
Oh and additional good news, my doctor called a few days after the surgery and said that even though the tumor was large, it was encapsulated in the thyroid and hadn't spread to the lymph nodes or other tissues...What a relief.  So after radiation, I'll be cancer free!
So now what?  Well, I'm seeing a speech therapist to help strengthen my voice and waiting to have radiation in October!
But I just have to say that everyone has been so helpful and supportive through this whole thing.  It hasn't been the best news of my life, but I have been overwhelmed by the love and prayers people have sent my way.  Thank you really just doesn't seem adequate.  Y'all are wonderful :)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Rumor has it

So the rumors are true...I have cancer. Thyroid Cancer. Papillary Carcinoma to be exact.  There, I said it! I'll be honest, it's not the best news I've ever had, and I'm relatively certain that there is nothing that can prepare you to hear the big "C" word.

So for all those inquiring minds, here's the story. The middle of May, I was chatting with one of my coworkers (Wendy) across the table.  She looked at me funny and said, "What's that on your neck?"  I felt the lump and played it off like it was nothing.  After all, I'm 25 and healthy.  It's nothing!  So I forgot about it for a few days till I worked with Wendy again.  Luckily, Wendy is like a mom to me and kept pestering me to have it looked at (she's relentless).  So I had a doctor that was rounding on one of my patients take a look just so I could get Wendy off my back!  I casually asked Dr. Harrison to take a look, and she was concerned too.  She recommended making an appointment soon, and it's history from there!  The following are important dates in this whole process.

June 11: 1st appointment with Dr. Harrison.  She ordered blood work and an ultrasound.  About 4 hours after I left the office, she called and said it was a "solid mass" that needed to have a biopsy ASAP.
June 13:  Biopsy
June 18: The biopsy results were in.  The verdict: Papillary Carcinoma :(
June 20: Consulation with endocrinologist
June 27: Consulation with ENT surgeon to schedule tumor and thyroid removal (yikes)
July 12: CT scan to check lymph node involvement
July 19: Surgery day!

So today's the big surgery day (they're removing my tumor, thyroid, and surrounding lymph nodes) and as I lay here sleepless, I can't help but feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude.  I know it sounds cliche and it's really not my thing to be all mushy and sensitive, but it's all I can think about.  Thank you really just doesn't seem enough for all the love, prayers, support, texts, calls, notes, smiles, and encouragement I have received from this whole ordeal.  People are so nice!  Words really can't even say how thankful I am for the people in my life, and I will spend the rest of my life figuring out why I have been so blessed.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  Heavenly Father certainly works in mysterious ways!

Stay tuned for more updates as they come!  Oh, and PS...Cancer Sucks :)