My doctor was nearly certain - in fact said he would be "very surprised"- if my full pathology came back as anything but benign.
We were both a little shocked when I went in to have my stitches out a week ago Friday and found that "Bob" had been sent to the Mayo Clinic for a second look. He said he would call me as soon as the reports from Mayo came back...
So that is basically how exactly 2 months after my 30th birthday, I got the phone call telling me I have cancer.
So what does this all mean...Well there are some things that can be considered "good news"...
- First, thyroid cancer is highly curable especially in someone less than 45yrs old [5year survival rates in the 95-100% range].
- Second, my surgeon thinks that they removed all of the tumor when he did my surgery a few weeks ago so at this point I don't anticipate going under the knife again soon.
- Third, I have the best physicians, family, friends, co-workers... it is impossible not to be optimistic.
Is the worry and concern gone - definitely not. Are there questions left to be answered - the list keeps growing daily. Do i need an oncologist? An endocrinologist? I want to "know my enemy" in a way. I have started gathering information so I can be an "informed consumer" when I see my surgeon again on July 2 and can ask the right questions. After hearing that "Bob" was "almost certainly benign" and then finding out otherwise, I want to be certain that the cancer hasn't spread even if i'm told it is unlikely. I want to know the tests that can be done, to know the therapies that can be used and I want to discuss them all. And with years of fundraising and activism under my belt for breast cancer - I want to find out if there is a way I can do the same for thyroid cancer.
There is still a lot of uncertainty in the air and even though my prognosis is good, it is never easy to hear the words "we found cancer."
I'm thankful for excellent physicians, for one of the top medical centers in the country just miles away, for insurance that covers the ever increasing medical expenses, for a workplace that cares about people not just productivity, for family and friends who love me and I can count on to be with me every step, and for my faith...without which there would be no hope.
Lord I feel...
Confused yet... You are my counselor (Isa 9:6)
Fearful yet... God says: "Cast all your cares on ME" (I Peter 5:7)
Lonely yet...You promised never to leave me nor forsake me (Heb 13:5)
Sick yet...You are the Lord who heals all my diseases (Ps 103:3)
Troubled yet....You are my peace (Jn 14:27).