year – spending time with some of my favorite peeps! As soon as the celebrations were over it was back to work full force as I said goodbye to one of my staff and interviewed to fill her position. At the end of the month my mom had knee replacement surgery and I took a week off to help her with recovery and therapy.
February – Was all about scrapbooking! We held Crop for the Cure 2009 to raise some funds for the 3 Day… we were all planning on crewing this year so we had no fundraising minimums. The weekend after that, we attended Gwen’s weekend crop! I got a ton done at hers, not so much at ours… c’est la vie! Oh yeah, and Katie and Brian moved into their new house!
March – I decided I deserved a break and headed off to sunny Florida and the magical world of Disney. I should probably mention that my place had been on the market at this point for about a year… sigh… I was just trying to cut my commute by 20 miles.
April – My fabuloso birthday month! I FINALLY sold my place so of course i was consumed by finding a new place, packing, moving! Also celebrated this month were Katie’s birthday, Grandpa’s birthday, Murt’s birthday, Jodi’s birthday and Easter! Definitely a fun filled month with tons to celebrate!
May – Moved in May 1st and felt sore and achy after… while trying to massage out a knot, I found a lump on the front of my neck. When it didn’t go away after a couple days I ended up at Urgent Care with the urgent advice to get an ultrasound and biopsy. Within a week I was at the surgeon’s office and discovered I had a cystic tumor in my neck that was compressing my carotid, esophagus and trachea. Even though the ultrasound showed it was most likely benign, I needed surgery right away. Surgery happened May 26th. The tumor was affectionately named “Bob.” We also had a surprise baby shower for Ashley and I made my first “diaper cake”.
June – I had my postop appointment and found that Bob had been sent to the Mayo Clinic for further review – the local pathologists found what they thought was “Cystic Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma.” On June 12, 2009 I got the call that confirmed my cancer diagnosis. Later that month we had to decide if I would be going back for more surgery and radiation – 2nd surgery was scheduled for Sept 1st. We also welcomed Ethan Michael to the family and had a baby shower for Lacey.
July – Made the very tough decision to not participate in the 3 Day. I couldn’t pass the medical check because of my very recent diagnosis and surgery. Spent some time with Lacey while she was in from CO and had a superfun 4th of July. Checked out Gilda’s Club and found it to be an amazing place for people affected by cancer.
August – Cheered for Vanessa and the Coconutter Strutters at the 2009 3 Day! Also visited Aunt Pat on medical crew and Mayme at the hydration station. I signed up for 3 Day 2010 to WALK all 60 MILES for the 3rd time and started brainstorming fundraising ideas. Attended my first Thyca (THYroid CAncer) Support meeting, got my first mammogram (which had to be repeated), planned and prepped for surgery and RAI…
September – Surgery # 2 – this time my whole thyroid was removed to make sure every speck of cancer was OUT. Had some complications with my calcium levels so my best friend became TUMS. I attended Bluebird Cancer Retreats and made some wonderful new friends. And sometime mid month Chad and Allison got married! I began to experience the full effects of Hypo Hell as I anxiously awaited a date for my RAI – Radioactive Iodine Therapy. The date kept changing because of the worldwide RAI shortage but…
October – 1st – I got my megadose of RAI 200 mCi. Spent the better part of 2 days at the hospital in the nuclear reactor dep… I mean nuclear medicine department of the hospital. Then I went into isolation for a week. The doctors say there are no side effects to RAI but you can tell immediately they have never taken it themselves! I was experiencing a range of radiation sickness symptoms – NOT FUN. My post RAI scan showed diffuse uptake in my lungs as well as my thryoid bed – was it metastasis? That is still up for debate…
November – brought with it my most favorite holiday EVER – Thanksgiving!! At this point I had so much to be thankful for… surgery & RAI being over, starting on thyroid meds and coming out of Hypo Hell, being back at work, appointment with my new endo, my 3 Day team growing to a size of 9… Life was starting to speed up again even if my body wasn’t quite there yet! My TSH level is still hovering around 16 which means i’m still extremely hypo. My blood gets drawn every 6 weeks.
December – Merry Christmas! This month was all about reconnecting to friends, family.. the whole world really. The last 6 months have revolved around cancer and I'm so ready to get back to some semblance of normalcy. Held my first individual fundraiser – Breakfast with Santa- which was so much FUN and raised almost $400! Went back to the Endo and got some med adjustments, found out my tumor marker is undetectable (!!!), and that the uptake in my lungs is being considered metastasis but that my mega RAI dose killed that too!
It’s been a good end to the year and I'm looking forward to what 2010 will bring!
Happy New Year Everyone!!!!