It is so amazing to be in a place where 6 months flies by and cancer doesn’t give me the anxiety or panic it once did. Thyroid cancer sometimes feels more of a battle of the mind than anything, and for once it feels like I’m finally winning at it. I had my latest check-ups last week and here’s the scoop:
There are still two tumors in my neck – one along the right side and one where my thyroid used to be. These are still the same size they were 6 months ago, and the same size they were two years ago, really. And my tumor markers are virtually the same, too. So, the cancer is STABLE…awesome. My endocrinologist would just assume I have surgery now to remove these two spots. Since it has been two years and nothing new has crept up, she would think it would be a safe bet that if we remove these two spots, I would be cancer free for good. That is a notion that has not crossed my mind for quite some time. It sounds amazing, but…
My endocrinologist is not a surgeon, and she defers to the surgeon on whether or not the benefits of surgery out weigh the risks.
So we head to the surgeon and he says no surgery…the risks of surgery are really too great to deem it worthwhile. He says that really the thinking anymore is that as long as the cancer is stable, there is really no reason to put someone through a surgery. I can live just as long as a life with this cancer as I would without it – and this way I don’t have to risk losing my voice or damaging vocal chords.
So although the thought of being cancer free sounds amazing, I value my surgeon’s opinion (and my voice!), and we will continue to delay surgery – possibly forever – but at least another six months.
It is funny to see how Neel and I have come to terms with the role cancer will take place in our lives. When I was first diagnosed, our first thought was, “Get this cancer out!” How could we live knowing there was cancer inside of me! That is why even though I was pregnant, we went through with the surgery to remove the cancer then.
Now, 4.5 years later, we are actively choosing to leave the cancer IN! And I’m okay with that. There was a story I heard on the radio that has really stuck with me and helps me make sense of why sometimes bad things happen.
Imagine a father with his son. The son is very sick with pneumonia, so the dad takes his boy in to the doctor. The doctor says he needs a shot of antibiotics in order to get better. The dad knows his son isn’t going to like it, and it will hurt, but the dad tells the doctor to do it anyway. The son looks at his dad, and wonders why someone he trusts would let something that hurts happen to him. So the Dad holds his son down, so the doctor can give him a shot, because he knows it will make him better.
This is just like our heavenly Father…there are times that he allows bad things to happen, because in his ultimate wisdom, he knows it can make us better. But, he is always right there holding us, just like the father in the story, to help us through the bad time.
This is my story…something very bad happened, but I was never abandoned. I was held and comforted by so many people, as well as by my heavenly Father, and got through the bad times. I am now better than I was, and grateful to have had this trial. It may or may not be over, but I can’t dwell on that. Each day is such a gift and I try to remember that.
Blessings to you all!