muchmorewherethatcamefrom

Gratitude and Praise … and an Interesting Dilemma

In Christianity, My thyroid, Tolkien on March 21, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I am really humbled by two things this week: the outpouring of love and support from the people around us, both near and far (that includes each of you who is reading this!) and the amazing response of God to prayer.

I had a surveillance lymph node ultrasound yesterday to evaluate for spread of the cancer. The tumour is in the left lobe of my thyroid, and the lymph nodes on the left are all negative, which is fantastic. There are a few positive lymph nodes on the right, but because this is contralateral to the malignancy, the surgeons feel they are likely incidental, so they’ll check them out intraoperatively (while they’re actually in there with their scalpels) and dissect them then if they look suspicious. But basically, they feel the risk of distant metastasis is low. Praise God! As I mentioned before, we knew that papillary thyroid carcinoma is a very good cancer to have, in the grand scheme of things, as it’s not aggressive and responds well to treatment. There are plenty of people who have gone through this and been fine. But because mine was large and has apparently been sitting there getting comfy in my annoyingly-welcoming thyroid (“Make yourself at home! Can I get you a hot cocoa? A warm bath?”) for several years, the concern for spread was higher. The relief we all feel is rivaled only by our awe and thanks at how quickly and generously this particular prayer was answered. Psalm 28:7 says it perfectly.

I’ll never be able to say thank you enough, but thank you for praying and for your continued prayers! My personal faith has always been sort of average, and I’ve always envied the strong faith and spiritual life of many of my brilliant, impressive friends. But in looking for Bible verses to meditate upon daily over the past weeks, I’ve been really amazed at what a difference that particular exercise has made, even as someone who grew up reading the Bible. God’s listening. It’s pretty incredible.

So now, we’ve reached an interesting decision point. Yesterday I met a surgeon at [prominent academic hospital] where Tolkien is a resident. This hospital is tops and the surgeon was really impressive. So nice and took the time to answer all our questions without making us feel rushed, which are not always qualities surgeons are known for. (To all my surgical friends, naturally YOU are the exceptions to this rule!) My top choice would be to go with him. However, he has a 3-4 month waiting list. He said that’s because the only way he can control quality is by limiting the number of operations he does a day (which I totally believe) and that that’s why he’s in academia, since in private practice the pressure to see more and more patients and book more and more surgeries does not allow for the practice of that kind of careful medicine. My thoughts on this sad aspect of healthcare could fill another blog entry, but let’s not digress. Today I saw another surgeon at a medium-sized private hospital. He too was very nice, and he gave me an OR date 4 weeks from now. So … go with the surgeon I really liked at the better hospital (where Tolkien is on staff, which could come in handy) but wait till I’m old and grey, or go with the surgeon at the slightly less-prominent hospital who is probably nearly as good and just move the heck on with our lives? Tough decision. The other thing is that pregnancy is verboten until 1 year (some say 6 months, but my endocrinologist is old-school) after the radioactive iodine, which is a couple of months after surgery, so putting off surgery also increases the time till we can try to have Peanut #2, and obviously delaying childbearing in these times of fragile fertility is not a super-awesome idea. Neither surgeon is worried about spread if we wait the 3-4 months, but I kind of want to just get this over with. First Surgeon said he would try to get me in earlier than 3-4 months, so we will see. Now we’re praying that the right decision will be made clear.

So that’s where we are … and thank you again to all of you. I’ll keep updating here when there are things to report. In the meantime, though the thyroid is certainly a very fascinating topic, let’s talk about something else, shall we? Is anyone else bored by Andy and Erin on The Office? Anyone? 🙂

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  1. Yes, I am so bored by them. Sure, they are both quirky, but I don’t see the chemistry. It’s like watching 2 preteens who have a crush on each other… Awkward.

    And, yes, God is listening. You have a lot of faithful people praying for you. I meditate on Psalm 91 when I’m facing a challenge. I hope it gives you strength too! See you soon!

    P.S. In response to your last blog entry, I am most keenly reminded of God when I am trying to make a big decision. I pull out the pro-con list, make an Excel spreadsheet, put the plan together… Then God throws a curveball, and things actually end up better than I could have planned… which has been almost every major decision in my life! It’s that constant reminder to just trust Him.

    • Thanks Ollie. I appreciate the Scripture suggestion and the commiseration about that totally unrealistic couple. It doesn’t even seem like they actually have crushes on each other! Sending you virtual Smith Island cakes over the Internet.

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