The verdict is in…

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I had my follow-up appointment with the surgeon today and he had the results of my biopsy. At this point the follicular cells are atypical, (yeah, I sound real smart, but I’m just regurgitating what the Dr. said)  but they do not show cancer cells. Praise the Lord! My doctor said normally with this type of result they would wait 3 months and biopsy it again. The other option is to go ahead and remove the nodule and the half of the thyroid it is on. They would biopsy the nodule after it is removed and if the results came back normal, I’d be done. If the biopsy shows cancerous cells, they would go back and take out the rest of the thyroid and give me radioactive iodine to kill it off.

There is a possibility my nodule has grown a little, and so, because of its size (close to 4 cm), we agree with the doctor to take it out. So right now the plan is to have the surgery the 16th of June. We were going to do it the 9th, but OK Mozart is that week. Bartlesville Choral Society is singing at a couple of concerts and, selfishly, I’d like to participate. That would also give me three months to “bounce back” before our regular season started up again. Plus, the doctor said it doesn’t have to be done right now, we could wait until the fall if we needed to.

It could be an outpatient procedure depending on how well the surgery goes, the most it would be is an overnight stay. I would be back to normal in a day or two. (I know, some of you are thinking “are you ever normal?” The answer to that is no, but I would be as normal as I ever am.) I’m trying to figure out if I could get a doctor’s note for breakfast in bed, no cooking, and no ironing for a week or something. But who am I kidding? I don’t iron as it is. I think I’m allergic.

Now we are just praying the surgery goes well and the subsequent biopsy comes back normal. I am a singer, so surgery in that area makes me a little nervous, but God is in control. Nothing will happen that He doesn’t allow.

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. My family and I appreciate it. I received quite a few messages, calls, and texts and they were all very encouraging. I also appreciate those of you who shared your personal experiences with me. It was a blessing to be reminded that thousands of people before me have traveled this road.

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God Will Make This Trial a Blessing

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So I have debated whether or not I should blog about our latest journey, but have decided to go ahead. Partly to keep all of this straight so I don’t forget something. More importantly, maybe through all of this it can be a blessing to someone, somewhere.

About a month ago, I found a knot on my throat. If I tilt my head back, it is very noticeable. It looks like a man’s Adam’s apple. Attractive, huh? 🙂 Not sure why I had never noticed it before, but there it was. I set up an appointment with my Dr., he said it was on my thyroid, and he ordered some tests. Blood tests to determine if my thyroid was functioning properly and an ultrasound to look at this mysterious lump. My blood work all came back normal, but he ordered more tests due to the ultrasound pictures. This new test was performed at the hospital in the nuclear medicine department on a Thursday and Friday. I had to swallow a radioactive iodine pill and then the technician would take pictures. The technician took out what looked like a small pipe bomb, opened it up, slid out a glass tube, took the only pill in that tube out and told me to swallow it. My thought was, “Seriously? You take that much care with one pill and you want me to put that into my body?” Haha. But I took it, only because she wasn’t wearing a hazmat suit. The first pictures were taken 4 hours after ingesting the pill, then the next morning, 24 hours after taking it. It felt like something out of some superhero movie. Some poor unsuspecting joe takes some pill and, poof, he has some weird super powers. (I have yet to figure out if I developed any. My husband wanted to take me to the airport and see if I could set off any sort of alarms. I think he was disappointed that I didn’t glow.)

Monday morning I received a call from my Dr’s office. The Dr. wanted me to come in that morning to discuss results. We found out I have what is called a cold nodule, which means it does not absorb any dye from the radioactive iodine pill. Cold nodules have a greater chance of thyroid cancer than a hot nodule. But just because it is a cold nodule does not guarantee it’s cancerous. They would need to do a biopsy. So I went to see a surgeon and he said they generally remove any nodule over 2 cm. and mine was 3 cm. (Which is just over an inch) But he wanted to do a biopsy first to see what we are dealing with. More than likely, due to its size, he will remove the half of the thyroid on which the nodule is located regardless of the outcome.

I had the biopsy this past Thursday. The radiologist told me my nodule was significantly large. (I can’t do anything on a small scale. Haha!) Modern technology amazes me. They used the ultrasound to locate the nodule and then the ultrasound helps guide the radiologist with his needle. They extracted some cells, then he used a different needle to “cut” a larger sample off. He thinks he got enough that we won’t have to do it again. They take samples of the nodule and will run the samples under the microscope to determine whether or not this is cancer. He told me he sees these nodules a lot (just maybe not as large as this one) and a majority of the time, they are benign. He said IF it is cancer, there are two major types. One is very curable, and one is not. The one that is not as curable is very rare and he said my nodule does not resemble that form of cancer. So now we wait. I have an appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday to discuss the results, so now I just hope they have the results by then.

I know that God is in control and He is not surprised by this new turn of events. I do have to pray my thoughts into captivity, though that part is getting easier. Job 13:15a says “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him:” Job 23:10 says “But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” If Job can go through all that he went through and still say that, who am I to complain? God has been so good to me and this situation does not change that. God is good. All the time. He has seen me through many medical situations and this is no different.

I’m sure some of you may want to know how to pray. God has given my husband and I a sense of peace during this. So I guess pray that God’s will be done and that the Lord will give my Drs. (and us) wisdom regarding the outcome of this biopsy. Whatever the Lord wants us to learn, we don’t want to miss it.