Good morning and happy Friday! I’m not sure how to adequately thank you for the support I have received this week; it has been overwhelming and has made all the difference for me. I have always prided myself on responding to 99% of the comments on my blog, but I wasn’t able to do so on Wednesday’s post, mainly because I have been so busy trying to figure out the next steps in my treatment plan. But, please be assured that I read each and every comment, most of them multiple times, and they will continue to be a source of support for me as I move forward. For anyone who has dealt with anything traumatic, then you know how your emotions can get the best of you and sometimes even the tiniest glimmer of hope or support is all that is needed to get you through. So, THANK YOU!!!
By the way, it’s a little funny/embarrassing/uncomfortable for me to even be the center of such attention, I am by nature an introvert and quite shy in social situations. Sometimes it doesn’t even occur to me that other people are reading my blog, it feels like a journal when I write it. So, to know that I have more readers than I thought I did is nice but also surprised me (in a good way!).
Just to give you a quick update on the next steps, I did a lot of research on Wednesday and Thursday to plan my treatment. There is no question in my case that a complete removal of the thyroid gland is the only option. So then, I was faced with the question of who to do the surgery? My endocrinologist referred me to the general surgeon in our area, but he is heavily booked and I was frustrated that I would have to wait until mid-October to even meet with him and my surgery date probably wouldn’t have occurred until early November. Maybe it was just me being impatient, but I just couldn’t wait that long, it seemed like an eternity. Plus, I started to feel less and less like a person and more like a number as I dealt with his office. I shouldn’t complain because I have had nothing but excellent care so far and it’s really just the nature of the game when dealing with a busy medical group, but this is my life we’re talking about and it was hard to feel like I was being told to wait in line as if I were buying a ticket or something like that.
Long story short, I ended up calling another surgeon’s office, this one a specialist in head and neck surgery, who is also local. Ironically, he has actually performed surgery on me before a few years ago when I had a benign cyst removed from my upper lip. I remembered him as being one of those really kind, patient and caring doctors. I was hopeful when I called his office and his assistant told me that he does do this type of procedure and that he would be willing to see me this week, even though he was supposed to be on vacation (!). So, yesterday I met with him and knew within about 15 minutes of talking with him that he was the right surgeon. He treated me like a person, he answered every single one of my questions, he spent over an hour with me and he walked me through the entire process. Alan was there with me and we looked at each other and agreed without even speaking that it was right. I feel so, so lucky to have this person as my doctor. So, as of now, my surgery date is scheduled for October 15th. I will stay one night at the hospital and should be able to go home the next day. There will be extensive pathology done on my thyroid gland and perhaps some lymph nodes once they are removed which will help determine if I need any follow-up treatment. For thyroid cancer, the radiation is taken orally in a single dose and has few side effects. Also, of course, I will start thyroid replacement medication about a week after my surgery. My prognosis continues to be excellent.
That is the scoop for now. It has been a whirlwind but I really do feel like myself now and I haven’t even burst into hysterical tears for a good 24 hours so that must be a good sign. My mom unexpectedly sent me this gorgeous bouquet of flowers, isn’t it exquisite?
I made it to the farmers’ market on Wednesday morning and bought all kinds of cancer-fighting foods including this bouquet of broccoli!
My green smoothies are now overflowing with greens and more greens (can I get a Vitamix extender?):
My salads continue to be filled with greens, chopped veggies and lots o’ beans:
Desserts have been fresh fruits from the market. For now, I can’t even look at foods without thinking about whether or not they fight or feed cancer:
The soup from Janet looks so comforting. I am certainly going to be filling my freezer these next two weeks with soups like this to eat during my recovery:
And, lastly, I feel inspired to share a favorite poem that I haven’t thought of since high school but was reminded of when I walked at the beach on Wednesday and captured this photo: