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Showing posts from 2011

Cautious vs. Paranoid

For about two weeks, I felt a strange nodule in my left underarm. How long had it been there? Was I just now noticing it or is it new? "Its nothing," I reasoned with myself.

Then....reading stories/studies on the internet about a link between thyroid cancer and breast cancer started to creep in my thoughts as did my aunt who battled breast cancer twice.

"Could this be an extension of a possible breast cancer in my underarm lymph nodes? I did have lymph node involvement in my thyroid cancer." If for no other reason, I would get it checked out to get it off my mind.

I call and surprisingly Dr. T is available the next day. Actually, I think given my history, they made her available the next day. When she walks in the room, I start writing this whole thing off..."please just tell me it is nothing so I can get on with my day."

Dr. T: "I'm going to send you for an ultrasound. Let's get this checked out. We'll know by the end of the day if it is any…

I'm a slacker

So, where to start. I know, pretty weak with no blog posts since the summer. I will endeavor to do better.

I've been MIA doing so much...nothing. OK, nothing isn't exactly correct, but my life has changed considerably since Mackenzie left for college. She is 1,500 miles away, doing amazingly well as at college freshman at Oklahoma State University, my alma mater. She pledged a sorority (Kappa Alpha Theta. No it's not mine...another story), is involved on campus with the Freshman Representative Council and Orange Peel to name a few organizations she is a part of, and is keeping her grades up.

Me, I am figuring out how to parent from 1,500 miles away. Good news: she doesn't need much of it. Those of you who know Mackenzie realize she is one of the most responsible teenagers around. Bad news: I have a void in my life without seeing her daily and at least going through the motions of parenting. A Big Void.

Yes, Morgan has started high school and is busy with soccer and basket…

Bastille Day or my Third Cancerversary? You decide...

Has it been three years? Wow, it HAS been three years since I heard the words, "you have papillary carcinoma" and jumped into the cancer world with both feet. The good news about this year: 2011 was the year I finally got the all clear, the NED (no evidence of disease).

First, let's get this out of the way for you newbies...what is a cancerversary? Please see last year's cancerversary post for a good explanation. No sense boring those of you (all two of you...OK, maybe three counting my mom) who are regular readers.

Sometimes I wonder if I would be at the same place emotionally and physically if I had not had thyroid cancer. I'm tougher, not nearly as polite as I used to be about sharing my thoughts and feelings, which is a good thing for me. Cancer has forced me out of my shell in many ways. However, on the other end of the spectrum, I have been a blubbering, crying mess about Mackenzie graduating and going off to college this year...but wouldn't I have been a…

In the hospital...no, not me

Sunday, April 3rd, at 5:30 AM, Mackenzie woke me up. "Mom, I have this horrible pain on the side of my stomach." This began one of the stranger weeks of my life. On that day, she was admitted to the hospital. The third day she had surgery, which, thank goodness, relieved her pain. The fourth day, she was discharged.



During that time, I never left the hospital. I didn't want to miss anything that happened and didn't want to leave her alone. Even though she is 18, she is still my child and had never been in the hospital.


Having a child in the hospital is more than being the advocate for your child and watching over them. It is communicating with other family members about your child's condition, making sure things are still happening at home (Chris filled in as team manager for Morgan's soccer team, a teammate's mom got Morgan to practice that week, etc.), and trying to take care of yourself as well.


Ours was a short stay in comparison to the families who deal…

Falling apart and getting old

Did you know I am falling apart? Yes, I came to that conclusion this week. I can't sleep yet think about sleep alot, too much really, and wish I could sleep more. In fact, I might have to come back to writing this post a nap. My endocrinologist thinks I have sleep apnea issues, but that's another story.

I have had one bloodshot eye for about 10 days. That's right, not both eyes but only one....and some weird flaky skin thing under my eye. And my shoulder and neck are sore constantly. Falling apart, I tell you.

When did this happen? I very distinctly remember on my 40th birthday thinking about how I didn't "feel 40" (whatever that is...), felt good, felt young. Four months later, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and everything seemed to change. Not kidding...everything, but most noticeably, physically I changed. I didn't feel as strong or invincible...still don't. I feel tired and old. Not Mema old (she's my 91-year-old grandma) but middle-aged o…

Is this really it?

Settling into cancer survivorship is a piece of cake, right? Not so much. I have had some guilt, anger, and the feeling that I will never be the same again. Bear with me...I've got to get this out of my system.

Guilt: I didn't have the kind of cancer (thyroid) that typically kills people although mine was a fairly complicated case (stage 3 with a recurrence). Plenty of great people have cancer with horrible prognoses and don't live very long. This was not me...I'm still here, thank goodness. It's the old "why me?" situation. On a lighter note, sometimes I am guilty that I really just want to sleep and do nothing most of the time if I had my choice...when not watching my kids sports, that is.
Anger: Things have dramatically changed in my life since having thyroid cancer. It's more than a surgery, a treatment, a scar. It has changed the way I live my life and the way that it just "is." OK, and the scar is really annoying too and the looks I get …

No thyroid cancer in 2011!

Happy New Year to you! I don't say it often enough, but thanks to all of you who read my blog. I hope that in your time reading it, you have found something useful or at least entertaining!

I have a truly wonderful update to start 2011: my thyroid and neck ultrasound yesterday was clear. Nothing new, and the lymph nodes that are being watched have not grown or changed. This is great news!

Part two of the great news: my blood test for thyroid cancer recurrence has been in the normal range twice in a row, a first since I was initially diagnosed back in July 2008. My endocrinologist says the consistency of the results is more important than one good result. He considers good below 2.0. I have now had a result of 0.5 twice. Wow.

Since all of this started in July 2008, I have never truly felt "free" of thyroid cancer. As of yesterday, I do! Yes, I will continue my follow up and visit with my endocrinologist. After all, I am still one of "those patients" in his practic…