Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More info about this last week

I've gotten a couple notes from people asking about my PS on the previous posting. Here's a bit more info to tell you about what has been going on this past week.

Please know that I did not tell many people, because I knew that Heidi and Tim needed to concentrate on the birth of their first child, and that this would only worry them. I did not want to risk them finding out about it, as I felt that depending on the results, this was something I wanted to talk to them in person about.

In short, I haven't been feeling well lately. Things that I felt stupid even complaining about (hair falling out, feeling run down, super dry skin even when I drink tons of water and am always covered in lotions and creams, gaining 10 lbs in less than 2 months while keeping to my diet and exercise regime, etc...), because in the big scheme of things, I don't feel terrible--just not myself. I am already on a low dosage of thyroid because my thyroid levels were borderline the last time I was at the dr. for my physical. Anyway, all of my symptoms are things that led me to believe that something wasn't right with my thyroid levels.

I scheduled an appointment in Hesston last Thursday and listed off my symptoms. I told the dr. at the time that I thought something was going on with my thyroid and she agreed. She felt my throat and discovered a nodule. At that point she told me that I could have a nodule because my thyroid was having to work so hard to get my thyroid in the "normal" range, or that it could mean that I have cancer. She got right to the point, which I am grateful for. I'm sure she is aware that I'm the type of person who would have gone home and done more research and ended up more scared, and on my own. This way I had a way of asking questions, etc... She called in another dr. who also felt my throat and agreed with her findings. They drew some blood for additional testing (these came back the next day that my thyroid level was within normal limits--this scared me further because in my research I found that that can be an indication of a malignant tumor). The 3 of us talked a bit, with them reassuring me that it was most likely benign, but that I definitely needed to get it checked out. I was worried that since I'm leaving tomorrow for Germany, that I wouldn't be able to get any further answers and would have to stew about it over Christmas break. As a favor, I think, they got me in with Dr. Cranston in Newton for a biopsy this last Monday.

Dr. Cranston was wonderful! He did a sonogram on my throat and was very good at answering all my questions. During the course of the examination he found that I had a larger mass than originally thought. He called it a multinodular goiter. He aspirated some fluid (using a 3 inch needle straight in my throat without any numbing agent! ouch!!! still hurting from that!) and sent it in for tests. I was told that he would try to get back to me either Tues. or Wed. depending on when the tests came back.

He called yesterday around 5:00 p.m. and told me that there were no cancer cells in the biopsy sample he took. He will be increasing my thyroid dosage to try to help regulate the goiter, and hopefully shrink it. I have another appointment in 3 weeks to monitor it, and test my thyroid levels again. I'm hoping that the synthetic thyroid will help, as I do not want to have surgery for removal and risk damaging my vocal chords. I know that is vain, but music is an important part of my life and identity.

I have been given a wondeful Christmas present this year--my health! (Actually, I've been given several wonderful Christmas gifts at this point!) Merry Christmas to all of you, and I hope that you will be blessed as I have been!


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Drumroll please!

Tante (aunt) Erica is happy to announce the birth of Gustav Heinrich Huber. He was born yesterday morning at 10:26 or so, and weighs in at about 9 lbs and 21 inches.

I board a plane on Thursday afternoon and head to Germany to visit the newest family member, and then maybe also visit his parents. I'm looking forward to cuddling and loving on him. He's supposed to have lots of dark hair, deep blue eyes, chubby cheeks, and dimples. Gotta love it!

Merry Christmas to all of you! Enjoy your time with your family, as I know that I will!

PS--Thanks to those of you who knew about my recent health scare, and have kept me in your prayers. I got the good news this evening that yesterday's biopsy had no cancer cells. A medication change and more frequent checkins with the dr. will hopefully get things back under control. I have been blessed several times over!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The goose is getting fat!

and me along with it!

I'm stuffed to the max with wonderful food after tonight's round of story telling with the Buller family. We had a great time gathering together to hear stories, courtesy of Pauline and Calvin; and of course we always enjoy getting together to just eat and be merry. The Christmas season has started, and with it come the many obligations that also somehow include food. Tonight is not the first gathering, nor will it be the last! Thinking about Christmas food and gatherings gets me to thinking about the other things that go along with Christmas as well.

This past week I've been playing Christmas music in my classroom, and one of the CDs that has been played the most has been John Denver and the Muppets. This was (and most likely still is) one of my favorite Christmas albums, especially the song that Miss Piggy sings "Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat! Won't you put a penny in the old man's hat. If you haven't got a penny, a half-penny will do...." I remember sitting in our home in Marion on Cedar street singing along to this song when I was little, and I remember having such a vivid image of Miss Piggy singing it to me. Now I'm sitting in a home, not far from Cedar street, listening to the same song. Sometimes life doesn't take you very far from where you began!

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, but it is also a time that I find very sad. I know that many people consider me a "Scrooge" because of my views on Santa Clause, and I also know that I've used this blog in the past to air those views, so I won't put you all through that again! Instead, I'll just say that I urge you all to remember the real reason we celebrate this season.

This season should be about celebration, celebrating the birth of a small baby that was born to save us. Luke writes a story that could be (and has at this point) made into a movie. Luke doesn't write of Jesus' family tree---line after line of names (an especially long version of the Mennonite game!), instead the chapters read more like a script for a musical complete with lots of catchy songs and dance. I know I'm probably interpreting things differently because of the many church Christmas plays I've been in, not to mention the 6+ singings of the Messiah and the many rounds of Christmas carols I've sung. Music is a vital part of my personal Christmas celebration, but if you look to the story in Luke, I think that it also fits with Luke's version as well. If you look at the story, you will read of angel visits, a barren woman who is with child, a mute who can suddenly speak, a virgin birth, and shepherds visiting after being serenaded by angel song. All of these could be captivating reads entirely on their own, but when put together it should be a showstopper! With Luke's words, we should feel the spirit of "great joy" the angel predicted and certainly a spirit of CELEBRATION!

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." Luke 2:10