Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thank you!

Wow! What a seemed to drag on forever! Even though it seemed so long, I have to express my thanks to all of you for your prayers and well-wishes. I was surprisingly very calm this week. Aside from a few tears last Tuesday after first talking to Dr. Cranston, I've been calm and composed. I am sure the prayers are a large part of that.

I met today with Dr. Cranston. The visit did not go as I anticipated, but who really knows what to expect when you're preparing for a visit. Dr. Cranston and I sat down to talk today about what my "options" are. He started the visit by just asking what I had to say, what I had researched, etc... I explained that I understood what the two options were (adenoma, and carcinoma), that from my reading I felt that I wanted to have the surgery, but that I had lots of questions for him. I spent the whole week researching thyroid tumors and cancer, and felt I was well prepared for my visit with him. Dr. Cranston did not really tell me anything I hadn't already read, but it was good to talk to someone in person about it, instead of just reading it. I was able to tell what I knew, and see if I truly understood what was going on. Sometimes knowledge is the most helpful when fighting your fears!

We talked a lot about the possibility of this being cancer, and the fact that we wouldn't know one way or another until the surgery happens. From talking to Dr. Cranston today, he really didn't talk at all about me NOT having surgery, so I feel like I'm making the right choice, one that he would make for himself. As it is right now, I'll have surgery Nov. 3, and will stay 2 days in the hospital. I'll be off work for at least a week, and it could be more depending on how I'm feeling. The larger part of the tumor is on the right side of my thyroid, and Dr. Cranston will take one lobe of the thyroid during the surgery. Tests will be run, and depending on what is found, I may be taken back to surgery the same day or the next day to take out more tumor/thyroid tissue. If it is cancer, I get to look forward to drinking a radioactive cocktail that will hopefully kill the rest of it.

I'm feeling good about the whole thing--like I know what is going on, and what to expect. There are some risks to surgery, but I'm going to trust that Dr. Cranston knows what he is doing.

I would appreciate your continued prayers, but I really just wanted to say THANK YOU. I have definitely felt God's peace this week. I'll keep you updated as I know more.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Prayers would be appreciated

Last year about Thanksgiving time I wasn't feeling myself--nothing really bad, but just not like myself. I felt stupid for even complaining about it, but went to the doctor anyway. During the course of the visit, we found a lump on my thyroid. I was referred to a specialist for further evaluation. The specialist (Dr. Cranston) diagnosed me with a multi nodular goiter, and increased my thyroid medication, to make up for the lack of thyroid hormone I was naturally producing. At that time the dr. did a biopsy, which came back with no cancerous cells.

I have gone back several times since then, as it is important to keep the thyroid level within certain amounts. My last visit was this last Thursday. I anticipated that it would be much like my other visits. Checked in, asked how I'm feeling, quick sonogram of the goiter, blood testing, and I'm on my way... This time was different. The goiter had changed size. Dr. Cranston took another biopsy, had me do the blood work, and then told me he'd let me know what the results were.

I've been waiting for the results all week. I called yesterday to see whether the results were back, and I ended up talking to his nurse. She told me after looking at the pathology report that the cells didn't look the way they should, but that the dr. would need to talk to me about it. She left him a note to call me. Needless to say, I was unnerved...but I told myself that I shouldn't get too worried without talking to the dr. The nurse told me that the dr. had a full schedule of patients that afternoon, that he was still in surgery, but that I could expect a call from him yesterday evening. If I did not hear from him by 11:30 this morning, I was supposed to call back. Dr. Cranston did not call me last night, nor did he call me by 11:30 this morning. At lunch time I called the dr.'s office to see what was going on. Again, he had a full load of patients, but he would call me later in the afternoon.

After another phone call on my part in the afternoon, the dr. finally called me back this evening. My thyroid levels are normal, but the cells from the biopsy are not. He wasn't able to go into anything in detail this evening, except to say that the tumor is either a follicular adenoma or follicular carcinoma. From what I've been able to research so far an adenoma is a benign tumor, while carcinoma is cancer. Dr. Cranston said that it would be up to me as to whether we would take it out, but did say that the only way to know which it was for sure was to do surgery and take it all out. He wants to meet with me and talk about it more in depth and in person instead of over the phone, so I will be going this coming Thursday for another appointment to talk about my options. Until then I'll be doing some reading, so that I can go into the meeting feeling prepared and armed with good questions.

Tonight I've swung between feelings of extreme calm and peace, level headed and prepared for whatever may come, to tears and fear of the unknown. I swing from one end of the spectrum to the other in a matter of minutes, depending on who I'm talking to or what I'm thinking about.

Tomorrow I head to school and a "normal" day. I'm going to try to act as if everything is ok, not only for my own sanity, but because my kids are very good at reading emotions and then being affected by the adults in their day. I'm going to try to be very calm for the rest of the week, and concentrate on knowing as much as I can before the next time I see Dr. Cranston. Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I go about the next week, I'm sure I will need them.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Welcome to the World

Announcing the birth of

Elijah James Hoelscher
September 6, 2008

Proud parents are: Becca and Micah Hoelscher

Becca was one of my roomies in college! Can't wait to see my new "nephew"!