I started my radioactive iodine treatment this week.
This is the box my treatment came in. Yeah it's not joke.
And this is the tiny little pill in a tiny little vile that came in that box.
So now I'm in isolation in my grandma's basement waiting for my body to stop emitting radiation.
Yes I told myself that after being diognosed. And yes it's true. Thyroid cancer is highly treatable and has a huge survival rate.
I just want to go on record that the best cancer to have is a major pain and not so great at all.
I had my 2nd surgery on Monday. My surgeon is amazing and did a great job. I'm home now and healing. The future treatments are not fun to think about and the daily management of my thyroid is gonna be a ride.
I'm ready to be done with cancer.
We have been wanting to take Belle to the theater for a while now but there hasn't been any movies we could show her.
We finally took her to see Bears. It's a Disney Nature movie. It's a documentary following a mama and her 2 baby cubs for a year. The narration made it very entertaining. It's only an hour long and Belle did great.
Before my surgery I made a bunch of freezer meals so I wouldn't have to cook. Well of course my friends and ward are amazing and brought meals every day so we didn't use our freezer meals.... until now.
Let me start by saying Andrew is very easy to cook for. And very rewarding to cook for. He's honest in his feedback but generally likes everything. I am generally a good cook. I'm not amazing but I can follow a recipe and have a few specialties of my own.
One of the freezer meals I made was Orange Chicken. The recipe was basically BBQ sauce, orange marmalade, soy sauce and some chicken breasts. Super easy. Put it all in a freezer bag, thaw the night before and put it in the crock-pot the next morning. Serve with rice.
It was not good. It was just gross. Andrew ate a couple bites and then asked if I'd be offended if he didn't eat it. Haha!
He has never not eaten a dinner I've made. My track record is pretty great though. In the last 4 years this is the first dinner he hasn't liked. I'm ok with that.
For months Belle has been asking to go to preschool. I'm kind of anti-preschool. We very likely will home-school her anyway. I feel confident that I can teach her numbers, letters, shapes and colors. But since she has been asking so much, we decided to think about it more. There is a mom a few houses up the street from us who is a certified teacher and so is her mom. They run the school out of her basement. We went to go check it out for next fall maybe. Belle loved being there. When we left she was sad and said to me, "You were supposed to drop me off!"
So I talked to the teacher. She has an opening right now. Belle is 3, but just barely. So she is by far the youngest in the class. But we started her last month and she is loving it. She just goes 2 days a week for a couple hours.
On the first day, I wanted to take her picture. I said, "Stand here. I want to take your picture." She said, "Just take a picture of my backpack."
Then I said, "Turn around. I want to take a picture of you." So she did this cute little winking face.
I said, "Ok that was cute, but now just stand there and smile." And she did this.
She would not just stand still for a picture. But I absolutely love this little photo-shoot we got from her spunky little self.
I am loving having a couple hours a week alone. And she is getting more independent and making friends. I am now a fan of preschool.
Sometime around November I felt a lump in my throat. I didn't think much of it because throats are lumpy places in general. I also figured it could be a gland or something swollen. I decided to just keep an eye on it.
In January it was still there. I went to my primary care doctor. He measured it and ordered an ultrasound.
At the ultrasound I learned that it was over 3 cm. I also learned there was a 2nd lump on the other side of my throat. This one was only 1 cm. I was also told that the lumps were solid - so no chance they were just a syst or something. After hearing these results my doctor referred me to an endocrinologist.
The endocrinologist did a biopsy. And from that we learned the cells were abnormal but couldn't be confirmed cancer without seeing the whole thing. My biopsy report said, "this is a diognostically challenging case."
They told me there was a 20% chance it was cancer and referred me to a head and neck surgeon, an ENT oncologist, at The Huntsman Cancer Institute.
Because of everything in my case we decided to remove just half my thyroid. The half with the big tumor on it. The hope was that it wouldn't be cancer and I could keep half of my thyoid and hopefully not end up on thyroid medicine for the rest of my life.
I had that surgery and I recovered quickly. But the results came back and I do have cancer.
It's amazing that no matter how prepared you are to hear something, actually hearing it is way harder. I was completely prepared to hear, "you have cancer and need a second surgery." But when I actually heard that... It knocks the wind out of you a bit. And you cry the whole way home.
So now we will be removing the other half of my thyroid and the smaller tumor.
Hearing people say they are praying for me is so uplifting. I know that faith is a strong power. So having many people use their faith for me makes me feel so blessed.
The future is bright. There is a small storm cloud here now. But there is sunshine in my soul.
Yup... I have cancer. Thyroid cancer. It is not fun. But it is the most treatable cancer and has the highest survival rate. So the prognosis is great but it is still not fun.
I will have another surgery this month and then we will see about further treatment.
We have been so blessed. So many people have brought dinners and visited. My mom has been amazing with Belle. It means so much to hear people say they are thinking of me and praying for me.
I know this is part of Heavenly Father's plan. I know it will all be alright.
The surgery on Monday went great. They removed the tumor and half of my thyroid. The tumor hadn't spread anywhere else. So that's good news.
Just before going into surgery, right when they gave me the start of the anesthesia, they started to wheel me down the hall way and Andrew had to go, I sang out to him, "Goooood-byyyyyyye!" I don't remember that at all. I do remember when they first gave me that first little bit, I felt so good. I even said, "Wow this feels amazing!"
About 5 hours after surgery, my hands and feet started to get all tingly and numb. Then it quickly spread to my whole body. I was totally paralyzed and all my muscles were completely seized up for almost 30 minutes. It was so scary. I couldn't move or talk. My body felt like it was going to rip itself apart because the muscles were so tight. They still don't know what happened. They suspect a reaction to the anesthesia or something. Also it turns out, I'm allergic to loritab.
But I got to come home the next day. I've been napping and napping and then waking up and then napping again. Today is the first day that I feel mentally and physically energized. But I'm in more pain today than I have been in a few days. Also, I get very nauseous anytime I move around. So I am still laying low.
I will spare you the pictures.
We have been so blessed. My mom has been here with Belle everyday this week. We have had meals brought in every night. We've gotten flowers and visitors.
I should hear the pathology report sometime next week. Hopefully it's not cancer - just "abnormal". Then we can decide what we are going to do about the smaller tumor on the other side.