Saturday, October 23, 2010

Coming to Terms With It...

On August 14th as I was sitting at my computer and I randomly had my hand on my neck and noticed a bump above my collar bone. I immediately called Frank and told him to feel it which he replied, "I do not need to feel it, I can see it." I went to the Doctor and he referred me to the local hospital for some testing. After and ultrasound, I was referred for a biopsy. I had six fine needle biopsies on a thyroid nodule and it came back inconclusive. My doctor assured me it was probably nothing but referred me to my mom and mother in laws cancer surgeon here. My heart dropped. We went and met with him and although we love this man we decided to start the referral process with MD Anderson. We felt a second opinion would be good and if there was even a possibility it was cancer. MDA seems to be renowned as one of the greatest treatment centers around. And It's basically in my backyard. I was lucky to get in fairly quickly and after many appointments was scheduled for surgery.

On October 6th, I woke up from surgery asking the nurse, "Did you take all of my thyroid or just half." You see I knew if it was just half that it was benign. He said, "We took it all. But we got ALL of the cancer out." Meanwhile my family and friends were being told the news by my doctor in the waiting area. I had papillary thyroid cancer. I remember Frank coming and hugging me and we both just cried. He thought he was coming to break the news but it was obvious upon seeing me, I had already been told. After almost two months of wondering and hoping for the best, my worries and fears had come true.

I came home and it wasn't too bad of a recovery physically besides the allergic reaction that I had to the steri strips that were on my neck and the lovely drain. But after removing the drain and the rash that is still slowly going away, recovery hasn't been too bad. Until this week anyway. I am not on any thyroid replacement hormones yet so my energy is zapped as I go into complete hypothyroid. I have been doing weekly blood drawls on Sundays down there and have been on a lovely iodine free diet (No dairy, soy, iodized salt, sea products etc.). This past Monday night I got a call from my endocrinologist oncologist who said my levels were rising rapidly and she thought we could go for treatment this week.

So I go again tomorrow for a bunch of pre-treatment tests and to double check and make sure my levels are a go. And assuming they are, Monday I will go for my first dose of Radioactive Iodine Treatment (RAI). Tuesday I will have a full body scan to see if it is anywhere else in my body and Wednesday I will meet with my doctor to go over the scan and see if a second dose is needed. Most likely it will be as it had gone to 4 of my lymph nodes as well that were taken out during surgery. And there will probably be some speckles of it in my neck but we are hoping no where else. Depending on the dose, I will be isolated from kids 7 and under for 7-10 days if I have to do the second treatment.

As many of you know, I am a worrier by nature. My biggest sin. I think it was no coincidence that the first bible verse I ever memorized was Phil 4:6, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all He has done." Although I told very few people until the few days before my surgery, the few that did know and now know have been sending me great verses and words of encouragement. And my list of bible verses that I mediate on daily are growing. And most days they give me an enormous amount of peace.

I have been keeping an online journal and have thought many times to share it on here, I just really never knew or had the right words to say to admit and introduce it. Accepting the fact that I have cancer has been a hard one to swallow.

On a bright note, my doctors have been amazing. And my prognosis is good. I am so impressed with MD Anderson and how it is run. And I feel like I am in REALLY good hands. My surgeon was amazing, really the many multiple doctors that I have seen, countless nurses I have come across, I just can't say enough about them. I don't just have one doctor, I have a team of them. Even the little Valet lady who remembers me every day when I get out of the car who tells me, "Every day will get better." I think the place is incredibly run with brilliant doctors. Although, I am hoping after this week, I will be done visiting so frequently. As Frank and I often say, the place is AMAZING, we just wish we didn't know first hand how great of a place it is.

I am hopeful that after this first round of treatment I will be put on synthroid to start regulating me and getting me out of hypothyroid. I am so exhausted right now. I try to get out of bed, but it really is getting harder and harder. I was in bed until 4 today when I finally mustered the energy to go out and take the kids to the pumpkin patch with Frank. Something I really wanted to do as I know I will probably miss Halloween next weekend. And I want to spend all the time that I feel well with them that I can right now.

I still haven't found the right words to say to my kids. They know I went to the doctor and go a lot and that I had a boo-boo in my neck. I have told them that I am going to be really tired for awhile but then I will get better. But we have not mentioned the "C" word at all.

Someday maybe I will put more of the details of this experience and the roller coaster of the last two months. But right now, I just figured a brief synopsis was good. I thank you all who have been giving me endless support, endless help, and encouragement. I have been overwhelmed with the love I have felt from so many of you. All the emails, texts, cards, food, flowers, cookies, baskets, and especially my mother in law and mom for helping with the kiddos. And Traci for forcing me out of the house and driving me places so I can feel normal even if just for an hour or so. I love you all and will never forget how you have all helped me get through this time.

And of course my husband, who has been BEYOND amazing. I definitely don't know how I would make it through this without you. And I still don't know how you do all that you do. But I thank you for doing it. For dealing with all my emotions and for taking AMAZING care of me, the kids, and working at night and any other chance you get to keep our home going. I love you.

Like my brother told me, something good has got to come from this. I already know one thing...when I do feel good again...I do NOT want to take ONE SINGLE DAY for granted. Our health is precious. And wasting a day that I feel good, would just be that- A WASTE.

Please pray for me and our family this week. Pray that I do well with the treatment and that my scans are clean. And pray for my kiddos (and me) if I have to be away from them. I know this is just a blip in the road and I will be back to my old self soon. Hopefully sooner rather than later!!

So, now it's out there. It has been a little weird blogging the last few months when really what has been going on has been so much bigger. But denial is one of the ways I deal with things...until I can't deny them anymore.

Please keep us all in your prayers this week!!


Frank Morgan said...

Thank you so much for sharing the news with me. I can tell by your post you are surrounded by love and support. However, I sure hope that your lazy, no good husband is at least helping you out a little bit. If not, you should replace him, you could do better! Prayers are with you.

Courtney said...

I've been thinking of you so often. Wish we were closer so I could help you. You'll get through this! You're all in my prayers. xoxo.

Kristyn said...

Thanks for letting me know about this. I know we don't talk much or hang out a lot, but you are special to me. I do treasure our friendship. You always inspire me to be a better person and a better mom. I'm sure this is tough, but you have LOTS of people around you who love and care for you. You also have a HUGE God who treasures you. You are absolutely in my prayers!! Love ya girl.

Emily said...

We love you so much and are continually praying for you! I am so glad that you have such a great support system here and are loved by so many people. And I know your faith will carry you through this!!

amanda said...

lacey, you were such a HUGE source of strength and encouragement for me when we were going through my health scare with wally. words can not express the blessing you were to us. please know you are in our thoughts and prayers and that we (along with so many others, i'm sure) are here for whatever you may need. but the prayers won't stop. :) and it may sound odd, but i'm going to put it out there anyway...i had such a peaceful sense of hope when i was done reading your post. you are a strong lady, mrs. lacey. and you WILL beat this. and in the meantime, lean, lean, lean...we are here whatever you may need. much, much love to you and your sweet family!

parsonsfamily said...

Lacey, you have been on my mind so much in the last week. You are amazingly strong and God has surrounded you with equally strong people to lift you up when you need it the most. I am praying for you, Frank, and the kids this week, for peace, continued strength, and clean scans. Thank you for sharing this with are a huge inspiration. Miss you.

Our Life Together said...

You have been on my mind more than you know and will continue to be in my prayers. Please let me know if there is anything we can do to help out. Anything!!! Love you.

stacy said...

On Aug 14th I never imagined you would be going down this road. My heart hurts for you constantly, but you are one tough Mama and I know you will get through this. I love you Lace.

Amy said...

Praying for you, your family, and the wisdom for the doctors. I know that everything will be just fine...God is on your side! Please do not be afraid to ask for help, your friends are always here for you. We love you.

britt said...

sending many prayers & positive thoughts your way. amanda said it really well...i finished reading with a peaceful sense of hope too. please know we are here if you need anything (and i mean that...meals, playing with your kiddos, walking your dog...anything!).

Lisa said...

I am so sorry to hear about everything you and your family have been going through. It must have been very scary. I will be thinking about you and praying for you and your family. You are a strong person and please continue to have faith to get through this!

Urs said...

Lace, I'm so sorry! :( Reading this entry made me sick.
I know you will get through this and I will be praying for you each day along the way until you get there.
Thank you for being so candid with us. I know it must have been hard.
Thinking of you tons!

MKHKKH said...

Hey tough mama,
You are so strong. I know you are in the valley but not for long. Lots of love and prayers from Denver. Praying hard for just one dose. luvs.

Lisa W said...

I am so sorry to hear about everything you and your family have been going through. I will be praying for you and your family. You will conquer this! Stay Strong! XOXO

Borsika - Raymond - Benjamin - Kamilla Herr said...

Lacey - I have been following your blog for the past couple of years and I am always amazed by the beautiful life you have and your really fantastic family. My heart goes out for you and your family in these difficult times!! I have no doubt that you will get through this and that you will be back to your normal life!! I will be praying for this!!
Warmest wishes - Borsika from Denver

ashley said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I can't imagine the emotional roller coaster you've been going through over the last two months. It breaks my heart to read that you are having to go through this journey. MD Andersen is the best place to be even though you'd rather not have to go there at all. Praying for complete healing! I will also be praying for you as you go for treatments! Please let me know if you need anything! You were so sweet & encouraging to me when I was going through my miscarriages, it meant a lot to me. Know that you are surrounded by family & friends who love you & your precious family so much & you are covered in prayer!

Allison said...

You are so brave Lacey!! I have been thinking of you so much since our visit and am amazed by how cheerful you were, your spirit is amazing!! You shine in every situation!! Prayin for you!!

Jen said...

Lacey, Your quiet strength shines through in your words. It's hard to imagine what you have been through these last few months. I am praying for you and your family! Your faith and positive attitude are humbling. Hope you heal quickly and are feeling like your self sooner than expected.

ChrissyK said...

Thank you for being open and sharing something so private with us. You are an amazing lady and I admire you. Love ya & you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers often. Please, let me know if I can help in any way.

ChrissyK said...

Thank you for being open and sharing something so private with us. You are an amazing lady and I admire you. Love ya & you and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers often. Please, let me know if I can help in any way.

tayton said...

I am so proud of you. I love you and your family so much. I cannot wait to celebrate the end of this journey and get my bubbly Lacey back!

Kelly said...

You are always in our prayers girl! I am glad you did this blog entry so now even more loving friends can pray for you. You are such an amazing person and I am inspired always by you to be a better mother and friend. Love you lots and please let me know how we can help out.

The Guess Family said...

Oh Lacey! My heart is breaking for you. I read your post through tears. Your strength and courage is amazing. I am praying for you and your family. For health and for bravery. I pray we see lots of good news on here soon. :)

Tanni said...

Lacey---sweet soul you are. You are being prayed for more than you even know. About 2 years ago, one of my dearest friends was diagnosed with colon cancer. The magnitude of her strength was undeniable----it was God in her, protecting her and being her mighty fortress. I have no doubt that he will be the same for you. He is your strength and when you get scared and anxious---remember that He has gone before you and knows what you face.

I literally have a pile of post-its with scripture that I have set aside for you over the past week or so. I will email them to you, but I will leave you with this one.

Psalm 46:1
God is our refuge and strength, and ever present help in trouble.

Praying for God's presence to be a place of rest for you. I know you have a close network of friends, but please know that I would help in anyway I can.

Much Love,

Eva Morgan said...

Dearest Lacey -
All I can say is that I am so sorry you are going through this. I love you and I know your strength and you will come out the other side healthy and happy.
You are blessed with a terrific hubby and three wonderful kiddos and family and friends who support and love you.
Look to your faith, family and friends my dear Lacey and you will be fine.
Love you,

Mom- Me :)