I Don’t Have Cancer?!?!

Every six months I have a blood draw to check the status of my  cancer.  Once or twice a year I have a  sonogram to measure the tiny papillary thyroid tumors.

My second surgery to remove thyroid tumors was April 2009.  Doc took out two, three grew back in their place. My doctors ruled out another surgery or radioactive iodine treatment and instead increased my thyroid hormone to suppress Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) in my body.  Any thyroid cell I have would be cancerous.  If the cells are stimulated by hormone, they grow.   I’ve been hyperthyroid for four years, hoping to starve the tumors to death.

My 6 month blood draws and sonograms  have shown progress.  I blogged about Teeny Weeny Tumors in December 2012.  The tumors were smaller and not giving off thyroid antibodies.

The reality is, there are no side effects from the cancer.  The tumors live quietly, minding their own business. The side effects from the hyperthyroidism are the challenge, and  greatly increased after recently being forced to switch thyroid hormone.

I’d been on Levoxyl  for 9 years, until it was  recently recalled and won’t be available again until late 2014. Doctors and pharmacists strongly warn anybody on artificial thyroid hormone to never, ever, ever, ever switch brands.

Now I know why.

blog moments 015 (3)

I switched to Synthroid.blog moments 017 (3)

This is the paperwork that came with the new med, listing all side effects, molecular structure and warnings. Look like something you wanna’ take? Me neither. Only I have this missing thyroid gland, so need artificial thyroid hormone in my body.

My symptoms increased greatly. Night sweats, sleeplessness. I can be tired all day, but wide awake during the night. I sleep about 5 hours, on a good night up to 7. Agitation.  Jumpy.  My kids have learned over the years to make a lot of noise when they walk up behind me.

At my recent endocrinologist’s visit to discuss the results of the recent blood work I described my adjustment issues with the new hormone. In conversation I used the phrase “my cancer.”

“You don’t have cancer.”

I looked at my doc in surprise.  After all, it’s been a ten year battle. She looked at me in surprise, as if I should have known.  I tried to remember what she said at our past visit.  Pretty sure I would have remembered being told I was cancer free.

“There are no thyroid antibodies and no thyroglobulin in the blood.  I’d say your cancer is gone.”

I should have been jumping.  I should have been overcome with joy. I was stunned. I was surprised she brought it up almost as if correcting me. To be cancer-free after ten years could have been announced with cake, ice-cream balloons and banners, not an afterthought conversation.

I almost doubted the news. Besides, my past two “cancer-free” times have only lasted a few months, so I was hesitant to get too excited.

 

It took me a few days to grasp in my medicated brain this is  GOOD NEWS! It took me even longer to fully grasp that the symptoms I’d been complaining about resulted in keeping the tumors from producing antibodies. It worked.

I look at those nasty pills a little differently. Would you rather have trouble sleeping or have cancer?  Yea, me too.

But, still, I argue with myself, it could come back.  It could come back in another form of cancer.  The artificial thyroid hormone could cause  bone problems as it depletes calcium from my body or cause heart issues.  If I look forward, I can cause myself undue worry and prove I don’t trust the Lord for His future plans.

If I look backwards at the ten year journey, I can remind myself of the hardships on my body and my family and prove I don’t trust the Lord for His past plans.

So, as many of us have learned through times of trials, we neither look ahead or back, we walk in the moment and look up. We may not understand His plans, but we are always in His presence.

Isaiah 4110

 

And today, as I walk with the One who is with me, strengthens me, helps me and upholds me, I don’t have cancer!!!

 

If you would like to read about the time I found the word CANCER in the Bible, read  Do YOU Have Cancer?

The Gifts of Cancer was written after being cared for by an encouraging, caring nurse named Judy.

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26 Responses to I Don’t Have Cancer?!?!

  1. Dana Kolste July 16, 2013 at 3:47 pm #

    I hope you bought a cake on the way home from that appointment!

    • Mindy July 16, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

      No, I wasn’t smart enough to think of that. It’s never too late to celebrate though, is it?

  2. Akshita July 16, 2013 at 3:52 pm #

    Really glad for your good news!

    • Mindy July 16, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your encouragement.

  3. Jrenee July 16, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    I don’t have cancer. I do have something wrong with my thyroid that no one can seem to diagnose. A growth with no hot or cold spots…not Hashimotos so what is it? I have all the symptoms of hypothyroidism, so I’m being treated for that…barely. Still very symptomatic and yet my blood-work is normal…right. I”m happy for you and I am happy for me and yet I feel your pain….:) Bless you….

    • Mindy July 16, 2013 at 4:53 pm #

      Thank you for sharing in my joy. I understand the agony of having undiagnosed thyroid issues. it actually took several years to even get anyone to take me serious and test my thyroid. By the time I found the first lump myself, undiagnosed Hashimoto’s disease had turned into cancer. Don’t give up on seeking an answer. I’m on my fourth endocrinologist. 🙂 Blessings to you, as well.

    • Wanda July 16, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      As someone who has had thyroid cancer and my blood levels were always normal. You need a biopsy of the nodules to see if cancerous.

  4. Jan Cline July 16, 2013 at 4:05 pm #

    Okay, well, that’s weird. My daughter went through the same thing. No one told her she was cancer free. It took several years after having her thyroid removed before she “found out” she didn’t have cancer. I’m just delighted God decided to let us have you around for a long time. We are blessed!
    Jan

    • Mindy July 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm #

      I’m glad you shared about your daughter, because I was feeling like a total idiot. I no longer had cancer, I didn’t know it, and wasn’t immediately thrilled with the news. Just kinda’ confused. But NOW I feel like Anne of Green Gables, “I feel like I’ve been given the moon and don’t know what to do with it.” But, actually I have a plan for the next year…

  5. ilona July 16, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    What wonderful news – though I can understand the lag time to take it all in !!

  6. Bernie Davies July 16, 2013 at 4:50 pm #

    I am in tears and rejoicing with you. May that word of being free from the monster grow and swell and bloom in your heart each day, with each breath, with each time of holding a loved one. Many blessings on you.

    • Mindy July 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      Thank you so much! I appreciate your kind blessings.

  7. Kendra July 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm #

    Wow. Speechless…

    • Mindy July 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

      🙂 cool, huh? make ya’ believe in miracles again?

  8. Nita July 17, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    Wow! Very cool.

    • Mindy July 17, 2013 at 2:42 am #

      Yep, totally cool! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog. Wish we could see each other in person.

  9. Deborah July 17, 2013 at 1:54 am #

    That is excellent and great news to hear, :o)

    • Mindy July 17, 2013 at 2:40 am #

      Thank you so much for sharing my joy by leaving a comment. I always appreciate hearing from others.

  10. Tandis July 17, 2013 at 2:30 am #

    I’m so happy for you!! Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
    I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t gotten to read many blogs but I am so thankful that I was able to stop by here tonight. What a wonderful thing to read.
    I will try and remember to pray for your sleeping trouble!! Loves.

    • Mindy July 17, 2013 at 2:39 am #

      Thanks so much, Tandis! I appreciate your love and prayers!

  11. Janet July 17, 2013 at 3:22 am #

    I will celebrate with you in November! By the way,,, we need to decide where we are going to “disappear” to. So looking forward to spending with you!

  12. Denise July 17, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    “But, actually I have a plan for the next year” The suspense is too much! 😉 I will also bring cake with my quiche 🙂

  13. SWEET TEA July 19, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

    FANTASTIC news to be Cancer-free!!
    I know first hand abt the nasty side effects that meds can cause.
    I had medullary carcinoma (thyroid) and had my thyroid removed many years ago. I had problems with synthetic forms of thyroid meds.
    As A result was placed on Armour thyroid – which is not synthetic.
    It was the answer for me. I know everyone is different, so this is
    Just FYI. God bless, Friend!!

  14. wholeheartedhome July 21, 2013 at 1:30 am #

    This is WONDERFUL Mindy!! I have wondered a LOT!! You should be so thankful. My friend who was just short of turning 42 passed away last October from cancer and left 6 children (8-23) and her dear husband. I miss her dearly. You should jump for joy!! So should your family!! Praise the Lord!!

  15. Vanessa Goerz Brannan July 24, 2013 at 12:12 am #

    How did I miss this?? Congratulations! I know you’ve been waiting to hear this! I know it’s hard to trust blood work as definitive though– I was told I was cancer free, but I still had to do chemo “just in case”. Still, after years of having low levels showing, it must feel great to finally have the blood work show it’s gone!

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