Teeny-Weeny Tumors

 

There are squatters in my body, three tiny thyroid tumors that have been trying to stake a claim for three years.

I refuse to give up any more territory. They took my thyroid, a few dozen lymph nodes,  my strength, my stamina and a few years that remain a blur.  They can’t have anything else.

Every six months, I  go in for blood work. (If ya’ wanna brief history, you can read here.This is my third round of cancer.)

Every six months, it takes so long for the doc to call me back, it’s almost time for the next round of testing.  I keep telling myself “no news is good news,” but it can be just a little frustrating.

I look normal.  Most people forget what lurks, but I can’t always forget.  One of my endocrinologists told me that when he first started in practice, they weren’t concerned themselves with tumors under 5cm.  Now, thyroid tumors are tiny, tenacious and invasive, as I’ve learned.  As soon as we cut out a few tiny tumors, more grow. So, we quit cutting and started starving them by increasing the thyroid medication.

Because if they grow, they can spread through the blood vessels to the lungs, liver or bones.

But, living in a constant hyperthyroid state isn’t easy, but the key word there is living. I’ve lost so many friends to cancer, I feel guilty even mentioning my symptoms.

Summer 2012 185

In August I had my sonogram. It’s always a little nerve wracking, because I know the results, if I ever get them,  can be life changing. After the tests, the technician leaves the room for a consult with a doctor. I stare at the door and wait for her to return.  If it’s bad news, we do more tests.  If it’s good news, I go home.  She can’t me the whole news.

Summer 2012 187

I wipe all the gooey sonogram jelly off my neck, then stare at the ceiling.

And I pray.

Summer 2012 186

They put this pic on the wall to entertain patients.  I stare at is and long to straighten it out.  The little warping action was bugging me.  Nope, thyroid cancer doesn’t cure OCD, but it definitely knocks it down a few notches.

Christmas 117

The results are finally in.  The little sticker is 1 cm, to give you a visual. 

The black dot in the middle is the size of the tumors in 2009 and 2010, .5cm.

The black dot on the far right is the size of the tumor in November 2011 AND November 2012.

Yep, a teensy-weensy tinier.

That no news was good news.  Tumors had NOT grown and there were NO thyroid antibodies in the blood.

Doc says if I have another clear year, we can take my thyroid medication down a notch.

In other words, a year from now, I might be able to sleep through the night more than once or twice a week. 

Someone might be able to drop a book without sending me to the ceiling.

I might be able to eat dinner and not feel hunger pains at 2am.

If I look to the future agonizing over the potential spread of the cancer, I live in fear.  If I look to the future with false confidence that the tumors will go away, I could experience faith-shaking disappointment.

So, I live in the day.

And today, the tumors are a teensy-weensy tinier.

 

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27 Responses to Teeny-Weeny Tumors

  1. Maureen Lytle December 3, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

    • Teresa Schurter December 3, 2012 at 11:21 pm #

      Every day with even the little-est move to the good is a good day. Don’t get discouraged if it changes back again in a few months, just be thankful for the few positive months you’ve had & use them to make the greatest influence for the Glory of God in your family & in your own life. I know how easy that is to say & how incredibly hard it is to do, so I’ll keep you in my prayers every day that you can accomplish it in even the smallest way..

  2. Momma Mindy December 3, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

    Amen!
    We’re definately thankful!

  3. Lisa December 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm #

    Rejoicing with you, my friend! God id good! 🙂

    • Momma Mindy December 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm #

      And as I am daily being reminded, He is good ALL the time. Thanks for sharing my joy and leaving an encouraging comment.

  4. Connie Mace December 3, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Thankful with you for this moment…that’s really all any of us have. Hugs

    • Momma Mindy December 10, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      You are SO right, Connie, and it’s sad it took Cancer to preach this to my life.

  5. Kathleen Freeman December 3, 2012 at 9:26 pm #

    So glad for you! Praising God!!!

    • Momma Mindy December 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      Thank you, my friend, my neighbor and my encourager!

  6. Janet December 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    tears of joy for you today!

    • Momma Mindy December 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

      Thanks, dear friend! Missing you much these days.

  7. bunkodebt Tea December 3, 2012 at 11:58 pm #

    Mindy, that’s WONDERFUL news !!!
    I rejoice with you!!
    Glad this round of tests is over and you can settle back and enjoy the holidays now.
    I must remind you that I am also a thyroid cancer survivor,
    so I totally understand the emotions that lurk within.

    • Momma Mindy December 4, 2012 at 5:48 am #

      Thanks for reminding me, I knew we had a lot in common, I just couldn’t remember…aah…yes…..levoxyl brain!

  8. mitzicuri December 4, 2012 at 12:16 am #

    I had no idea you were dealing with such a serious condition! I’m so glad to hear that you got some good news, and I hope and pray it continues to improve!

    • Momma Mindy December 10, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

      Thanks Mitzi, I appreciate your kind concern.

  9. Joanna Pearson December 4, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    I’ll be praying for you! Glad for the good news!

    • Momma Mindy December 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

      Thank you, Joanna. Prayers are what has brought me this far! Right after cancer returned for the second time, I sat and counted how many assemblies were praying for me, how many people were in each fellowship, how many prayer chains i was on, etc. It came to a number over 2,000. It totally blew me away! I’m so thankful for the Lord’s people to help carry a part of the burden with me.

  10. Jan Cline December 4, 2012 at 12:51 am #

    This makes my day, week, month year! We all rejoice in God’s tender mercies. Sending hugs of joy to you! (got your pkg – thanks)

    • Momma Mindy December 4, 2012 at 1:05 am #

      Glad package arrived, could only fit in 16, owe you 4, so will bring with. Wanted to make sure you had some on hand….just in case…

      Thanks for the hugs!

  11. Lindy Chick December 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    You may have to educate us, and this puts it in a scary perspective for me. Ted has a 3cm tumor on his thyroid, as of yesterday the pathology report was inconclusive, good news, I guess. But, because of the large size they are thinking it needs to be removed regardless. However, that has to be put on hold because of his recent heart surgery. He may have to give you a call sometime. All in the Lords time and in His plan. Lindy Chick

    • Momma Mindy December 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm #

      Lindy, I am SO sorry to hear this! My pathology was always inconclusive during bios, they said they had to do surgery, then dissect the tumor right then while I was open, to get an accurate diagnosis. The GREAT news is, thyroid cancer is a very slow growing cancer. I’ve had these tumors riding around for three years. I couldn’t have surgery because I also had just had a surgery. It’s a mental and spiritual battle, knowing you have “something” that you can’t do “anything” about medically. If there is only one tumor found, it hasn’t metasticized, so that puts you in an even better situation for waiting. My docs are suppressing the TSH with a higher dose of levoxyl. Thyroid stimulating hormone. Since my thyroid is cancerous, if any remaining cells are stimulated, they will grow. Am definately praying for your dear family, Lindy! Would love a call, anytime. Love to you all!

  12. momstheword2008 December 5, 2012 at 7:21 am #

    Yay! Praising the Lord with you! It’s so true about those phone calls. We’ve been through it with my brother. It would take weeks and weeks to hear from the doctor, and all the while my brother and the family were waiting on pins and needles!

    It’s amazing how they keep coming out with new meds, etc. I told you about my brother and the medicine that has supposedly (since we haven’t heard “for sure” from the doctor) that has placed him back into remission was not available five years ago when they diagnosed him as terminal. Now that medicine is a game changer for him and totally changed his terminal diagnosis. BTW, I think we’d ALL be better off if we took it one day at a time, just like our Lord told us to, lol!

    • Momma Mindy December 10, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      So thankful for the good news with your brother’s cancer and the new med. Will continue to pray and thank the Lord because He is SO good!

  13. Nita December 10, 2012 at 12:07 am #

    Thank you for sharing this personal information. I’m glad to hear the no news. Love you!

    • Momma Mindy December 10, 2012 at 2:30 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, wish it were in person over a cup of coffee. The other day Beka and I were crafting and she said, “Mom, I really miss doing stuff with Aunt Nita.” I wanted her to knit a tiny scarf for Pa Ingalls (a 9 inch doll) because that is what he got for Christmas in On the Banks of Plum Creek, but she said she couldn’t remember how to start or finish. Guess we need a few more knitting lessons!

  14. jeannegrantwebb December 11, 2012 at 11:40 am #

    What lovely news! Just before Christmas too. Yay!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. I Don’t Have Cancer?!?! | Momma Mindy's Moments - July 16, 2013

    […] 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 […]

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