Five. That’s how many days I have left before I check in and have my neck sliced on again. To say that I am anxious and overwhelmed is a bit of an understatement, really. I don’t know what to expect this time. There will be at least two – likely three incisions this time. Two on the left and one on the right. I’ll come home with drainage tubes in place again, which is a real pain. But at least it will be done…and I’m so ready to get it over with. After it’s done, I’ll have confirmation as to whether those two nodes in the retropharyngeal area are really thyroid cancer or something else all together. It will be a relief to know for sure what is there. Once it’s done, I’ll know how much nerve damage I’m dealing with and what that will look like for the future as well.
I’ve tried many times over the last few weeks to post here, but I just didn’t have words really. I still don’t. I think I haven’t been as positive as I was at one point and just couldn’t find the strength to pretend like I was. I’m still a little ticked off and sad that I have to do this….but it’s getting better because I guess I’m starting to get into the acceptance phase of what’s happening… I feel like the days are creeping by at a snails pace and all the while the anxiety just grows and grows. I’ve been emotional and so overwhelmed – which is normal I know, but I’m not used to it being like this.
For the last three times I’ve had a recurrence of this disease, I knew exactly what to expect and what will happen and in what order things would happen. This time, it’s the unknown that bothers me I guess. I have what seems like a pretty long road ahead of me. Once this surgery is over and I heal a little, I’ll have to deal with the dental stuff, heal from that and then I’ll move on to weeks and weeks of radiation every day. I’m trying to focus on the last day and ringing that bell and getting on with my life.
My doctors have mentioned what may come next if this doesn’t work – but I’m counting on this to end my relationship with this cancer. And if you know me very well, you know that when I say I’m done, I’M DONE. I’m SO OVER dealing with cancer. We talked about immunotherapy and a couple of drugs approved by the FDA to treat metastatic thyroid cancer, and I pretty much just said I won’t be needing those….maybe because I didn’t want to hear it or maybe because I can’t be bothered with looking that far ahead at this point….But I think surgery and radiation will do what it’s supposed to do and kill those cancer cells lurking throughout my neck so that I can get on with my life. I’ve got stuff to do and summer is coming and I have to be well enough to spend some time in my happy place this year….A LOT more than I have in the last couple of years. THIS is my goal. I keep the picture in my mind of sitting on the beach, watching a beautiful sunrise, feeling the warm sun on my skin, smelling the salt air and hearing the sound of the surf. It just doesn’t get any better than that to me. It’s where I feel closest to God. For some people, that’s on a mountain top, but for me, it’s always been sitting beside the ocean.
I also want you all to know how much I appreciate all your well wishes, texts, cards, phone calls, gifts and mainly your prayers for me! It really helps when you have that support from so many. Some of you know exactly where I am right now, because you’ve been there – or you are there in the middle of it right now….and some of you don’t, but you make me feel cared for and loved and I really am blessed with some of the best friends and family in the world.
Please pray for me this week and for this anxiety to subside….and pray for my physical well being – that I will stay well so there will be no delays in surgery. Pray for the fatigue – which has gotten quite a bit worse in the last couple of weeks… enough so, that I spend my lunch hour napping every day now so that I can make it through the afternoon. I am hoping that will all get much better after we get this surgery over with, although I know it will take some time. Pray for my pain to ease….I have pain and swelling in my neck and left jaw (there is cancer in my parotid gland) and I’ve had an earache since August, when I had the biopsy on the left. Any of you that live with chronic pain know what a struggle it is everyday.
Lastly, and most importantly, pray for my surgeon’s hands….that God will guide this skilled surgeon to remove this cancer with as little nerve damage as possible and that there will be no surprises once he gets a good look at what’s there. I am very confident in his ability as a surgeon and I know I’m in good hands – and I know that God had a hand in making sure he was the one to do this surgery for me and help me get better.
Thank you in advance for all your thoughts and prayers. Friday is coming and I’m just ready to be done with it and move on to the next step in my healing. I’ll be in touch again when recovery allows and until then, know how much your prayers mean to me and how much I love you all for your continued support.