Thursday, December 24, 2009

Whole body scan

I had my scan today and it was reletively uneventful. Aside from the fact that it was really quiet at the hospital (being Christmas Eve and all!), I had no lines and no wait. It took over an hour but I should have the results soon.

More waiting (which if you don't know me- I detest more than anything)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Radiation - Round One

Friday I went in for my RAI (radiation) treatment. Once the Nuclear Medicine came, my family was asked to leave. I was given a pile of garbage bags and some signs that I would use as a makeshift sorting system for discarding waste in a safe manner. She quickly explained to me how to use the system. She explained theat I might feel quite ill, but encouraged me NOT to throw up if I could avoid it. Vomiting would result in a top up dose of radiation. Then I was brought a cast iron pot containing radioactive pills to swallow. My dose was 200mci (relatively high). As soon as I swallowed it they left, sealing me in my room alone for the duration of my isolation. Mostly I felt very ill as I was warned. I tried to sleep through it as much as I could.

My meals consisted of:

Roast Beef slices, a fruit (only apples or bananas)rice cakes, horrible fruity juices, and black coffee.

This was what was brought to me for 3 meals a day for al lthe days I was there. After it was actually brought to me for BREAKFAST of day two I started declining the meal trays with one exception, the fruit. Fruit was the only thing I could stomach and only small bites of them. I now have a huge aversion to roast beef.

My room was like a fishbowl. People were constantly looking in at me to see what my room was on lockdown with radioactivity signs plastered to the window. My view was of the hospitals bleak roof, not a person could be seen from it. That was hard because I am, by nature, a people watcher.

WHile I asked for friends and family to call me to keep me from getting lonely, I didn't hear from many of the people I expected to hear from and that was disappointing, but the people who did call were willing to spend lots of time talking with me and encouraging me to stay positive.

I watched TV and read a bit, but I lacked the focus to commit to anything that require real attention. In an effort to ensure my release from the hospital ASAP I really stuck with drinking the water and eating the sour candies. Monday morning the Nuc Med team came back and took my readings- finally I was good to go home.

It was a horrible experience and I pray I don't have to do it again.

My Christmas spirit is still MIA......

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today Part 2 - Look Good Feel Better

Once Jen and I we done with the appointment at PMH it was getting late and I still had to get to Wellspring to meet up with Shanny for the Look Good Feel Better workshop I was enrolled in. We stopped so I could treat her to a quick bite, then we were on the road again!

I met Shanny at Wellspring and we got started with the workshop. There were women of all ages and colours at the works shops and while breast cancer was prevelent among us there was an aray of cancers within the group. I was the youngest and the oldest lady was 68. We were all there to learn how we can look our best while going through cancer treatments, many women had no hair and were learning about caring for and wearing wigs. Some of us had major skin/hair changes since starting treatments, and I was the only one with a visable scar, though some had scarscovered by clothing.

My franken thoat was unique among the group because I was the only one battling thyroid cancer. I felt inferior even amoung people like me. Why? Because there is still this stupid stereotype that thyroid cancer is "the good kind". 2 women said that to me  tonight. I always politely respond by saying "well in my opinion here  is no "good kind" of cancer",  then I just leave it at that. It seems to do the job.

We each got a big box full of cosmetics, lotions, cleansers, toners, and much more. They explained the changes in our skin and went further to explain the types of products to avoid based on our specific type of treatment.

Very informative, and fun. Best of all I walk out of there looking (and feeling) like $1 000 000.00

If any readers have or know someone with cancer please tell them about his program, it's FREE!

Today Part 1 - PMH

Today was a very very long day. It began with Jen picking me up, and off we went to PRincess Magaret for my long awauted appointment with my new oncologist.

There was very little wait and we were in the office to see Dr. Brierley. Actually we never did see HIM. We did however see his team which began with a lovely french Dr (can't remember her name now) and She talked with us (me mostly) and collected some info, then the rest of the team came in, including Dr. Tsang who it seems will  be in charge of my "case". The appointment was much like you see on the show "House". Where you see the team, but rarely have contact with the Doc at the top. Although they did reasure me he reads allthe info and makes the final decision based on his teams info.

Dr.s Tsang was really confident that I should proceed with my RAI that is already scheduled at OTMH, no need to push it back just to do it at PMH. (Drat..) ANyway, he was also very confident that while clearly I need a new surgical oncologist, my endo is right on track. Good news on both counts. If I require more surgery he'll refer me to a surgical oncologist that is part of the Brierley team.

Oh, and as for that pesky second type of cancer I have been stressing out over and hounding my Surgeon about? Well turns out it was never a "second kind of cancer". The confusion stemmed from a term that the pathologist used. "Adenocarcinoma" they generally don't use that term, and even PMH had to question it, but basically he wxplained that it means cancer originating in a gland. I was feeling skeptical and I think he could sense that, so he went on to further explain that because it confused them too they had the pathologist at PMH (one of the world's leading pathologists I might add!) request to view the actual slides containing my original cells for a second opinion. She agrees no second cancer was found.

All the worry for nothing. Jen and I were elated. It was terrific news, although it just reafirmed my distrust in my surgeon. She's fired....

They finished off my appointment by telling me things were looking good and they expect the RAI to do what it needs to to finish off this cancer for good, and have the first of many clean scans.

Hoping to be cancer free by this time next year!!! Whoo Hoo!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Pissed off actually... My Dr seems to be avoiding me. Radiation is fast approching and I keep getting either blown off or the run around. NOW they won't even call me back. I think it's time I call the ombudsman to discuss my options. Surely she should know more about this new kind of cancer right? At least I have an appointment coming up a PMH- THEY will be able to tell me what it is...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cancer's Shockwave

I can't help but notice my life is changing. I can't say it's for the better or for the worse since I am not at the end of this journey yet. Cancer doesn't just affect the person who has it, but a huge circle of people around them. Cancer has a huge shockwave that begins with the person diagnosed being "ground zero".

*My family and close friends live with a tremendouns amount of fear and worry in their hearts and minds. I know this to be true. I see it in their eyes and sometime even hear it in their words. Though they try to be strong for me I know they have moments where they think I might die. I have thought of this often and it makes me so sad. A good friend of mine (Jen) told me one evening over coffee with the girls that it NEVER entered her mind that I might die. Those words from anyone else would seem like a lie. Part of an agenda to make me feel better. However, from her those words resonate sincerity. I know she's been through dealing with cancer with another friend she is still close with. It might be selfish to say but I trust her implicitly to be honest with me at all times and I feel like she's in it for the lang haul with me. I am grateful for that. I have many people for which to be grateful. Though cancer is a hard thing to deal with and for many it's just too much and so those people gently fade away. I am contrantly reminded of the poem "A Reason, a Season, or a Lifetime".My social circle rallied around me right from the begining. Back then when I first told my girlfriends I was sick I noticed that there were people who stood up and started planning, and got very involved, and other who were more understated and reserved. Clearly they were listening, taking it all in and staying in the background of those who were the ones jumping up to take action. I was sad by this in the begining but I now realize that for the most part (not 100%) the louder voices have drifted away having done their grand act and provided what they needed to. While those who quietly observed are now the ones who are here for me always, doing the more mundane things like show up when I get bacd news with nothing more than, a hug, an ear and a voice of reason. Or they take me to appointments, watch my kids of do my dishes when I am weak. The simple things in life that are hard to keep up with. Some people send a perfectly timed note/email/flowers etc, to either remind me they are still here or to ensure I am ok.

No matter the circumstance I know that I can't be hurt when someone chooses to fade away. It is of couse a natual thing that happens in our lifes.

Aussie is old enough to know when things aren't "quite right" and Roo is so intune with how the dynamics of the family are. When theres a change it's reflected in her as well.

Aussie has had to grow up quite a bit since this all began. He's taken on many tasks that childern shouldn't have to take on. He is much more active with his sister. Playing with her when he sees the exhaustion in my face. Not even asking, just looking at me and knowing I am beat. He is much more in tune with me, in terms of how I am feeling. He senses when I am lying about how I feel, and jumps in to do what he can. He still won't clean his room, but as long as he doesn't mind living in their then I leave it alone. My only rule is: no food, no dished, no garbage and make sure laundry is in the laundry room on laundry day. He lost a summer, very little playing outside, or hanging with friends. His time was spent home, helping with his sister and I. For that my heart breaks. I feel I stole that time away from him.

Hubby and I had to make the tough decision to put Roo in daycare. Once Aussie was back in school we quickly realized that I didn't have the health/stamina to deal with her never ending toddle energy and be able to afford myself some time to rest and focus on fighting this disease. It wasa bittersweet decision for me. On one hand I was able to rest knowing she was in great hands. I see now that she is learning and developing by leaps and bounds more than she was at home (hard for me to admit), and on the other hand  I miss her so much it hurts me. Everyday I miss her sweet face and crazy energy. Deep down it was the right thing to do until I am either better or at least finished with active treatment, which I am hoping for in the new year.

I never understood the great impact cancer has until having it myself. It pains me that the impact is as wide as it is, and not a day goes by without me feeling the guilt of being at the centre of it all.

Monday, November 2, 2009

2nd scar

This is a photo of the scar from my neck disection surgery. I had to wait a while to post one because it looked horrible in the begining. Now it's not so bad, but it's had 2 months to heal.

It was a much more invasive surgery and it's taking me a lot more time to heal. This was much worse than the last surgery.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Mistake with a ripple effect

I got the results of my CT scan and it looked clean which is great news. But I also found out that they had used something called "contrast" which contains iodine. I have been on a low iodine diet for a while now getting ready for radiation which is Oct 23rd. So now I get a call telling me they need to push back the radiation. They will call me to let me know when it will be but I am livid. One mistake and now my treatment is delayed by 2 months.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

CT Scan

I had a CT scan, requested by my Dr to see if there had been metastasis in the head, neck, and uper  torso area. I was happy to be learning something since I Won't have a whole body scan for a while. I went in for the CT and had to drink buckets of this nasty chalky mixture then I got hooked up to an IV and in I went the scan was pretty simple and then it was over. Now I wait for the results of that. I imagine I'll have the results before I go iin for Radiation on the 23rd.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


This was given to me today. I shared it on a site I belong to and then realized I should make sure it's here too.


I heard the news today.
It came out of nowhere.
I wish I could run away,
but where would I go?
Is this my destiny?
Something so unfair...
What will become of me?
God only knows.

And they say the road to heaven might lead us back through hell.
Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow,
we will win this fight and bury this sorrow.
We're so alive, still holding on, not ready to die,
My pride is left for dead,
as my world gets shaken.
The thoughts inside my head
are so hard to control.
I am staring down the unknown,
but one thing is certain.
You could break my body,
but you will never break my soul.
And they say the road to heaven might leads us back through hell,
but we're holding on for more than stories to tell.
Maybe tonight, maybe tomorrow,
we will win this fight and bury this sorrow.
We're so alive, still holding on, not ready to die,

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pathology results

Well I got the pathology results from my 2dn surgery. They removed 81 lymph nodes in total. I was originally told a lesser number (Did you know we have thousands in our body? Who knew?) and found cancerous ones of course and some that were clean, but 8 of them tested positive for a completely unrelated cancer. My surgeon has never had a patient with this kind of cancer so she was unsure what the next step will be. My radiation is on Oct 23rd but she has to speak with her colleagues to see if that will remain or if I will need to start chemo instead. So basically I left with more questions than I had to begin with. The new cancer is metastatic adenocarcinoma (not even a thyroid cancer). She said all she knows is that that kind generally presents inthe ovaries/lung/colon/brain, but has no further specifics on it. I think I am going to have to do some research on my own and see if this has happened to anyone else? But now I am just unsure of what to do. I guess I just wait to hear back from her about what it all means and what is next for me.

Dr. Appt

At 4:45 I have my appointment to get the pathology from my last surgery. I am really scared because every time I see this Dr. She gives me bad news... Hopingt he day will pass quickly...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pathology results are in

I finally got a call back about my pathology and they've scheduled me in for an appointment next week Sept 30th. Why it took this long baffles me but once again, I wait....

Friday, September 4, 2009

Post Op - Part Deux

On Fri Aug 28th I went in for my second surgery. While I knew that it would be a much more invasive surgery (radical neck disection) I wouldn`t have been able to understand how much harder this surgery would really be compared to the last. The last one wasn`t a walk in the park either but at least I bounced back quickly afterward and got to go home early for lack of compications.

This time was a totally different situation. I arrived at the hospital at 6am to get in and prepared for surgery. They began the surgery at 8am with plans to be finished by 2:30-3:00pm. This time came and went by hours for my family and with mine being the only surgery still in progress the waiting room was empty of families and staff. Finally after a couple of hours at 5:30 a Dr. came to speak to them to let them know that I was still in surgery and that it was taking longer than expected, I`d be another 1.5 hours. Around 7:00 my surgeon came to speak to them. She said the surgery although long was good and that they had to remove alot more cancer than they anticipated. It seems they had 18 lymph nodes marked for possible removal, and wound up taking 81+ lymphnodes along with cancerous soft tissue. She commented that she had gone very low into my upper breast and was still finding cancer. Obviously this means the spreading may be more widespread than we were hoping to find. Just before 7:30 my family was finally able to see me. I was in the ICU to be monitored overnight.

Overnight turned into 4 days due to complications. I wound up having an extreme drop in calcium, this is very dangerous in the levels I was showing and can cause heart attacks even death (who knew? I'll drink milk now I swear!). This Leads my surgeon to believe she has taken most if not all of my parathyroids during the course of the surgery. They look like lymphnodes and can be mistaken for them. On the second night my breathing failed and I had to have emergency measures to fix my breathing and subsequently my blood oxygen levels. The ICU was the best spot I could have been when that happened, they got to me fast and by morning I was doing well. Though my Magneseum went low as well after the 3rd day it was not as dangerous as the calcium problems.

On day 4 I was stablized enough to move out of the ICU this was GREAT NEWS! Finally after a really rough surgery and slow start to recovery I was released! I am happy to be home. I feel sick alot mostly because of this amount of medications I am on, and I am very very tired . But nothing beats being home with my family. Now I have to recover enough to be able to get through radiation. So far that is the next step, unless she decides to do some sort of scan in between to look at the rest of my body. So I will try to look forward to having a bit of a break (mental and physical) over the next few weeks. I will hug my hubby kids and tell them over and over how I feel about them. Never again will I take one day for granted. I am thankful to have made it this far, and I will continue to visualize crossing the finish line. NOTHING is more important to me than hearing the word "remission".

Now I wait and recover, next step is radiation... Yuck!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Unquiet Brain...

That's how I feel. The thoughts are never ending now. One day things are normal, the next you are told you have cancer, and then nothing is the same. After having my thyroid surgery I feel horrible. I know the meds are still being monitored so I can find the "right dose", in the mean time I feel sad, and tired all the time. My days are filled with appointment after appointment (for the past 10 business days I have had 9 appointments and 7 that that relate to my current health (or lack of). I wasn't able to attend my family reunion this year and have had to "flake out" on several commitments because all this came up. Of course people understand, but it still upsets me.

I am a planner. I deal with things by planning ahead. That has been taken away from me for the time being. As have many other things. All I can do is live one day at a time (sounds cheesy, but it's true) I can't even plan a week ahead anymore. My friends and family are totally great about it, but I am not. I will be missing Austin's first days of school this year (will be in the hospital still). I will be missing Halloween with them too due to radiation.

The closer I get to my second surgery the more scared I am. This one is more scary and I am more scared. I put a smile on my face and deal with it, but the reality is I am tired of it. I wish it was over, I hate having to tell myself to cheer up and put on a brave face. The fact is I am mad, actually I am furious that this has happened and that it happened to me. It's making life hard, it's making me feel like a bad parent, I am not up to doing as much as before. I am lucky to get out for a walk with Ruari- she by the way has changed so much in these last 6 weeks. I can't help but find happiness in her and Austin too. He has grown up, been forced to step up and help when he should be hanging out with his friends for the summer, he's here helping me so Chris doesn't have to miss any more time from work than needed. After looking at the schedule of past and upcoming procedures he will have taken at minimum 4 weeks, not counting appointments that I need him to be at with me. I feel like I am putting his job in jeopardy.

Basically I feel like my life is on hold while I do my best to keep fighting to have a life at all.

People keep asking me if I am worried about dying and I throw facts at them well the number look fairly good for me... but I try not to think about the real possibility of dying, because let's face it I could get hit by a truck tomorrow. Everyone is going to die but I prefer not to think about it. Even when my mind goes there I post it more like what if I don't live. I can't say "what if I die?" .. (oh damn, I went and did it....) Even if my conscious mind rarely strays there, my subconscious mind is happy to do it for me. The other night I had this amazing dream. It was like a 3rd party dream, I was observing my life in a way. It was Ruari's wedding day and I was sitting in the room looking at her getting ready and talking about being proud of her. She kept saying thanks for everything Mom, and I was proud. I felt that feeling... Then my hubby Chris comes to the door and he tells us that it's time to go like as in walk down the isle) I get up to go to Ruari and I mumble some things to her then Chris says your delaying her Becky. I turn around to walk to Chris and it wasn't even me.... Chris says to Ruari I wish your mom was here to see you! and kisses her. The whole time I thought it was me i nthe dream because although I couldn't see myself I could hear my voice, and she kept saying mom. I woke up really upset realizing that I can't escape the thoughts that Life would still go on, and that while I would want that for my family, I also want it to be me at her wedding and NOT some chick named Becky... (sorry to any Becky's out there!) If I want it to be me I had better do everything I can to fight it. So now that I have put this out there I am going to stay committed to being positive. Telling myself I WILL live...and actually believe it..

2 days, 14 hours, 38 minutes and 16 until surgery #2

Thanks for letting me unload my thoughts. I actually feel a little bit better.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My scar

I was too chicken to post the gross ones from right after surgery but here is the scar from my Total Thyroidectomy at one month post-op. I took this today

I was expecting it to be horrible and in fact it's quite perfect, and is healing ver nicely. Once it fades I think it will be unnoticable to most people, as it sits perfectly in my natural crease.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bad news

This week I had a pretty bad blow with some news from my Dr's. It seems the cancer has spread. They know it is in my lymphatic system on the right side, but a recent ultrasound shows it may also have moved to the left side. They have once again scheduled me for a rush surgery. The surgery is less than 2 weeks away. Aug 28th. THis week I have a pretty invasive biopsy appt. I will be having a bunch of lymph nodes biopsied so the surgeon can have a better idea of what she's dealing with. I have some blood work being done to see how my body is handling missing a thyroid, and a CT scan to get better images of everything.

I was also scheduled for radiation on Oct 23rd. With the cancer being in my lymph nodes it's become manadatory that I do it. I will be in the hospital for 4-6 days (depending on how quickly my body can get rid of the radiation- most people are only 4 days). Once I have been discharged I have to stay anywhere but my own home. The slight bit of leftover radiation in my body poses a risk to my kids, mostly my daughter, Ruari as her organs are still developing and the radiation can cause problems.

It will likely be Mid December before they can do a full body scan to see if it has spread elsewhere.

I really thought this would be much easier and much faster but now I understand why cancer is so horrible...

My heart is breaking for my son because he has had a pretty lousy summer and now I will be in the hospital the last weekend before school and his first few days. I can't believe I will miss this day. I have always been with him on the first day of school to make a special breakfast and drive him to school.

I really hate this...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

New name

I need a name change for this blog, not that anyone's reading. For me Might Be Cancer isn't the case anymore, and when I was think about what to rename my blog one thing resonates in my mind. The number of people who told me that Thyroid Cancer is "the good kind" sickens me. Even good friends and family members have slapped me in the face with that comment.

I am glad no ones reading this blog there would be a lot of hurt feeling for being called on using that stupid phrase. It's NOT the good kind so fuck off.... (pardon me for that but I get very very angry, it's my hot button issue)

So now my new name is: It's Not the Good Kind.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Post Op

My surgery went very well. It seems I did really well through the surgery (Despite my larger than normal windpipe! Yeah, those are my surgeons words...)

I had none of the complications that are expected. I did my best to get up and back to normal as soon as possible. I was doing so well I was released from the hospital a day/two earlier than expected. Yay!

Recovery also has been quite good. In fact I felt pretty fantastic the first week. Not too much pain and my energy level was fairly normal. Now that my body has lost all the natural thyroid hormones (T4 & T3) I am feeling pretty wiped out. Bordering on exhaustion. My Dr said this is to be expected while they are trying to figure out my dosage of the synthetic hromones I am on now (Synthroid). I am trying to rest when I can (lol) once my family and I are moved and settled this will be much easier.

Friends have been by to see me both in the hospital and sicne getting home. Everyone has been so supportive, but a handful of close friends have really stepped up. The flowers and cards have been pouring in, and I am thankful for being so blessed by wonderful people.

I got some of the pathology back from my surgeon. Rather than just having the 2 known tumours in my thyroid I actually had five. 3 were quite small still and the other 2 were really big. The largest being around 5cms. No wonder I was having trouble swallowing and the feeling of something always in my throat! She feels fairly confident that even though there was some small amount of metastasis, she has got all the cancer out. She is still urging me to go through with radiation as she feels it is the safest option to ensure ALL the cancer is irradicated. After the research I have done I am leaning toward not dong it. If she's confident it's all out and my body scan doesn't detect any I don't see the point. Sure it will kill any undetected cancer, but it will also bring my chances of developing breast cancer to higher levels. I am not sure it's worth it to put myself at risk of a secondary cancer. I haven't decided fully and basically it's up to the oncologist to decide. I am just really having a hard time with it all now.

At the moment I am waiting to see the endocronologist, and my oncologist before I know what will happen next.

SO until those appointments I am trying to keep an open mind.

Monday, July 20, 2009

13 hours, 1 minute and 22 seconds...

...until my surgery. If it wasn't for my close friends I would have fallen completely apart by now. I packed my hospital bag a while ago and it was really painful... Reminded me of the last time I packed a hospital bag when I was pregnant with Ruari. It was a really happy time with so much to look forward to. I had no idea that a year later I would be faced with the biggest battle I could imagine. Cancer.

Never in a million years would I have seen this coming. A heart attack maybe (lol), but not cancer.

I know the surgery is only the first step in a lengthy proccess to rid myself of this illness, but it seems like the scariest part for me.

Even though I know it's irrational, I can't rid myself of the fact that I could die. From the surgery or the cancer. I know what you're thinking... stay positive, you can do it! It's hard at times. Tonight I sat down to write letters to my kids. I call them "just-in-case letters. Beyond that I have tried to stay really positive and "normal" during the whole thing.

Once I am home from surgery and things have settled down, I will post an update with how the surgery went and how I am doing.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

I think I feel something finally.

It's been 8 days, 13 hours, 47 minutes and 8 seconds since I was told I have cancer. The big "C" is worst sickness imaginable, yet I felt/feel fine. Other than a lump, I have no really symptoms. Since that time I have been in a fog... a light blanket of it but none then less a fog. It keeps me protected from the reality I should be facing. I have heard so many things since that moment about how I should feel. People look at me with a sort of sadness now. My family worries this is "the last straw" for me... you know the one that's finally gonna break my back. True, I have had a horrible year. I am the first to admit that, but someone keeps telling me God won't dish out more than He thinks I am capable of handling. So I cling to that knowing I have so much to fight for, that last of which is myself. In my mind the priority has been everything else. I have to keep going for my kids, my husband, my parents, my sister, aunts,uncles,cousins,etc. So I have really felt NOTHING. Not sad, scared, angry, denial, acceptance, hopeless. Litterally nothing. So yesterday I visit with a friend and she suggests that I take a period of time everyday to just focus on having cancer and what it means for me and my family/friends. Last night I did that. I realized that in order to really deal with it I need to turn the focus to myself. I need to make myself the priority, despite how hard it is. So I will get counselling so that I can learn to cope it it all properly, therefore I am in a better position to help my family as well. (Note to self: must appologize to the counsellor I called an idiot for insisting on seeing me before my son.... I get it now. She needed to make sure I was coping before she could worry about talking to my son, he won't cope well if he's sees that I am not)

I waited until my family was soundly sleeping (I haven't been sleeping well so I was still up) and I went ahead and opened up the "floodgates". I thought about it and the impact it is having/will have, but nothing happened. I was disapointed. Surely if I can't feel some sort of emotion I must be broken... I gave up and decided to surf the net to kill a bit of time. I am active on a moms website in my community and I went back to read the initial post I wrote about the cancer scare (it's actually my initial blog post here, this blog is private and only for me but I just chose to post it anonymously over there) to see if anyone had any words of wisdom about how to deal with a cancer scare and I spent some time reading the replies, All the sudden I was overcome with emotion... I can not believe that so many of them were willing to share personal stories of how cancer has affected their lives. So many people just wanted to offer an encouraging word, or to share in the shock we are feeling. Supportive posts, offers of help everything in between. I have always loved this site and know the power it holds, and that we hold as a community.

Finally I was able to really think about it all and the reasons I had to fight. I think my feelings of nothing is more my version of self preservation. My family is not handling the news very well and so if I am "normal" it is easier for them to deal with. So I keep smiling and cracking jokes and enjoying my life. You may wonder why or how I can do it, but being a Mom really helps. I know I need to keep things as normal for my family as possible. But I now also knowo that I need that time in the day to just think about it dwell on it and maybe soon even cry about it, so that I can be normal for the rest of the day. I have to continue laughing and being sarcastic etc.. it's all I know. I need people around me to understand that even though I am laughing and joking I am not in denial... I really do "get it". I just need a sense of normal.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I feel nothing....

I still can't cry, and people keep telling me I should be emotional. I cried a bit the other night after my family was soundly sleeping I got up, and my thoughts krept up on me, mostly about how I would be seperated from my babies when I go in for surgery, I wept for them and for how I would miss them while I am gone. I just can't seem to cry for myself and this stupid illness and the fact that I have it. I don't know what's wrong with me.... I must be broken or something. I just feel... nothing. Not angry, sad, mad, scared. Nothing... kind of dead... I went to Wellspring today and even after hearing everything that people were telling me I still feel "off". They did tell me that the begining is the easiest and eventually it will hit me hard.

I am trying to keep things normal for my friends and family. Cracking my normal jokes and being as light hearted as possible... My son is a wreck and has pretty much shut down. My husband is sticking his head in his ass the sand refusing to talk about it other than superficially. He will talk around it in a way but won't really say anything deep.I feel pretty alone in the battle when it comes to him. My girlfriends are AMAZING. They have alreay taken over the planning and preparing. I am in awe of how quickly they joined forces with me in this battle.

After reading all the kind words and comments about my strength I am proud to have come accross this way! Sometimes I am really strong, like when other people need me. But as soon as I need help I almost shut down.

I just wish I could cry and get it over with.

Now I need to stop wallowing and get back to packing! We move in a few weeks, and I will be post op and get sit the whole thing out.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The Big "C" (Coleen's Story Part3)

I got the results of my biopsy on Tuesday night. What I expceted would be a quick 15 minute appointment telling me all was well, turned out to be an hour and a half appointment getting devastating news. I was diagnosed with Cancer. likely early stage 3 thyroid carcinoma with suspected metastasis, if you're anything like me you're probably wondering what the heck that means. It means that I have a very aggressive cancer that they know has spread locally (within the same area as it started) with a good chance it is moving fast... They won't know more until after the surgery so I am still kind of playing a waiting game.

My Dr. spoke to me about my options as I sat ther eall alone without my husband to help me with decisions. He was home with the kids. She explained that they can do a partial removal of my thyroid and hope that some can be salvaged. The down side to this is that they may have to go back in again and take out the rest later. So I elected to have her remove the entire thyroid to avoid the possibility of a second surgery.

I go for surgery to remove the cancer on July 20th and after that I will begin radiation.

When I got home from getting the results I told only my hubby and my best friend. I opted to withhold the info from my family until after the Canada Day holiday as we had some really fun family plans. I hated the thought of ruining it for everyone. So I plastered a huge smile on my face and enjoyed the day all while constantly thinking about this cancer in my body. When I did tell them it was the most blank stares I ahve ever seen. They all seems completely dumbfounded by the news.

It hasn't sunk in yet. I am still trying my best to come to grips with everything but I get the feeling everything is about to change for my family.

I CANNOT DIE, I have too many things on my plate and not enough time to worry about dying.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Can I hide from it?

Today I have to go for the results and really I just want to run and hide. How do people do this? My family is nervous, I can see it, but yet they are so certain we're all worrying for no reason.

It HAS to be good news right?

I'm going to take a deep breath and get this cancer scare past me...

Will blog again once I've been for the biopsy results.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Waiting is the worst...

Well it's been one week and My specialist (ENT) just called me to ask me to come in tomorrow first thing. I work tomorrow and can't do anything until after 4pm. She agreed to see me after she finishes for the day at 5:00.

So now I am even worse than before. I guess it's like "the moment of truth" for me.

I am glad I'll know either way because the unknown has been horrible, but I am still really scared of bad news.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I've been Biopsied (Coleen's Story Part 2)

Since the last post I have been back to my family Dr. who sent me back in for a second set of ultrasound images. Once they had come back he sent me to a specialist in Oakville who immediately did a biopsy on the lump and found that I had two lumps. She biopsied both of them and was able to get fluid and tissue samples. The fluid freaked me out as it was black, when I questioned it she would only say it was "abnormal". She also told me that because the location was considered a "danger zone" she did tell me that it could be cancer but not too worry just yet. She said she wouldn't sugar coat it because it wouldn't help me to think everything was going to be just fine if there was a chance it wasn't. She told me it may be a couple of weeks before I head anything back regarding the results.

I have a bad feeling...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mystery Lump (Coleen's Story Part 1)

A couple of months ago I had a really bad cold and while while rubbing my sore neck/throat I found a lump in my neck. I was shocked that it was there but the Dr thought it might have been a swollen lymph node courtesy of my cold. I was told to keep my eye on it for the next few weeks and in that time if I felt any tenderness or noticed it growing or getting hard I was to go back to see him again. I had a really bad feeling about it and even though time passed with very little change I went back to my Dr. I think just to appease me I was sent for an ultrasound. I was told my Dr would touchbase with me if anything urgent came of it but that I could schedule an appointment to go over the results either way if I wanted. I didn't but was a couple of weeks later I found changes in the lump. Back I went I mentioned that the lump was now painful and hard and had actually started growing. He said that because the images from the last ultrasound were not the best that he would send me again. I went on Friday and the woman said she was sending it off to be reviewed by Radiology at Credit Valley Hopsital and that my Dr would likely have the results by the end of the next week (meaning by this coming Friday).

Well Yesterday the people who did the ultrasound called me to ensure I had heard from my GP, I said I had not, so she told me she was sending the results again via fax and that I was to call them to make an appointment with him. This really worried me. I called them and they were closed for lunch and in the afternoon I got busy, by the time I was done work and had a minute to call they had closed. I tried again today and the Dr is not in the office today but she made an appointment for me tomorrow.

Everything is rattling around in my brain and I am really worried about it all.

Despite the fact that I NEVER try to self diagnose I couldn't help looking it up. Of course I only googled it to see what other "non-scary" things it could be to reasure myself. Turns out that the most common reason for this lymph node (right supraclavicular lymph node) to be swollen are three types of cancer and not a single viral or baterial reason is presented as a common reason.

Here is just one of the sites I reviewed for information. It says:

Right supraclavicular lymph node
Location: Located on the right side in the hollow above the clavicle, just lateral to where it joins the sternum.
Lymphatic drainage: Mediastinum, lungs, esophagus
Common causes of enlargement: Lung, retroperitoneal or gastrointestinal cancer

all the other sites I looked at pretty much say the same thing. What scares me the most is that other lymph nodes give simple infections as the possible reason for swelling. But not this one.

I'm scared.
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