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Friday, May 27, 2005

I'm starting to feel a little like a broken record. So many phone calls to make, so many e-mails to write! I'm doing as many as I can in bulk, and this counts as one.

There are four kinds of thyroid cancer, and I have the most common, which is also the most treatable. Treatment is relatively easy as far as cancers go. I'll have to have a complete thyroidectomy, and they may take some of my lymph nodes as well. This surgery will happen sometime mid-June, probably. I won't have to do chemo, which is torturous, but will instead have another kind of radiation therapy that means I'm a security risk for a few days but is otherwise pretty easy. For about 70% of the patients, this is enough, for the remaining 30% they repeat the radiation, and most often have great success. Survival rate is very high.

It would seem some of the shock is wearing off cuz that last sentence is looking wildly freaky to me right now. All day yesterday after the diagnosis I kept saying things to GB like "you have to be nice to me, I have cancer" and "aside from the cancer this has been a really good day." I realized this morning I was trying to get him to say "you don't have cancer"... but he didn't. Weird.

Thyroid Cancer
My Specific Kind
Thyroid Cancer Support Network

So now, please, go here to support this. You know someone now.

52 Comments:

Blogger David said...

Just made a $50 donation to Purlewe's ride. They even allowed the donation in the name of "Rev. & Mr. David," which I thought was eminently cool. : )

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Julie said...

I just wanted to add my own inadequate words of support and encouragement. I've known a number of people with various types of cancer in my life with an equal assortment of "outcomes" as they like to say. I'm so glad to hear you have a positive outlook- that's half the battle. I hope the surgery and following treatments go very well! Think good thoughts in my sister's direction please, she keeps finding precancerous lesions on her nose.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

Amie, Anything you need, you know where I live! :) If you need to talk, I'm more than happy to listen. I will be thinking and praying hoping you are well in no time.

9:12 AM  
Blogger purlewe said...

hey babe-

just got your email and came here. I'm glad for several reasons to see your positive outlook. I can tell you I have a dear friend who also had this type of cancer and she is a 10+yr survivor. So glad it was caught in time. Know that sue and I are behind you.. and we'll hang out with you soon. (4th of july is right around the corner!!)

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Linda - linda513@comcast.net said...

You don't know me, but I've been reading your blog for awhile now. I just want to wish you the best through this difficult time. I'm sure it must be scary for you. From what you've said everything will turn out just fine. Keep knitting! And email me anytime if you'd like to talk, I'm in Maryland outside of DC.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous elisa said...

{big hug}

9:25 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

Lots and lots of hugs from Ohio!!!!
Kim

9:30 AM  
Blogger Jensgalore said...

I'm so sorry to hear it's cancer, but so glad to hear it's such an easily treatable one.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Maryellen said...

I hope eveything goes well. Don't email me back rest knit play with your critters.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous patti said...

Amie, I'm so sorry about the diagnosis; I was hoping it would turn out like mine. I haven't ever met you, but I know from KR what a supportive giving person you are, and this isn't supposed to happen to people like you...I still think this after my brother was diagnosed with cancer a year and a half ago. I know it makes no sense, but it's the world I want to live in...It will be a challenging time for you, but remember that the prognosis is good, and you have loads of people who care about you and will be praying for your quick and total recovery.

9:58 AM  
Blogger Kristi said...

Your positive outlook on the situation is inspiring. I wish you the best through this difficult time.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Kim in Oregon said...

Amie, hugs and prayers headed your way from so many people.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Amie, I'm so sorry! But I am absolutely positive you're going to get through this better and stronger than before. I think you know that you have a huge network of support for you across the globe from all of your KR friends--even ones like me who you've never met. We are all behind you and here for you 100%.
--Rachel

10:51 AM  
Blogger xmasberry said...

if there is one thing i know, it is that you are strong enough to deal with this. that is evident in all your writing. i am so glad you found and are addressing this now, while it is early. i'm not saying it won't suck at times, but i think you will rise to the occasion, as they say. (personally, though, in my own personal tragedies i have always thought "sure, i want to grow and be a better person, but why do i have to do it THIS way?")

still thinking of you.
holly

11:06 AM  
Anonymous dragonridermom said...

Amie - you are in my thoughts and prayers as you deal with your recent diagnosis. I am sure you will approach this with the same gusto you have tackled all the other challenges you have faced. It will be tough but you are not alone. Your angel scarf was a concrete expression of all the love and caring that surround you.
Debbie

11:18 AM  
Blogger vi said...

everyone I know that have had that and had the 'seeds'
are fine 20+ years later.
so I am more then confident that you will be as well
vi
who is in your corner

11:39 AM  
Blogger Carol said...

Amie, I'm thinking (and praying) for you, GB, and a rapid recovery and positive outcome. As the others have said, keep knitting ... and smile.
Carol

11:58 AM  
Blogger snowballinhell said...

I'm thinking of you, Amie. As I said to another friend, I'm not sure what the prayers of sinner are worth, but you certainly have mine. Be good to yourself, and spin LOTS for relaxation. If you want or need anything, please let me know. I'm a long way away, but I'll do anything I can. Audiobooks to listen to while knitting, maybe? Something light and entertaining like the Artemis Fowl series? They're a lovely distraction.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Marcia said...

So very sorry to hear about your diagnosis, Amie. My thoughts are with you.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Wanna Be said...

Support, hugs, love, well wishes, and prayers all go out to you in this time of need. Let us know what you need, KR will pull together to help.

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do, sweets.
All of us, including Natalie & Jeremy, have all our fingers & toes crossed for good luck & all of that is for you, dear heart.
XOXO
Martha

12:59 PM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

Amie, Hugs to you. I will be praying for you, too. I'm so sorry you are having to go through this, but I have the feeling things are going to turn out fine. And by the time they get your medication regulated after the surgery, you will be running (or spinning) rings around all of us. Love and prayers.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take care of yourself Amie, I know GB will give you tons of support. Make knitting your medicine.
Caroline

1:42 PM  
Blogger Amy Boogie said...

*Virtual hugs*Take care of yourself. I've been thinking of you and if you need someplace to recover or just lay back and look out over the green fields, you are always welcome here.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Sedie said...

I just wanted to wish you all the best in this journey. Know, that on the other side, you will be a stronger person. Take good care of yourself.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hugs and healty thoughts coming your way from Bel Air. Linda

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amie, I wish I could be the one to answer your statement with, "You don't have cancer." Instead I'll just have to say that I am thinking of you and I trust that you will come through this better than anyone ever has before.

Alyx

http://stringtheoryfiberarts.typepad.com

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SP,

I'm gonna be your rock. Your mountain even....

We're going to kick its @$$.

I love you

GB

4:04 PM  
Blogger Catherine said...

Damn. Hugs, girl. You've done your homework and know the prognosis (icky stiff-sounding word, isn't it?) is excellent and you have a fantastic support system, and you will kick its @ss.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Sending lots of good thoughts and healing vibes your way. Stay strong and keep knitting, you'll get through this!

6:32 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Sending lots of good thoughts and healing vibes your way. Stay strong and keep knitting, you'll get through this!

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...

(((Amie))) lots of healing vibes heading your way.

A co-worker went through the same thing as you this past winter and is doing beautifully now. I'm confident the same will happen to you.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Lulu said...

I'm keeping you in my prayers...
speedy recovery to you..
hugs

8:42 PM  
Anonymous Brandy said...

Amie, I know you will be fine. It will be hard. No surgery is ever easy. But, like everyone said, you are a strong wonderful woman and you will beat this. I'm thinking of you, and wishing you the best.

10:26 PM  
Blogger --Deb said...

Don't worry . . . it's scary, but I'm sure you will be fine!! You just have to fight it, that's all, it's just a challenge, that's all. Nothing you can't handle! I know you'll be fine! (Can I use enough exclamation points?? It's only because I am so sure, you see.)

10:41 PM  
Blogger Bobby said...

I'm quite sure that you will pull through famously, but just the same, my prayers are with you!

You will, of course, have a bit of a sore throat after the op, so start stocking up on your favorite ben and jerry's and pudding now!

Remember, if nothing else, it's a grand excuse to be pampered for a few weeks.

;-)

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Mom said...

I can't tell you how much it means to me to read notes from all these people showering you with care, Ames. You know I'm not the emotional type, but I've been crying (the good kind!) all the way down the comments page. They're all right about you, too.
I'm proud to be related to you!

6:02 AM  
Anonymous wendy g said...

You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Take care.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Shelob said...

Amie,

Hugs, thoughts, prayers, and power heading your way. A couple of bits I heard while having surgeries on my eyes: Enjoy the O2 and the relaxation meds -- you may as well make use of the fun parts :-); In the frantic moments, remember to breathe; in the weak moments remember that you are going to pound the piss out of this bugger, just not right then; rest as fully as you fight. You are not alone. We are here too. We will not let go; we will not go away. Your words have power, written as well as spoken. You will never be trapped without a voice. We will always hear you. Some of us are new friends; some have known you for many years, But we are here.

-- Christy
(KR=Shelob)

3:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amie, Just a few more positive thoughts to send your way. Anything else I'd have to add would be inadequate... but know that you're in my thoughts!

Michelle (Myshelle10 from KR)

3:00 AM  
Blogger vi said...

I talked to some of my friends who have gone through this, they told me to tell you.......
while you are scared, it is going to be fine......YOU are going to be fine.
Barb had told me the hard part for her was when she had the seeds......and no one could come near her as she was radioactive.
(folks can stand in the doorway however)
She also has told me, that once you get through this and the meds adjusted you are going to feel better then you have in quite a while.
so we all will look forward to the 'better then you have in quite a while' part.

I know it's scary, but you are going to be fine.
(oh and barb also lost weight after her thyroid cancer was cured.... like 100 pounds.....)
vi

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Jessica said...

My heart just stopped reading your post this morning. I am so sorry to hear about this scarieness. Please know that there are so many of us out here (especially reading the comments already posted!) that are keeping you in their thoughts and prayers. I know I'd be a wreck right about now - especially with the thoughts of the doctors visits to come - they give me the willies - I had my babies at home to avoid doctors! You seem to be doing okay and holding it together fairly well. Remember we are all thinking of you - hopefully all this will pass.

10:15 AM  
Blogger KatyaR said...

Several years ago I was found to have a large growth on the left side of my thyroid. Tests showed it was negative for cancer, and I guess for that reason my doctors decided not to remove it. About living for almost four years feeling like I was being choked all the time, I had another needle biopsy. Not only did this one come back inconclusive for diagnosis, but it had grown and now I had the beginnings of another one on the right side. So they had to come out.

I did a lot of research on the internet. You should be able to find descriptions of what will happen with the surgery, how long you will be in the hospital, etc. (google "what happens when you have a thyroidectomy"). I was able to see pretty much EXACTLY what would happen in the hospital. This helps a lot because you can ask informed questions and not worry about what's going on. Remember, knowledge is power.

The most important thing I found is that, of all the cancers, this is probably the best one to have (sounds weird, doesn't it?). Treatment is simple, noninvasive, and faster and easier than normal chemo or radiation therapy. And best of all, survival rates are VERY high.

Luckily, my growths were malignant. Recovery from the surgery is not too bad. The worst part was being in bed in the hospital with so many bandages around my neck that I felt like I was wearing a neck brace. You will have limited range of motion of your neck for a few days, and your doctor may not let you drive until you are more healed. Without radiation, I was back to limited work duties in about a week and a half.

After eight years, I have a teeny tiny scar that no one can see unless they really look, and I have to see a doctor once a year, have my thyroid levels checked, and take a thyroid pill every day. Not a bad tradeoff.

Hang in there, read everything you can get your hands on, ask all the questions you can think of, and trust your doctors. You will get though this.

11:55 AM  
Blogger KatyaR said...

I remembered one more thing. Most hospitals have what are called "care pathways" or "clinical pathways" that outline, step by step, what happens while you're in the hospital and during your recovery. Ask your doctor if there is anything like this you can review before your surgery. You'll be surprised at how much better you'll feel because you'll know what's going on.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

Just wanted to say I think it's courageous of you to share this with the world. Many of us are in your corner, praying and sending wonderful warm thoughts your way.

I'm glad you do not have to do the chemo. That is truly good news.

Please keep us posted because even though many of us have never "met you," we really do care. :)

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will be thinking of you and sending positive thoughts and prayers your way for a speedy recovery. Big hugs, Rose
www.enchantedewe.com

7:59 PM  
Blogger eyeleen said...

You're in my thoughts and prayers. Stay strong, keep knitting. I'm sure you'll pull through this just fine.

2:58 AM  
Blogger caramelknits said...

Amie,
I'm so sorry to hear your news but am glad it's treatable and know that you will take good care of yourself and come out on the other side just fine. Know that you have a lot of support from the whole wide world out here.

Sending you all my good thoughts. :)

7:27 PM  
Blogger ann said...

sending all good and healing thoughts your way. Keep your positive out look, lean on GB and friends whenever you need to and keep on knitting - you will get through this with flying colors!

7:24 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

Amie, usually when I hear things like this, I hug the person because words are so inadequate. Consider yourself hugged, and know that you are loved. We don't "know" each other, but I still feel a bond of friendship to you. I'm sorry that you have to deal with cancer, but if it is in your cards, at least it seems this kind is one of the lesser of the evils. My thoughts are with you. Take good care of yourself.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Amie, I have just found out about this and I am so very very sorry. It must be very scary for you but by the time you read this the surgery will be over at least. The prognosis looks good, which I'm very happy about.
You've always been so kind and supportive on KR and your little messages to me meant so much.
Know you are loved and being prayed for at this time,
Clare (NC) on KR

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Amie,
Not having been on KR lately this is the first I have become aware of your illness. I'm so happy to hear that the surgery went well and I wish you an easy recovery and only good things for you and your family from now on.
GFTC from KR

4:08 PM  

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