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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.