The finale or just the beginning?
Hello Family!! I have been wanting to share a bit about what has transpired in the past 2.5 months with this lump in my neck. When I first felt the lump on December 22nd, 2019, I was in complete shock and probably denial. I went ahead and had our Christmas celebrations and tried to not think the worst. However, needless to say, it was ALWAYS on my mind.
Finally, on January 2nd, I went to see my General Doctor and he send me for an Ultrasound for a lymph. This sent me into a panic. I went to have the ultrasound and the tech said “I shouldn’t tell you this, but this IS NOT a lymph node. This is in the thyroid.” I started to cry, as that made me feel a bit better.
Fast forward, I had the biopsy and I went and got the results on January 17th. I went to the hospital by myself, by design, and got the envelope. I slowly opened it and saw the word “carcinoma” and my heart started racing very fast. It said “suspicious for papillary carcinoma” for the thyroid. I went to the pathology department and asked to see if the molecular testing was back. It was not – it would take another 4 weeks.
So, at that point, my numerous doctor visits started. I went to the ENT doctor, my general doctor, the Endocrinologist, and 3 surgeons. All of them saying the same thing – it has to be removed. It’s 80 percent chance of being cancer. They stated that they never had one come back with this initial diagnosis and NOT be cancer. So, the debate (and I mean debate) between the doctors and even my decision-making brain to decide whether to have my entire thyroid taken out or partial. I was tested for Hashimotos, other thyroid issues, and more. But at the end of the day, I was having a hard time making the decision on how much needed to be removed, because they couldn’t tell me 100% if it was cancer. They debated between each other - - other nodules in the thyroid, and I could go on and on. But they certainly used the word “cancer” over and over and over. Because 80% chance this was cancer.
Needless to say, I was not handling this very well. My faith was being tested. I was questioning God about all of this. I was angry, I was scared, etc. But after I sang, was ministered to, and worshipped at the Salvation Army Revival, something changed in me. I started praying for God to make it not cancer, as opposed to make it go away. I was hearing “beauty for ashes” over and over, that He was going to do something with this trial and testimony of mine.
I had made a surgery date for removal here in Miami, but scheduled a visit with the Mayo Clinic as well. I wanted to the second opinion. I couldn’t find peace until I got that.
Rob and I went to Mayo Clinic last week and spent 3 days with them. They said that there was a 90 percent chance that this was Papillary Carcinoma of the thyroid IF the biopsy that was done in Florida was correct. However, they wanted to start over with their own biopsy. So we did. And the results were better. “Indeterminate for follicular neoplasm”. So, still could be a cancer, but chances were lower now. Sigh of relief doesn’t begin to explain it.
At this point, I have lived for 2.5 months thinking that I had cancer of the thyroid, talking to my warrior friends who have battled or are battling cancer as we speak ( you know who you are and I am so grateful). They encouraged me – spoke positive into my world. Mom, Rob, and my friend Michelle, all rallied behind, went to every doctor appt - all the while helping me to deal with my tears, my anger, my frustration, my sadness, my anguish. So much so soon – especially after losing Jeff so recently to brain cancer. But they stayed faithful to help me press on. I had to get very STILL and SILENT with God, as again, my faith was being tested and I was reaching my rope’s end.
So after a flight home to ponder, we flew back to Mayo on Sunday, with the encouragement of my prayer pod, and had the surgery on Monday.
I had told the other 2 doctors in Miami, that while they had not seen a benign result, I was going to be their first. I told my mom, Michelle, Rob – that I really just didn’t think this was cancer, but I was prepared if it was. Not sure what that meant, but I was also trying not to bury my head in the sand.
I told the Doctor before surgery, that I prayed for him and the team. And that I prayed for this to be benign. And then I went off to surgery.
I was awoken to the great news just out of surgery, that the 90% preliminary results of the pathology is that this is BENIGN. My accountant, Noel, had said to me back in January, “watch God do the miracle right at the last minute”. And, I am here to say, God did. God did the miracle. BENIGN.
Beauty for ashes. I have half a thyroid left. I am working through what that will mean, but my friends that have weathered this has assured me, I can do it. I have a greater appreciation beyond any measure on what it feels like to be told you have cancer. I have a great appreciation for the fear that comes. I have a greater appreciation of the need for a faith greater than fear. I have a greater appreciation of the battle that my brother and my friends have gone through or are going through. I have a greater appreciation for the wonder of God and that He truly is someone that
I have to have as my SOLID ROCK or life will just be too big for me.
I am not 100% sure how God will use me now to share this message of HOPE. But I do know that perhaps He was working on me just a little more to grow my faith and share my experience of HOPE. And I am happy to take that on, whatever path or direction He calls me.
Throughout this process, my faith was tested beyond measure. There were times that my anger that this was happening dominated my world. There was a time when I found it hard to pray to God, because I wanted to know why He hadn’t prevented this.
But I know now – beauty for ashes. He is about to do something really wonderful with this. I am excited to seek, share, and shout it out as it all becomes visible!!
Thank you all so much for the prayers. Thank you to my “prayer pod” and warriors that allowed me to be still, private about this, talk confidentially when I was not ready to share broadly, cry, and pray.
This is a story worth sharing about a GOD worth praising - beyond measure!l THANK YOU THANK YOU! I am so grateful, and words cannot express my how overwhelmed I am with the GOODNESS AND FAITHFULNESS OF GOD.
Thank you, God, for allowing me this test, so that I could witness what I needed to see and restore my HOPE. I was not able to say that a few months ago, but You stood by me and anchored my soul during the storm. You are faithful. You are loving. You are merciful.
Hope: the confident expectation of what God has promised and its strength is in His faithfulness.
With lots of love and trust,