More of my Story
In April, I met with my nurse practitioner for ongoing joint pain that lingered postpartum without a clear explanation. I saw a variety of specialists without a clear answer. Thyroid levels and autoimmune labs were drawn and all came back normal. I was encouraged by my nurse practitioner to have an ultrasound of my neck after she felt my thyroid was mildly enlarged. I was scheduled for a fine needle aspiration biopsy at the beginning of June and received confirmation of what I already knew deep down would be true: my biopsy result was positive for thyroid cancer. I was diagnosed with papillary carcinoma, met with my amazing endocrine surgeon, and was scheduled for a thyroidectomy with lymph node dissection. On July 27th, the day Theo turned 6 months old, I had my full thyroid removed with central and lateral lymph node dissection too. It was something none of us could have ever seen coming.
Surgery is the treatment for papillary carcinoma, and I cannot put into words the relief that came with that in addition to a pretty badass scar. Life looks different for me right now. It’s surreal to feel mostly like myself. But it’s a long road to figure out the right amount of medication to do the work that my thyroid did so effortlessly. Next steps include regular ultrasounds and lab draws, taking radioactive iodine sometime down the road, and meeting an endocrinologist who will be a part of my life from now on.
To say this has been a test in patience (a virtue that does not come naturally to me) could not be a more true statement. In letting go of the need to control something I can’t see, in waiting for my body to adjust and medication to take over doing what my thyroid always did without a single thought. In the foggy haze of postpartum and a recent return to work, we were asked again to adjust. To trust. To have faith. To focus on the good. And there is no one who does pure joy better than two little ones - Stella and Theo are reminding me daily.
I have immeasurable love and gratitude for Matt who took on caregiving for all three of us and continually shows up for our family without pause. Gratitude for family, friends, and neighbors who are friends. They care for our kids like their own, provide a listening ear, pray, ensured meals and coffee were not a thought, hopped on a plane, and check in regularly just to ask how I am doing. And finally, gratitude for a nurse practitioner who pressed on when lab results came back normal and everything pointed to ‘expected symptoms postpartum’ - who did a thorough exam and encouraged an ultrasound when it felt like we might be overdoing it.
Thank you, again and again.