Monday, June 18, 2012

Today's report

Wow, what a day. I'm exhausted! It's funny I'm bothering to type this out as I'm just so darn tired, but I want to make sure I record this whole journey and best do it while it's fresh.

Randy and I went to bed too late last night but we woke up on time and managed to get out the door in a timely fashion. We dropped Eidie off at a friend's (who so kindly was up at 5:30am to receive her, and tuck her into bed with her, and both went back to sleep - yay!) and headed out. We had to get the ferry to Seattle and arrived to the clinic with a bit of extra time. Good thing; Randy dropped me off at the front door and said he'd meet me. I got down to Radiology before he did and I was too scared to check in without him there so I paced, and paced, and paced. I was afraid if I checked in and he wasn't there that they'd call me back and I'd be alone. But he made it, we checked in and shortly after a quiet gentleman called me back.

We walked back and I wanted to make sure I stayed grounded. I read the names on the labeled doors as we passed them so that I wouldn't get all floaty. He led me to a room with a bed and an ultrasound machine and invited me to hop up. I looked around and noticed a distinct lack of biopsy trays.... I started to hope!

It took me about ten minutes to relax but when I finally did, I literally kept falling asleep while he was doing the ultrasound of my neck. I told Randy it was like having a warm, slimy neck massage. Haha! I got to watch part of it and I didn't recognize anything I saw except for my carotid artery, jugular vein, windpipe, thyroid and the little orb that caused this whole mess. He got all his pictures and said he'd be right back. I wiped all that goo from my neck and he came back and said, "We don't need a biopsy, you're free to go." I was so excited I made him high-five me!

Suddenly I didn't have any more stress- we were going to meet with the surgeon which was what I was waiting for, for weeks really, and I was ready to talk with her, ready to schedule. We got a quick snack and arrived early to the appointment.

Dr. H came recommended from my own doc who had met her once  and also heard really positive things from her patients. I chose her based solely on that- I had a good strong feeling about her and in person, she did not disappoint. She was very energetic but in a grounded way, she was connected to both Randy and me as people and not just an item on her docket for the day. She gave a presentation (so to speak) of what we were going to do in the surgery, my recovery and my future care. She suggested that if the cancer hasn't spread past the thyroid and that the cancer in the thyroid looks well placed, that I might not even have to have radiation. NICE! She works closely with my endocrinologist and does about 100 of these surgeries per year.

I had watched a video of the surgery itself and done boat loads of research so we had an efficient conversation which really affirmed that we were on the same page.

"Do you like what you do?" I asked her, like I ask anyone who is going to be in my home, or touch my body, or my kids, or my husband, or otherwise leave their energetic mark in my life. "Oh, yes. I love it. I love it a lot." It is so clear that she does, she lights up when she talks about it and calls the surgery 'elegant'. I believe that she believes it is. I told her how important it is to me that she loves what she does and takes seriously the sacred contract we're making to go into the OR together. She nodded emphatically, she understood what I was saying and agreed with me. "I take this very seriously. I take my time during the surgery and I do not rush, even though I've done so many of them. I go to bed early, I eat well the day before, I keep my stress low." She takes care of herself so that she can take care of me, in other words. I'll take it.

I met with a few other nurses to do the pre-op instructions and then we left, waiting to hear from her office on when we'd schedule the surgery. Randy has to go out of town for a few days next week so we were shooting to have it done as soon as possible after he gets back, so probably mid-July.

I left the clinic feeling really good about everything. We'll check in on the day of surgery, do a couple of hours of pre-op stuff. The surgery itself takes approximately 3 hours and then I'll be in recovery for 2-4 hours. Unlike my ovarian tumor removal, I won't have any interaction with my digestive system/bowels so I won't be denied food/drink right after surgery. One of the most awful things about that other surgery was having the horribly dry mouth after waking up and everyone refusing me water. It was really terrible to feel so groggy and out of control and to be really suffering without water. I didn't want to feel that again and she assured me that as soon as I ask for water or food, someone will bring it. Yes! Randy will be able to be present for some of the recovery process and then they'll take me to my room where I'll stay the night, and then go home the next day. Done!

I'll be a little hoarse and probably tired for a while, up to a couple of weeks from what I understand. Randy's leaving on Tuesday for a trip he's been looking forward to so I'm working with my friends to see if anyone wants to help me out with some kid activities, or food drops, or a sleep over. Why not make it fun, and have a little help in the process?

I can't believe it's going to happen on Friday!

Edited to add:

Can't believe I forgot to add this! I must be tired. ;) On our way home we were just pulling onto the ferry when the phone rang- it was the surgeon's office. She said, "Dr. H. can fit you in on Friday if that works for you. She'll come in on her day off and do your surgery so you don't have to wait until late July." I was stunned! How do you just decide on the spur of the moment to have surgery four days later? Randy and I chatted briefly and said, "Let's do it!"

I'm still reeling from how smoothly today went, with markers of good news all along the way. It confuses me sometimes, how am I getting such a smooth ride? People say that I have put this energy into the Universe and I wonder (really, honestly wonder) what I do differently from any one else. I don't see it, but I must be racking up points somewhere to be getting all this harvest right now. I'm learning to say, "Yes!" when people offer me help and support, and working on not feeling guilty, or like I owe something for it. It's very, very hard.

I think this is a great opportunity to learn about receiving. Thank you, cancer! (Nowgetout.)


  1. Kristina, I think it's important that you are documenting this in such a disciplined way. Thank you for sharing and for being so clear-headed and stong. You are incredibly positive, informed, and overall, amazing :)

  2. I love your friend that fell back to sleep with your baby girl! :) I love your criteria for anyone who is going to touch you or your family. I'm so glad it's going to happen this Friday. It's still June!!! Sending you much love and support.