Saturday, January 16, 2010

A cancer by any other name....

I saw the surgeon yesterday. I keep thinking each visit will bring answers, unfortunately with every answer, more unknowns show up. The tumor was a Medullary Carcinoma. It is very rare. The results took so long because the slides had to be sent to a specialist at the Mayo in Rochester. I feel pretty special knowing that part of me has now visited Minnesota. (And I didn't even get any pictures!) Mom and I also laughed that of course, my case would be one of the freaky ones... What did he call it... oh, an anatomical abnormality. (Like I didn't already know that!!!) Well, I will never be normal no matter how hard I try!

The good news is, I wont be needing radiation. The bad news is, I have a big lab work up that has to be done. But has to be momentarily put on hold til my new insurance begins on Tuesday. The labs are because:

About 80% of the time, this is sporadic, its just a fluke that just starts growing.
About 20% of the time, there is a genetic marker that kinda predetermines whether you are going to get it.

We have to determine which kind it is because Reed may also have that marker. If he does, his thyroid will also have to be removed as soon as possible. The surgeon said if it isn't tracked, he could be full blown malignant by 10. This is also important, because my sisters are starting to wonder if this little marker is possibly what has been causing havoc for them. (No cancer seen in any of them, but if there is a genetic link, this is important to know)

I will also have to be tested to see if it has spread. The tumor itself is out and the questional lymph nodes that they removed were benign, so that is really hopeful. I will continue to be screened for a specific hormone the tumor produces. The sooner that level increases or doubles the more likely it has spread and will eventually be fatal. (Oh that was hard to type...) But if my levels remain stable or even decrease I will continue to have a normal healthy life like most common thyroid cancer survivors. And again the surgeon is confident that we caught it early, because of the small size and the benign lymph nodes.

I will continue to update the blog and keep my facebook up to date as soon as I know more.

I appreciate all your concern, your love and prayers. I appreciate your own similar experiences that were shared and gave me confidence and increased hope. I know that I have already been so blessed through this. I also appreciate that I know that I can call in favors if needed. This is going to be a stressful next few weeks/months, but I know I am being strengthened through the love and blessing of a Heavenly Father and through my family and friends who continue to plea to Him on my behalf.
I know that He has sent me you to help through your prayers and service. My prayer is that I can learn what I need to from this experience and be able to look back on it as just one of life's many stepping stones that will eventually make me who I need to become.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Wow Emily I hope that you find out soon about Reed that would be really hard. We found out the the RA that my mom has she gave the genetic to me and my daughter too. So we are doing the same thing just different disorder. Kind of lame huh?