This post was originally made on Facebook on July 30, 2014.
Our house has been full of a quiet type of gratitude for the past couple of days. It is a gratitude that fills you up so much that there is no space for words… or really anything else. Today, I finally feel like I can speak…
Four weeks ago we received a phone call that could have been life changing. It was from a Dr. in Idaho Falls who had reviewed an ultra sound and biopsy report on my thyroid. He uttered the words, “tumor, and papillary thyroid cancer, and the now infamous, “if you’re going to get cancer this is the one to get” and then ended the call by say that he wanted me in his office within an hour. As we sat in his office he went over things like surgery (scheduled for the next Tuesday), blood tests, and at least 2.5 years of follow up to make sure that the cancer hadn’t spread to my bones or my lungs. <—-how is that “the best possible kind to get?” (BTW, please, don’t ever say those words out loud to anyone! No cancer is “the best kind to get.”)
We made arrangements for the in-laws to change their plans in Utah and to spend a few days in Idaho while I was in the hospital, but soon after heard the whisperings in my heart, “do not do surgery with this Dr.” To confirm what I was feeling, I googled the Dr. Nothing good and only two (very serious) bad reports were found, but my decision was made. He wouldn’t touch me with a ten foot poll. The complications of this surgery are severe and life changing, even if the cancer was removed and beat!
After a little research, I chose the Dr. that Eric used in 2002 and called to make an appointment. I found that my decision was exactly the right thing when they came back after checking their schedule and told me that they could see me in 3 days. This Dr. normally has a 6 week wait! His predictions for my chances with this type of cancer were much less frightening and his confidence that I’d be spared the complications were much more confident! We scheduled the surgery for three weeks out.
At first we began praying that the cancer was limited to my thyroid and that it hadn’t spread to my lymph nodes. We felt that this was the “very best” possible outcome and so it was the best that we dared ask for. After one week, I had to answer the call of an impression that I was getting every time I prayed. It seemed like TOO big of a miracle, but the thought came into my mind again and again. Even while attending the temple, this was the only answer I got. I needed to have faith. I needed to make the jump and take the chance and pray the BIGGEST miracle possible. So, with a quiet trembling voice I told my family that they needed to pray that there would be no cancer, that the doctors were wrong, and that I would be completely healed. Eric gave me a blessing and later, the Bishop gave me one too. Both were full of promises of a good outcome, that I would heal and be healthy.
So three weeks c.r.a.w.l.e.d. by and then we drove down to Utah, to our hand picked surgeon and had surgery. He came into my room the next day to tell me that he’d never seen a thyroid like mine. He called in a “florid thyroid.” It had petals like a flower that surrounded my carotid arteries, my esophagus and reached all the way around my neck. He even said that it was “sticky” (gross) and one of the sickest thyroids he’d ever seen. That last part confirmed something I’d been feeling even after one day. Something that was causing me to feel sick and that was poisoning my body had been removed. I could feel it almost as soon as I woke up. The words of Eric’s blessing came crashing back into my mind… “this is the beginning of a healing process. You are going to start getting better from this point on!”
We drove back to Utah on Monday to talk to the surgeon about the final lab results and they gave us the best news ever! They told us that it WAS NOT CANCER! I cried and hugged everyone in the room. It was a release I’ve never felt before. I had gone from two doctors who felt that my chances of having cancer were about 99%, to NOT having cancer at all! (The actual numbers for people with “suspicious” on their biopsy reports is 80% really do have cancer.) No more appointments, no more follow up, no radioactive iodine… just a pill every morning.
I am so grateful for a Father in Heaven who listens and answers prayers… for a God who teaches me what exactly to pray for, and One who gives me enough courage to ask for the big things. I am also grateful for a husband who holds the Priesthood and who has the authority to pronounce blessings that are far beyond what we feel we deserve or even dare to ask for.
I also want to thank all of those who joined us in prayer, fasting and temple rolls these past few weeks. I’ve only told a few, but they have been a great support system.