Monday, February 22, 2010

Gethsemane Moments

After 22 days of low-iodine diet,
I was finally ready for the next diagnostic step.

The night before, I felt that heavy weight that burdens my heart
when I know I am facing something hard.
This week of testing will determine treatment
for my third round of thyroid cancer.

I call them my Gethsemane moments.

I would love for the cancer cup to be taken from me.
But, until it is, I long to do His will.

It is not heaviness from depression,
it is the heaviness of reality.
Suffering is needful, it is for the Lord's glory,
but it is not easy.

But, just as Jesus cried out to His Father,
so I always cry out to my Heavenly Father.
I am never alone.
He hears my prayers.
He captures my tears in a bottle.
He loves me with an everlasting love.

My daughter, Bethany, accompanied me to the hospital.

We sat in the waiting room.
I always wonder how many other people sit,
with serious diseases and issues,
looking at the same waiting room,
knowing the test results could change their lives.

We  patients thumb through the magazines
only to pass the time,
and keep our minds going too far into the future,
where fear and doubt hold hands,
longing to race through the chambers of our minds.

So, we read about cholesterol,
movie stars ugly clothing choices and
recipes with ingredients we have never heard of
to drown out those little voices.

I always want to give the cleaning staff tips.
They never seem to dust the lower rungs of the chairs.
They always miss the 1/2 inch strip along the edge of the carpet.
It builds up into a little fuzzy racetrack around the rooms.

After the removal of a cancerous thyroid, patients take an artifical thyroid hormone. You take a higher dose than your body would normally produce to lower the TSH in your body.  The pituitary gland produces Thyroid Stimulating Hormone.  You don't want the thyroid cells stimulated if they're cancerous. You want them to chill out and go away.  My TSH has been artifically low for six years.

Since I need to take a small dose of radioactivite iodine on Wednesday,  now I need those cancerous cells stimulated.  They need to suck up all the RAI so they look like lightening bugs on the body scan.

Normally, patients have had to go off their thyroid medication for weeks to make the TSH levels go up.  Today, we can use two  Thyrogen injections and stay on our medication. I'm so thankful for medical advances!

After three weeks of no thyroid hormone, you can become seriously hypothyroid.

Increased sensitivity to cold
Pale, dry skin
A puffy face
Hoarse voice
An elevated blood cholesterol level
Unexplained weight gain
Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
Muscle weakness
Heavier than normal menstrual periods
Brittle fingernails and hair

How many of you just diagnosed yourself with hypothyroidism? 
 Fess up! 
 Maybe that's why doctors put so many women's magazines in their waiting rooms. 
They want us all to self-diagnose
and make a lot more doctor appointments.

The shot stings and  makes me a little fatigued and achy,
but compared to the list of symptoms I could be experiencing,
I am very thankful.

Day One is Over.


  1. :pve your honest and brave relaying of this event which is no doubt so very difficult for you. May the Lord continue to uphold and encourage you through the whole process.

    Yes, I have lots of those symptoms you listed!

  2. I had my Thyrogen shots Sunday and Monday.

    As I go through each step, I am praying for you knowing you are right there too.

  3. God brought you to mind first thing this morning. Praying for you!

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog today... you are so encouraging. I love the mending basket idea, that you shared about...I'll have to keep that in mind.

    I also appreciated your encouraging eye to my sewing and decorating. I don't know... I was having one of those days (you know, as you speak of here in your post)...and needless to say, I have so much to be thankful for. I'm glad I read this post of yours at the end of my day. I needed to "hear it". I don't have cancer (that I know of) but I sure can easily let the "cancer of discouragement" get me down. I liked how you said "suffering is needful..." - that really struck a cord with me.

    Thanks again, Mindy. May God bless the rest of your week and treatments. I'll be thinking of you.

  5. I missed this post somehow.

    Praying so hard for you!

    You know one of the things I love about you?

    You are going through all these things, yet you take the timeout to encourage me, and others, I'm sure.

    I treasure each comment you make!

  6. You always put humor into every blog somehow. I love it. I am glad that it went well and quick.
    I still want to know how Clint Eastwood feels about being on the cover of AARP....


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