…showed some Cancer cells.
“Cancer? Cancer? I got, Cancer? Another woman gon’ raise my kids? She gon’ love my husband? Should I write a letter with instructions to her? I-got-Cancer?” Inaudibly, I asked these questions. The doctor’s office had become so quiet; I thought maybe I’d said them aloud. Instead, the silence appropriated the few moments it took for me to sort out that I’d just been diagnosed with Cancer.
The dam broke. My teary-river expressed the flooded condition of my heart.
The doctor told me that it was okay to cry and to be afraid. He motioned towards me with a box of tissue and began explaining a course of action. First of all, another surgery was scheduled for six days later in order to have my entire thyroid removed. Next, we were educated about Well-Differentiated Follicular Cancer, as this was my diagnosis, and the type of treatment it required. Somehow, although my doctor mentioned that this type of Cancer had a very good prognosis, I couldn’t see myself “there” anymore. So, mentally, I started making final plans. I interrupted him by saying that I wanted to go back home before the surgery. I wanted to take my kids home for a while. I needed to be back in Misawa with my Sisters in Christ who I had been “growing-up” with.
Judging from his stuttering voice and batting eyelashes, I assumed that the ENT was taken aback by the lack of hope I’d just conveyed. He finally said that it’d be okay as long as I made sure to come back in time for the surgery. We agreed and he continued on to tell us that I was being classified as Stage 2 because of the nodule’s size. Then, we were told that I needed to stop nursing, ("Cameron" was only five-months-old, I’d planned on nursing up through 12 months); because of the I-131 treatment I would receive in six weeks. A plethora of information caused me a mental collapse. I did not feel competent enough to make decisions or any of the arrangements.
The proposed plan of action:
*Wait for second Pathology report
*Return to Misawa for four weeks
*Go to Hawaii for I-131 treatment
*Complete 2 Whole Body Scans before returning to Misawa
*Take a synthetic hormone-FOR LIFE
*Remain under the constant medical guide of an Internal Medicine doctor or Endocrinologist-FOR LIFE, as well
When Anton, the kids and I returned to our temporary residence, he asked me if I wanted to leave that same day or wait till morning; we left within the hour after making arrangements to be picked up from the train station once we arrived back in Misawa and calling my parents. Well, actually, I couldn’t bear to tell my mommy so I spoke with my daddy and asked him to please explain to mommy that I just couldn’t tell her. He told me to make sure I called her when we arrived at home.
In Misawa, we were welcomed by the aromatics of Pine-cleaner and fresh flowers! There were also “Welcome Home” & “Get Well Soon” balloons aimlessly floating in our living room! Loved. We knew that we were loved.
Being back at home proved to be regenerating...
“…stretch out Your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse You to Your face…Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?...” Job 2:4-10 NIV