Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Radiation, here I come!

Hey folks. Alex here. Minus a thyroid, four lymph nodes, and a dollop of fat. I kid you not. The operative report literally stated they removed a dollop of fat. Now that's a bargain!

Don't mind that gross drain thing.
It was removed a few days after surgery.

My surgery on Feb 25 went well. It was confirmed that the cancer had spread to a few lymph nodes, which is what my endocrinologist suspected. However, what they didn't expect was how large the actual tumor was. This resulted in some trauma to my laryngeal nerves (which impacts voice and swallowing) and parathyroids (which helps control calcium levels).

So while the surgeon is happy with the procedure, recovery has been a bit more difficult than I expected. Three weeks later I am slowly weaning off my calcium medication but my parathyroid is still not wanting to fully cooperate. When my calcium levels drop, my hands, feet, nose, and lips tingle and go numb. While it may not be the worst thing in the world, it certainly isn't fun.

But the most debilitating side effect is the loss of my voice. The ENT had to pull the tumor off my laryngeal nerve but he was confident the nerves remained intact. The swelling and mild trauma has made it difficult to drink and I am only able to talk barely over a whisper. I am thankful this has slightly improved over the past few weeks, but I am far from normal. There is no way I can work until this has resolved. Good thing I know a skilled speech therapist who rocks at dysphagia and voice therapy!

Because of the tumor's size and confirmation that the cancer has spread to my lymph nodes, the doctors recommend that I proceed with radioactive iodine treatment. I began a low-iodine diet March 17th to prepare my body for treatment on April 2nd. I will then be isolated from people and pets (6+ ft) for 14 days. I have a packed schedule full of finishing House of Cards, taking long walks, and reorganizing my closet.

So, there you have it. An update, a plan, and some specific things that you can pray for. And trust me, the prayers are being felt. While days are still hard, I have a hope and peace that only comes from God.

Micah 7:8 "Though I sit in darkness, the Lord will be my light."

God is good. All the time.


  1. Alex, You are an amazing woman. I am going to keep you in my prayers.
    Nancy Carper

  2. Way to stay strong Alex. Good luck with the treatments and isolation...you will get through it!!

  3. That is the perfect verse. You are an encouragement to me in my walk as you are dealing with your own trials. Thanks for sharing your life.

  4. God is great. Truly a miracle. Stay strong! When you have a free moment, I have a quick question for you. Thanks! I hope to hear from u soon! :-)

  5. The sadness of our journey is the inspiration to everyone else through their journey. Alex, I am praying hard for you! <3