I have cancer! The big C! The one word that can make even the biggest, strongest men quiver in their boots. Now that I have your attention, I’d like to tell you how God has had His hands on me from the very beginning…
A little over a year ago, I took a new position working for a doctor that performs ultrasound guided fine needle aspirations (USGFNA). Basically, it’s a biopsy of a nodule, mass, etc. Most of the patients we see, have thyroid nodules, neck masses, those type of things. The doctor takes a sample using a needle, makes slides, and then goes to look at the slides under the microscope before the patient leaves the office. He is able to give the patient a preliminary diagnosis before they even leave the office. Nice, right? Then the patient doesn’t have to wait a week to find out what is going on.
About a month ago, we had a medical student rotate through the office. The poor guy stood for two weeks and just watched the doctor perform the procedures. About a week into the rotation, I told the med student that if he wanted to practice doing an ultrasound, he could use my neck. Nothing more was said about it at the time. However, on the student’s last day, the doctor asked if the med student could practice on me. Sure. All in the name of science and learning, right?
So I laid back on the table and he began the ultrasound. I saw a funny look pass over my doctor’s face. The med student proclaimed that I was free and clear of any thyroid/neck issues. At that point, the doctor grabbed the transducer from the student and started looking around. Then he told me that I have two thyroid nodules and they look a little weird. Really? Come on. I don’t have time for this!
I reminded myself that thyroid nodules are very common. Twenty percent of people have at least one. Of those 20%, only about 8% are anything other than benign. Then the doctor told me that the one nodule has a calcified rim around it. Hmmmm, that’s not good.
Anyway, a few days later, the doctor took samples of both nodules. The one in my left thyroid lobe was suspicious for neoplasm (which could mean benign or malignant) and the one in my isthmus (the connecting piece between the two lobes) was suspicious for papillary thyroid cancer. What?! I really don’t have time for this! I actually looked at my own slides under the microscope. I remember being very shaky after he told me my diagnosis. Remember, I work there, so it was back to business as soon as I was done with my biopsies. I remember feeling tearful (not actually crying, just being on the verge). Then my problem solving instincts clicked in. Ok, what’s the next step?
The treatment for papillary thyroid carcinoma is to remove the thyroid. I made an appointment with a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic. I met with her and loved her immediately. I also had another appointment with a surgeon at Ohio State University, but I cancelled that because I felt such a peace about my choice with the Clinic. I scheduled my surgery. As long as the nodules are not invasive, a thyroidectomy is the only procedure I will need. If it is invasive, then I will have to do a radioactive iodine treatment as well. There is no chemotherapy needed.
So you may be asking yourself, why is this post titled In God’s Hands? Well, He has had His hands on me from the very beginning of this whole process. It goes as far back as me even accepting my current position. If I hadn’t, I’d still be working at the hospital and there would have been no opportunity for me to be a guinea pig for a medical student. He guided me to the facility and surgeon where He knows I am in good hands. He has comforted me when I feel my anxiety skyrocketing and I feel like I’m going to jump out of my own skin. He has comforted my thoughts. Quelled my queasy stomach. I give Him all the glory for guiding my surgeon and her team.
He is amazing! Will you let Him work in your life? Will you let Him show you what He can do? What He can overcome? Some naysayers, may say I am weak for putting my trust in something I can’t even see or explain. Weak? It’s quite the opposite! It takes strength to relinquish control. It takes strength to realize that you’re not even in control in the first place. Are you ready to relinquish that control over to God? It may seem impossible to you, but He can accomplish more than you can ever dream possible!