Tuesday, December 10, 2013

An Anchor

Remember how when I was in Nashville, I ended up in the ER, and the doctor found a new mass on my thyroid?  And how that was the first time I learned that your thyroid could even grow back, let alone that mine had and had grown another tumor along with it?

Yeah, I finally got to go to my ENT today to get that checked out.  She said that because the only scan I'd had was an X-ray, there was a chance nothing would be there because X-rays are notoriously unreliable at seeing thyroids and other glands that are just sheer tissue.  I wanted to believe that that was the case, that we wouldn't find anything, but I think all morning I was expecting pretty much exactly what we found.

My doctor, whom I love and respect so much and who treated me like I had just seen her last month as opposed to the several years it'd been, said if there was actually a mass in there, that because I wasn't having any symptoms that would indicate there was a problem, it would be fine if we left it in there to deal with later, like in the summer after graduation.  I understood what she was saying and where she was coming from, but I told her I'd rather deal with whatever it is now over this break, since come summer I'll be dealing with moving to wherever I end up for grad school.

Thankfully, my doctor's office is in a massive complex (a bunch of buildings right next to each other, not connected or anything but they even share one giant parking lot) and there is a radiology clinic right across from my doctor's clinic.  So they called the radiology clinic, and they were able to fit me in for an ultrasound if I waited a little bit.  I headed over there about 11:15, and was back getting my ultrasound by 11:50.  That took about 25 minutes because the tech had the wrong information so she didn't know exactly what she was looking for and then decided to start all the way over once I cleared things up for her.  By the time I got back to my doctor's office, the radiologist had gone to lunch, so he wasn't going to read it for a while.  Mommom had to get back to get Blake to an appointment, so my doctor said I could go home and she would call me later once she got the report and was able to read it.

Right around 3:30, she called me.  It turns out, that X-ray in Nashville was telling the truth.  Pretty much the entire right half of my thyroid has grown back, along with a sliver of the left half.  The ultrasound found two tumors, possibly more.  The doctor reiterated that I didn't have to have surgery right now, but she wasn't telling me to do it or not to do it, that she would do whatever I wanted.  I told her about how when I was 6 and I had absolutely no symptoms of any problem, and then one day I woke up and it looked like I'd swallowed a golf ball, and I would just really feel better if we dealt with this now so I didn't have a chance of it causing me any trouble in the middle of my last semester.  I had already talked to my mom about this last night, so I knew she also would rather me have surgery now.

So I'm having surgery next Wednesday.  Wednesday is my doctor's weekly surgery day, and the two following Wednesdays are Christmas and New Year's, and then I go back to school on the 5th.  So we really had only one option, and it was fine with me.  I have pre-op stuff next Tuesday at 9:45, and I won't know the time to be at the hospital on Wednesday until then.

I was feeling pretty good once I hung up the phone.  I first tried calling Mom and Mommom, but neither answered, so I started texting everyone that I knew would want to know.  Despite the fact that everyone was so kind and supportive, that was when the nerves started to set in.  As I told a few people today, surgery doesn't get any less freaky and unnerving even when it's your 20th one.  I was expecting this to be how today turned out; I just really, really wanted to be wrong.

I've had several people tell me out of being complimentary and encouraging that I never question God's plan.  Thinking about that tonight reminded me of a conversation I had with a (relatively new) friend last night, and I thanked him for letting me see into his struggles a bit, and he responded, "You thought I didn't have struggles?"  Lest you be one to believe the same thing, let me be the first to clear that up.  I question.  A LOT.  Especially when it comes to my health.  I just am never able to stay in that mindset.  It's hard to ignore God is here working in this when I am surrounded by so much love, even from afar.  And God is so good that He always works things for His glory and His children's good.  There's no question about that.  A friend prayed over me tonight, and in that he said that God has brought me through 19 surgeries, all of which happened when I didn't even believe in the God that I know to be real and alive now, and that we just ask that He bring me through a 20th.

And you know what?  He WILL.  I'm going to be fine.  This is just going to be another piece of the story that I have to tell anyone who will listen to me about Jesus and how he died to save broken people like me.  How I have hope despite the fact that "my life absolutely blows" (according to a dear friend of mine, who meant it out of love and said it in the middle of encouragement) because God has redeemed so many things that I thought could never be made beautiful.  Sure, my life doesn't look the way I'd hoped it would or wanted it to, but underneath the negative emotions that I know will eventually fade, I rest in a foundation of hope in the arms of my Father who never fails to protect me and bring me through the storms.  I can't drown with an anchor like that to hold on to.

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." Hebrews 6:19

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