Health, Operation, Surgery, ThyCa, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroids, Uncategorized

The Final Countdown

For most, it’s a race. Last minute gift shopping. Traveling minutes or miles to ensure the whole family is together. Dinners being prepped. Christmas music is swaying through everyone’s ears and heads. Children anticipating Santa* is on his way. Each person is bustling around to get everything just right for tomorrow.

Is Led Zeppelin considered Christmas music?

One hour, forty-five minutes. My personal countdown. At 1:30PM this afternoon I will report to Summerlin Hospital and my life will be in the hands of people I barely know for the second time.

It’s not bravery. It’s not that I’m fearless. It’s not that I’m some super woman saying to life, “Come at me, Bro!”  (well… kind of I am) but sometimes, you just have to do what you have to do. And our lives are really just one big story, right? Your very own unique memoir. So why not make it interesting! Why not turn an unfortunate situation into something great? Plus, if I didn’t get this sugery done before the year’s end, insurance would have raped** me out of another five grand worth of deductables. Thanks, America!

So my bags are packed. That’s right, plural. A giant fur blanket and Christmas cookies in one. Hand cream, champagne socks (which preferably would be a bottle… Thanks Dani for both!), Packer slippers (Sue Jones, YES! Packers are totally going to the Super Bowl!), chap stick, lotion, and essential oil from the spa yesterday so my room doesn’t smell like a gross, sterile habitat for recovering humans. Oh and let’s not forget my hospital swag. You bet I’ll be rolling up in a Meownisota shirt (Thanks Jessie and the Intermedia Crew!) a festive plaid poncho and a high bun. Duh. No one is raining on my surgery parade. The next 24 are MINE.

So CHEERS! To the nurses and the surgeon and his assistants for coming in today to help others. They are the real heroes in life. And Thank YOU to all who text, called, messaged, and sent well wishes. I adore you and can’t wait to see you again! So sorry if I didn’t get a chance to respond  – just know how much I appreciate you. Everything is going to be A-O.K. It has to be.

 

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AND be sure to think about just how lucky you are today. And tomorrow.  While you’re with your loved ones, eating, drinking, exchanging gifts, I’ll just be on a cold, metal operating table getting my neck slit open 😉

Murray Christmas!

WILL MURRAY! SEE YOU TOMORROW!

 

 

* If you child is 9 or older, quite lying to them about Santa. They’re grown.

** Apologies on using such a vulgar word, but let’s be realistic. It’s true.

 

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biopsy, Health, November, Operation, Surgery, ThyCa, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroids

F*ck You, Calcium

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. Today. 11:30AM. Desert Radiology bound for what I thought was just an ultrasound. Just kidding. Tack on another biopsy. Dr. Mecca was out on vacation but for some reason my surgeon didn’t know that…
I didn’t catch today’s doctors name. He was young. He looked like a dear caught in some headlights when he came in; totally not expecting to be performing this lower sternum biopsy. He even admitted that. Stab. Stab. Stab. The numbing hurt like a mofo. After that it was eight different needles worth of uncomfortable pulsing. One literally felt like it hit the back of my throat. That did me in for a jolt. Two hours later – I’m late for my bloodwork appointment all the way across town. My nurse and I quickly faked a “STAT” signature on all my bloodwork forms, she put in a call to Quest, and away I went. I was 15 minutes late. Not bad. I waited another half hour. 10 tubes of blood and almost 18 hours fasting, I was on my way home. No energy to snag that chest x-ray I still need to complete all my pre-op confirmations.

I get home. Ate. Let the cat outside and then settled back in to finish my work up for the day. (Note, I am STILL working and it’s 7PM my local time.) I receive a phone call at 5PM from my regular physician who was concerned about my dangerously low calcium levels. Weird. I feel fine. And how did she get those results so fast?

She then proceeded to ask for my surgeon’s contact information and endocrinologist’s info so she could relay these findings to them on Monday. Until then, she insisted I pick up a prescription she called into the pharmacy for some sort of Calcium pills and urged if I ever felt numb, tingly, or had any muscle spasms to immediately go to the ER. Wow. Totally not what I was expecting. This was already a long enough day as it was. This better not jack up my surgery date.

On the brink of all this crazy, one really fun thing did find itself at my doorstep this evening. An adorable Fall-o-ween care package from Jim and Peggy Murray! Filled to the brim with the most fun things; from candies and cat toys, to hair product samples and so many more bright and colorful things – You two Wisconsinites sure know how to make a gal feel like a kid again! Oh! And speaking of kids. A childhood friend, whom I’ve known since the dawn of kindergarten will be crashing at Casa De La Murr tonight. So excited to have her and her beau stay for the evening!

Stay cozy everyone.

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November, Operation, Surgery, ThyCa, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroids

A Rainy Wednesday in the Desert

I woke up to the sounds of rain this morning. It’s fall in the desert; temperatures barely gracing the mid-sixties.
Julian and I just got back from a forty-eight hour adventure to Minneapolis for Halloween. It was such a lovely visit.
Pulling myself in every which way possible, I managed to roll out from under the cozy warm blankets and a snuggling cat. My last surgeon appointment was this morning where I signed my life away, once again, to the care of Dr. Nasri. I would have much rather stayed in bed.

Initial here. Initial there. Initials everywhere. I made it though the stack of papers. I read all the descriptions I was initialing the first time, but I decided to skim over most of these this morning due to all the gory details they list out of what could happen. No need to feed my anxiety monster anymore – he’s a bit plump already.

From there back to a room I went. My appointment was at 9:45AM and of course he finally entered around 11:15. Ridiculous. He informed us that he took a second look at the PET scan and spoke with Dr. Mecca who performed my biopsy. Nasri noticed a bit more of a glow in some nodes near my sternum as well. I have a measuring/mapping appointment with Dr. Mecca on Friday. He will perform another ultrasound on my neck to confirm the exact location of the lymph nodes that need to be removed. They upped my surgical procedure from a simple left neck dissection to a left modified radical neck dissection paired with a mediastinal dissection. He plans to clear out various lymph nodes in both areas in attempt to prevent the cancer from spreading into my lungs. He insists I am RAI resistant and that the chance of reoccurrence after this surgery is yet again possible.

Proceeding all this nerve wrecking info, this office has a special procedure they perform in preparation for surgery where they check your vocal cords. They numb your nose and shove a little tube with a light on the end down each nostril. Totally. Torture. As well, you are required to pay additional $ that is not covered by insurance for a nerve and vocal cord monitoring. Better safe than sorry, but all these little things just add to the total dramatic experience.

As always, a time has not yet been assigned for the day of surgery – I’ll know 24 in advance. Nasri said this particular procedure should take 2-3 hours instead of 5-6 like the first round. I’ll take that as pretty much the only win so far in this repeat horror story.

Tomorrow I head to my regular physicians office for a slew of blood work, EKG, and chest x-rays for pre-op purposes.
Friday the mapping ultrasound, and from there we are headed into the final countdown.

I’m feeling confident, but that comes and goes. I sometimes still can’t believe this is my life. That I am dealing with such a resilient disease. I’ve never once said “why me” because really, why not me? Why not anyone? It’s just frusterating. Life is such a gamble that no one is in control of.

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