Mark's mother, Jackie, recently had a complete physical. She has had a goiter on her neck for a little while and the doctor decided to do a biopsy of the lump just to rule out cancer. Less than 1% of nodules on the thyroid prove to be cancerous so no one was too worried. The biopsy was done last week and on Thursday evening the surgeon called.
Diagnosis: Papillary Thyroid carcinoma.
Reaction: Shock. How can this be happening? Shook family cancer, round 2.
Action: Call the oncologist's office.
Monday morning I called my oncologist's office. My doctor is going out of town for two weeks on Thursday and I desperately wanted to get an appointment for Jackie before he leaves. Miraculously (in answer to very fervent real-time prayers), the physician's assistant answered my call on the first ring. I explained to her what has happened and she told me that they would see Jackie on Wednesday. Once again, I was overwhelmed by the compassion of each person on staff at my oncologist's office. Thank you, God, for these wonderful people!
Mark and I went with his parents to see the oncologist Wednesday, and it turned out to be an encouraging visit. The doctor recommended that she have surgery to remove the thyroid gland completely. This would be followed by a radioactive iodine ablation. This is done to kill off any remaining thyroid cancer cells anywhere in her body. The doctor does think that she has some metastases in her lungs, but the radioactive iodine should kill those spots too. If it doesn't kill it completely, then it will knock it down to a level that it can be treated with medication to keep it at bay. He explained that thyroid cancer is one of the most treatable and that with this treatment she can have a normal life expectancy. She is scheduled to have a PET scan on Friday afternoon. She will be making an appointment with the surgeon who was recommended to her. She also has an appointment next week to get a second opinion. Please continue to pray for wisdom for Jackie and Damon as they make important decisions, and pray for God's peace to continue to surround them and their extended family.
If you would like to send a message to Jackie, you can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will get it to her.
Recently I read a quote that said, "If you want to live, you have to keep moving." You know that past year and a half has been a challenge for Mark and me, as well as the recent staff changes at Community of Faith. Please pray for God's strength and wisdom as we "keep moving."