I have debated for a while about writing this post, but the more I look back on the last few months the more I feel led to share just how blessed our little family has been and just how thankful I am for those blessings. Some may know that Roberto is currently in school for Vascular Sonography. We anticipate his graduation to be in the Spring: woo-hoo! In June Roberto asked me to come to school to be scanned by his professor so he could later scan me for practice. While waiting for his professor he was able to actually do an ultrasound of our newest little nugget.
Here we are, a family of four...almost! After getting to see our sweet unborn baby Roberto's professor took to my carotid arteries for a little look. It did not take her long to discover a mass on the right side of my thyroid with blood flow to it. She didn't mince her words when she told me I needed to contact my PCP immediately to have the mass checked out. To say I was instantly freaked out would be an understatement. Of course my mind wanders to the absolute worst case scenario of not being alive to watch my children grow! I think it is absolutely human nature to awfulize. Roberto, being the rational one of the two of us, was always optimistic that the mass would turn out to be nothing. I can not say I was always so sure. Of course "they" say thyroid cancer is the cancer to have if you are going to have cancer. It is easily treated by the removal of your thyroid. Ok. In theory that sounds comforting. When it is you it is still incredibly scary. Throw in being 17 weeks pregnant.
After seeing my PCP a few days after the initial ultrasound I was scheduled for an "official" ultrasound. This revealed two masses, not just one. The masses were shown to be less than 1.4cm in length and, according to current guide lines, are to be watched and reassessed in a year. This did not sit well with me. I did not want to wait a year to find out if these masses were cancerous or not. That seemed a little crazy to me! So, I was referred to an endocrinologist.
Dr. Charlie Chang, an endocrinologist based out of Clear Lake, was able to see me in just a few weeks of discovering the masses. I honestly thought I was going to have to beg him to perform a biopsy, but I was pleasantly surprised when he was adamant we do not wait a year and biopsy immediately. Mateo accompanied me on my first visit to Dr. Chang's office. A few days later I am back in his office, with Roberto at my side, for a biopsy of my thyroid mass. Honestly, I did not have any expectations. I knew it would be a needle biopsy, but I did not know what it would feel like or have a frame of reference for what to expect. It was not comfortable. At all. After the biopsy was completed Dr. Chang informed me he would call me on Monday with results. He was going to be in contact with the lab to expedite the test.
To know your healthcare provider truly cares and wants answers just as badly as you was incredibly comforting and helped to validate my feelings and fears. This wasn't something to just dismiss. Monday came and Dr. Chang called. Unfortunately the samples taken were not adequate and the biopsy would need to be repeated. Later that same week Roberto and I went back to Dr. Chang's office for yet another biopsy. This go around was MUCH more intense than the first, and I left feeling incredibly anxious and in quite a bit of pain. My gracious husband was so kind and supportive. I am so thankful he was able to be off work both days I had the procedures performed. I thought I could go on my own and be fine, but I was definitely not fine. I was scared.
During this time we confided into a handful of family and friends who encouraged and prayed for us. Dr. Chang had told me he would be calling me on the following Monday. Monday came, and I anxiously waited for his call all day. I was working and made sure my phone was always near. By 5pm I had not received a call, and was a bit discouraged. I was waiting and hoping for the best news! I made it home from work and was putting Mateo to bed when Dr. Chang finally called to tell me the biopsy was indeed negative and we would do a repeat ultrasound in a year! What a relief! I am so thankful for Dr. Chang and his diligence in his care for me. I am also incredibly thankful I can say I'm cancer free!
I waited a long time before I met Roberto, and I waited a long time to be mother to Mateo. There were so many emotions that I still do not think I have fully sorted through from the past two months. However, today I am 24 weeks pregnant and our little nugget is officially viable. We are healthy. We have one another. We are truly blessed.