Not news I wanted hear from the doctor

Not news I wanted hear from the doctor

It’s been quite a roller coaster day for us here. No, it has nothing to do with the inauguration (although I’m waiting for so-called pro-life Obama supporters to explain his moves on that front), but something much closer to home.

Melanie had gone in to see an endocrinologist recently because of something her ob-gyn had seen in her recent tests. (For those of you just catching up, she’s about 14 weeks pregnant.) She got the call back today that she has “nodules” on her thyroid gland and they’re going to have to do a biopsy by sticking a big needle through her neck. The doctor assured her that in 95% of cases, the nodules are completely benign.

What can I not stop thinking about?

Five percent.

Normally, I’d go with the doctor on this one, chalk up the five percent to him being very conservative, and subtract a few points. But then there’s the other thing I can’t stop thinking about.

Two years ago next month. That’s when Melanie had a miscarriage and then was given a preliminary diagnosis of uterine cancer. It was a difficult time for all of us, dealing with fear and uncertainty and loss. It was certainly a Lent to remember.

So now, I’m wondering if we’re about to enter another such Way of the Cross. Last year was a tough year with lots of stress: We had a baby, my job moved, we had to find and buy a house, we had to move ourselves. Is this going to be another year of the same?

I will trust in the Lord, but there’s a little knot deep in my chest that won’t unwind itself. So I wait and I pray. And I do the best I can.

After all the doctor is 95 percent certain it’s nothing. 95 percent. 95 percent.

 

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
17 comments
  • Dom,
    Since you’re already worried about the 5%, I want to tell you about my sister. This is just to show you that even if it IS the 5%, it is not the same as most cancer diagnoses.
    My sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer during her first pregnancy 8 years ago this Spring. Her son is healthy and well, and she now also has a 5 year old daughter, and 6-month-old twin boys! So she not only was successfully treated for the thyroid cancer, but continues to be healthy and had 3 more children afterward! She fell into those tiny statistics a couple times (so needed surgery twice) but now she’s followed once a year.
    Yes, if you ever hear the word cancer, it’s a terribly scary thing. But thyroid cancer is very different with different kinds of treatments (not chemo or typical radiation).
    I guess what I want to say is that even if it is that 5%, it is far from the situation you were facing with the fear of uterine cancer.
    My prayers are with you both and all 3 of your children. Feel free to email me or Melanie can. I’ve posted on her blog before too.
    God bless.

  • I will send up prayers for all of you, as you go through this uncertain time. Your beautiful, loving family inspires and blesses me always. Thank you.

  • You and your family will be in my prayers… my wife is 21 weeks pregnant with our first, and I can’t imagine what you must be going through with so much uncertainty.

  • I’m hypothyroid and my levels need to be adjusted every pregnancy. I’ve also had sonograms of my thyroid. I have nodules as well. Mine is called a multinodular goiter. The largest of my nodules is about .75. My endocrinologist said if/when it gets as large as 1, they would look into doing a biopsy and probably surgically remove it. She said it generally is not a concern and something relatively easily dealt with . Even though, when it reaches that size, the concern is cancer, it is simply removed. No radiation. No chemo.

    While I certainly don’t look forward to the possibility one day, I can be thankful that, if it did happen, it is far from the worst of cancers to contend with.

    Prayers for Melanie, baby and family.

  • Thanks for the prayers.

    Actually, Dom, it’s a very little needle, not a big one. (The procedure is called “fine needle aspiration biopsy.) Smaller than the ones they use to draw blood.

    Betsy and Ketherine, thanks for the reassurances. I do know the details of the worst case scenarios. (Actually Dawn Eden had her thyroid removed last year and described in pretty good detail.) Still not something I want to go through. Still surgery and bound to be complications with nursing the baby, etc.

    But we’ll cross that bridge when and if we come to it. Right now I’m trying to remain calm and not worry. The prayers do help.

  • Just read this and wanted to know that you and your family are in my prayers.  God bless you!

  • Just read this. I hope all is well. Praying.

    I am 1 1/2 yrs post diagnosis of another type of cancer. As a health care provider, I know that thyroid problems are treatable, regardless of what is causing it. Hang in there!

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