Friday, November 28, 2008


I'm thankful for my family and the walk we had yesterday in the sunny 60 degree outdoors.

I'm thankful for the time I had with Claire this morning when she was sitting in my lap, both of us still in our pjs, and the bubbling giggles that came out of her every time I hiccuped in her ear.

I'm thankful for friends who came over and shared a wonderful meal with us.

I'm thankful for more friends who came over (and brought their sweet grandma with them) and shared dessert (and bourbon) with us.

I'm thankful for the chipotle rubbed turkey and roasted sweet potatoes and yams Huz made.

I'm thankful for the mashed potatoes, dressing, and bourbon pumpkin cheesecake my friend made.

I'm thankful for the pumpkin pie with spiced walnut streusel that I made.

I'm thankful for wine.

I'm thankful for laughter.

I'm thankful for candlelight.

I'm thankful for life, good doctors, early detection of illness, and a good prognosis.





Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:54 PM

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thank God

Finally, some good news. The biopsy on my lymph nodes was NEGATIVE for cancer. So I don't have to worry about a more complicated surgery or a bigger scar or cancer spreading in my body.

Right now I'm thankful for small things, only this feels like a BIG thing.

THANK YOU JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 8:36 AM

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Reason Cancer Won't Be Victorious

Blueberry Face.



Rabbit Spooner.



Happy Clapper.


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:12 PM

Needles Suck

I had another close encounter with needles yesterday afternoon. The surgeon biopsied a lymph node on each side of my neck to see if the cancer has spread (God in heaven, please say it hasn't). It was painful - I could feel each needle deep inside my neck and the pressure of it and the ultrasound wand felt like he was standing on my neck. I definitely got tears in my eyes, but Huz was with me holding my hand which made it so much better than the last time when I was alone. After this lovely procedure I had a pre-op appointment with a nurse practitioner who told me that the side effects of general anesthesia are heart attack, stroke, and death.


This is really happening to me and I could die.


Surgery is scheduled for Monday, December 8th - two days before my 14th wedding anniversary. I'm going to be so freaking hot for our day of celebration. NOT.

I am scared and angry and, most of all, I feel helpless. This is all just happening TO me without me having any say in the matter. We weren't even wanting to, but to be told that you can't have another child for a year after radiation treatment has got to be one of the most disempowering things. Procreation (or not) should be my choice, not somebody else's. Being told that you can Cancer, but it's the "best kind to have," is a bunch of malarky. I have CANCER. I could DIE from anesthesia. This is fucking ridiculous. I have a right to feel scared and freaked out and depressed. Yes, the odds are on my side, but right now I just need to feel allowed to feel these emotions.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:32 AM

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Other Thyroid Cancer Stories

Reading other people's experiences has been helping me lately. Here are a few if you are interested.

Of course I'm only trying to read the ones with good endings and not the ones that had the same diagnosis that I have but turned out to be something different. I can't handle that thought right now.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 1:32 PM

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rose Garden

I, like most girls, love getting flowers. Apparently, getting the Big C is the way to get them!

First, I got a dozen red roses from Huz on Friday. Then, I got three different bouquets at work yesterday.

Check it out.

These are from 2 students who know about my diagnosis and were sweet enough to bring me flowers and a card.


These are from another student who doesn't neccessarily know about my diagnosis, but gave them to me as an office warming present (I just moved into a new office last week).


And these? These are the prettiest of them all and I have NO IDEA who they are from. There is no signature on the card and the florist had no name either. It's not from my mom, husband, boss, or co-workers. Oh the intrigue! I have a secret admirer! :)


Posted by Bird On A Line @ 9:29 AM

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Roller Coaster Called My Emotions

Well. This is what it's like, huh? About every hour or so I go from one extreme emotion (f-bomb dropping anger) to another (weepy sorrow) to another (why me pity party) to another (not wanting to accept the label of "victim") to another (being made to feel that this is not a big deal, even though it IS because it's freaking CANCER after all) to another (feeling completely isolated and alone).

There is no road map before me. I've never done this before and I don't know how I'm "supposed" to feel. Huz has never done this before either and I'm sure he doesn't know how to feel, but, as always, he remains my steady rock of support. I came home last night after a long day of waiting at the Dr's. office as they "fit me in" for a surgery consult (this basically entailed me sitting on my ass for 3 hours before being seen) to a house filled with the smells of a homemade Indian meal, a dozen red roses, and these awesome (awesome!) cookies. He's a great partner and I'm blessed that he's mine and that he kind of likes me.

The consult was how most probably are: very straight forward and full of facts and risks. Surgeons are not know for their empathy or bedside manner, not that he was horrible, but he was lacking in the "I'm sorries" for sure. After an hour with him and hearing that there is a risk of infection or bleeding during surgery, I had another ultrasound of my neck. He saw that some lymph nodes on my left side were a bit enlarged and said that I'd have to have another needle biopsy on those to see if they were cancerous. If so, he'll have to remove them in surgery too which will double the time of the thyroidectomy (2.5 - 4 hours) and that the 2 inch scar will be larger as he'd have to cut closer toward my ear.

Great. Just freaking great.

I'm already dreading this scar (or the "second smile" as I'm calling it) and wondering if I'm going to look like a human jigsaw puzzle. I think that's what I'm dealing with mostly at the moment - other than being pissed that this is actually happening to me (I'm a good person, damn it!) - that my body will be marred and my self image (which is already dangerously close to the edge) will be in danger of falling way low.


I hate this.

The surgery won't be until January, so I have loads of time to ride this roller coaster. Good times.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 7:50 PM

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Big "C"


This, my friends, is the face of cancer. I received the shocking and still unbelievable diagnosis of thyroid cancer yesterday.


While I've always been fearful of getting such a diagnosis (I'm a bit of a hypochondriac by nature and have always been terrified of cancer), I never thought I'd get it so soon in life. I mean, I'm only 32 years old. Thyroid cancer does not run in my family, nor do I have a history of radiation to the head (other than standard dental x-rays). I think I'm still processing the fact that this is happening to me and that the big "C" is real and inside of me.


I know that attitude and the mind-body connection is real and plays a big part in healing, so I refuse to be down about this. I'm sure waves of emotion will eventually come and that I'll be angry, sad, scared, etc., but right now I'm coasting on denial. That and the fact that several physicians I've spoken to have told me repeatedly that this type of cancer (stage 1 thyroid) is the best kind to get and completely curable in people my age. I have to get my entire thyorid removed, take an iodine radiation pill, and will have to take hormones for the rest of my life. If that means getting rid of the rogue cells, I can handle it. Think of me and pray for me in the upcoming weeks as this reality settles in and plans for the surgery progress. Thank you kind friends, family, and internet strangers alike.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 6:36 PM

Saturday, November 8, 2008

On a Lighter Note

It is well known that Fall is my favorite season. I love the bold colors on the trees; I love the brisk wind that wakes me up and forces me to breathe deeply; I love bringing out the tights and long-sleeved shirts from storage (and donning the boots that Huz thinks are so very sexy paired with a skirt). And now I have a whole new reason to love Fall. Claire was born during this season and I can rejoice in the fact that we are a family now. Here are some belated photos - we never celebrated Halloween because we were in Chicago (the trip that sucked ass because I was stuck far away from the fun city I love while dealing with a cranky, diarrhea-prone toddler, among other things). I did, however, put her costume on her a week beforehand. There's always next year when she can actually walk and eat the candy herself.

Here's a few from the pumpkin patch down the street. There are some AWESOME ones of her and Huz and of her and me, but for some reason I'm having trouble converting them from RAW files to JPEG files and Flickr won't take them. WTF!? Anyone have any advice!?

pumpkins 08-18

pumpkins 08-43

pumpkins 08-02

pumpkins 08-31

These are terrible pictures, but they're the only ones I have of her in her duck costume.

pumpkins 08-55pumpkins 08-53

Me: Claire, what's a duck say?

Claire: Moo.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:06 AM

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What Am I Wearing?

I'll tell you. I'm in bed wearing my shirt, socks and undies. I'm eating ice cream and I'm blogging. I just had a shitty medical procedure that I don't wish on anyone. I had a biopsy of my thyroid because when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes my endocrinologist noticed a cyst. I had an ultrasound on it then and again 6 months later. The good news was that it didn't grow, but it has a solid border and crystallizations inside which means that I had to get samples taken to check for cancer. The biopsy entailed needles being stuck into my throat. I felt like I was being strangled. I cried. It was embarrassing, but the hot tears just came out and pooled in my ears. I hope and pray that I don't have cancer and I hope and pray that I never have to do that procedure again.

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 3:45 PM

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Halle-freaking-lujah, y'all. That's all I can say. Here's to the audacity of hope, to a better history, to a country that will again be respected in the world as we go forth. Here's to all of those African Americans who were used and abused by slavery and racism. Here's to justice and peace and fairness. Here's to President Obama!

Posted by Bird On A Line @ 10:10 PM

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