Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Lessons Learned

I thought when Isabelle was born and I worried every night
about SIDS for the first year of her life,
that I understood life is vulnerable.

I thought when we lost the baby last October that I finally
understood that life is vulnerable.

I didn't know squat.

When we found out this January that we were pregnant again,
we tried hard to squash our fears of another miscarriage.
We told anyone that would listen that we were to be parents again in October 2010.
We told ourselves we would not live in fear.
I proudly made a "Big Sister" cape for Isabelle.

This past Thursday I had my first ultrasound,
and I finally exhaled.
The beautiful baby had a heartbeat.
He was measuring exactly to the day where he was supposed to.

I went in later that afternoon for my actual OB visit.
And that is when I realized my morning had been the calm
before the storm.

There was something wrong with my thyroid.
Given my mother's own battle with thyroid cancer,
my OB ordered a number of tests to rule out cancer.

When I asked her what were all the possible scenarios.
She told me:
* it could be nothing
* it could be hypo or hyper
(both of which would only complicate my high risk pregnancy more)
* it could be cancer and she couldn't guarantee the baby's survival.

I was eerily calm while they removed
vial after vial of blood from my arm.
I cried quietly as they ran an ultrasound on my thyroid.
I begged for information from the ultrasound tech.
I bargained with a quiet God for my baby's life.

I waited 24 hours to hear that the blood work was normal.
I accepted that I worry to much.
I was chagrined with myself for being so negative.
I went on with life.

My mother called early Monday morning to remind me
to call her with the ultrasound results.
I had honestly put it out my head.
I knew that normal blood work didn't mean anything about cancer.
I went on with my morning.
I was consumed with life.
How many orders did I need to complete, did we have enough milk,
would Isabelle panic when Thomas worked that night..

And then the phone rang.
The nurse apologized first for having to be the one to call me.
The ultrasound didn't look good;
it was time for the next doctor.

The radiology report stated that
*there was (1) thyroid nodule - this is not a good sign
* that it was solid - this is not a good sign
* that it was about 2cm - guess what, another not good sign

I was calm.
I panicked.
I cried while Isabelle napped.
I cried while Isabelle played with Thomas in the other room.
I prepared myself that it could be cancer.
I glued myself to my laptop and researched until there
were no more Kleenex in the house.

Would they want to perform surgery before delivery?
Surgery could harm the baby's growth,
it could create premature labor at a time that baby wouldn't survive,
our baby could die...

Would I be able to get pregnant again after surgery?
The magical internet 8-ball said
that all signs point to no.

I spent the night wrangling a distraught toddler
that probably sensed my gloom and preoccupation.

Today I went to see doctor #2.
I expected to go over the results, again.
I expected to have a few weeks to wait before the biopsy.
I expected to be on pins & needles for a few weeks for results.

Luckily they did the fine needle test today.
Luckily the doctor said a surprising amount was liquid, NOT solid.
Luckily the type of cancer my mother had
is not connected to a hereditary gene.
Luckily the doctor said 85 out of 100 people
would receive a cancer-free phone call.

We are hoping to have results on Friday.
I work a full day on Thursday and Friday.
I am grateful that I will be distracted by
gum-smacking patrons that can't remember if "fiction" is true or not.

Dear God, I do understand how vulnerable life is.

I'm done with the lessons and
I would like a big slice of boring for
at least the next year.

Thank you.


Bella Mama said...

beautifully written Jennifer. I will be thinking of you <3

Shanna said...

Know that we are thinking about you and your family. We hope for the best on Friday.

Anonymous said...

If nodule has no increased blood flow and no calcification, it has only 15% chance for being malignant.