No More Thyroid Cancer, RIGHT MOM?
Being a Mother is and always will be the best gift that I received from you! My little girl, my little Diva, my pride and joy is scared of you. She has nightmares and when I have a doctor’s appointment she freaks out. She is only three and you have made her life a little scary. You were going to take away her Mom, her hero, her shield, her security blanket. Yet, I did not allow you to.
I remember in 2007/2008 the doctors told me my TSH was too LOW for my body to carry a pregnancy and that I had thyroid cancer. She was not getting enough hormones to develop her brain, nervous system and it would also cause retardation. Regardless of what they said, I kept my pregnancy going with a smile and an open heart. I honestly believed in a higher power and left my worries in my higher power’s hands. She was born a healthy 7 lbs 11 oz baby and perfectly normal.
2 ½, almost 3 years later…My husband and I decided to try for another little miracle. Knowing the cancer was in remission. I guess all the fertility drugs I had to take brought out the evil little monster that was sitting on my thyroid. Yet, I was enjoying my pregnancy…Not knowing the cancer was growing. I guess my higher power has a way of making things work out. Soreness in my neck caused me to take a trip to the hospital to find out I had a swollen lymph node. I knew my evil friend was back. I remember the ER doctor telling me “It’s probably strep throat.” I remember looking at her with my daughter in my arms and telling her, “It’s Thyroid Cancer.” After an ultrasound she told me I had a swollen lymph node. Next thing you know, I told her…”No need for the drill, I will call my endo.”
Routine: Biopsy, medication increase…Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah. February 22nd of 2011, my life changed, I heard these words before: THYROID CANCER. I just never heard: Mrs. Serrano, you need to see a surgeon A.S.A.P, you have Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer. As the doctor was talking, all I heard was Charlie Brown….I caught the first part: “ATC usually occurs in patients over the age of 60, it’s very aggressive!” As she kept speaking, my mind was racing, I glanced over at my soon to be three year old little girl. Filled with so much life, will this Cancer take me away from her? How aggressive is it? What about the unborn little boy growing inside of me? What about my best friend, my soul mate, the love of my life?
Racing around seeing several doctors to have surgery A.S.A.P. High risk pregnancy doctors, my new found friend, “My SURGEON”. Ultrasounds to check my lymph nodes and the list went on!!!
April 13th of 2011, today, the day! Today I will walk in with Cancer and walk out without it. It’s only 3 cm of Cancer. The procedure should last only an hour, I take a final glance at my husband, kiss him goodbye, hug my mother in law and cousin. My daughter had to be taken out my arms…”No, my mind was saying, My arms, she safe in these arms!”
I hear her saying, “No more Thyroid Cancer, RIGHT Mom?” is what I hear as they wheel me away.
I know the nurse is talking; I have no idea what she saying. I just keep hearing: “No more Thyroid Cancer, RIGHT Mom?” The surgeon is talking to me, telling me: “That me and my unborn son will be okay.” No more Thyroid Cancer, Right Mom is what I hear. I rub my belly. close my eyes, think of my Daughter…My little Diva…I think of my unborn son…I have no idea what he looks like yet. I need us to walk out of here FINE!
22 years of Thyroid problems and this is what it comes down too! Complete removal of my thyroid gland, I look over at my surgeon, to her this is another normal surgery. To my daughter it’s no more thyroid cancer. It’s me seeing her at graduation, prom and her wedding one day. So I turn to my surgeon and say: “This surgery is not just another surgery. It’s No More Thyroid Cancer for Olivia’s Mother!”
My surgeon smiles and says: “Mrs. Serrano, No more thyroid cancer for Olivia!”
3 hours later, 19 cm, not 3 cm of thyroid cancer removed and 18 lymph nodes.
Here I am today, 34 weeks pregnant, with a baby I will be holding soon in my arms. My three year old little girl…Yes, My little Diva is standing her next to me telling me she wants to go shopping as I type this letter. I smile, not because she wants to shop…Because Mommy has no more thyroid cancer.
Yes, my treatment might not be done; I still need radiation and chemotherapy after my pregnancy. Yet, the worst part is over!! I might have to take tons of supplements, my calcium & magnesium are always wacky, but moments like this, knowing that I will not miss a moment of my children’s lives helps me look past all the negatives that my thyroid has given me, but look at the positives.
I’m still alive and I have two miracles that survived thyroid cancer twice!!! So, when my daughter gets nervous about an appointment and replies: “NO MORE THYROID CANCER, RIGHT MOM!” I give her a high five and say…NO MORE!!!!
Written by, Monique N. Serrano
Tags: cancer's impact on families, cancer's impact on kids, health site written by thyroid patients, kids worrying about their parents with cancer, parents managing their children's fear of their cancer, thyroid cancer blog, thyroid cancer literary site, thyroid cancer patient letters, thyroid cancer support, thyroid cancer's impact on kids