The Beginning

Every day, 97 things happen that I am sure someone would get a good laugh at. I may or may not be laughing at them. I had three adorable, manageable kids, then I had Brock, who is now the cutest, most loving 3 year old in the world, at select moments. Brock has a little brother named Blake, in the BTP, (Brockstar Training Program). I am 34 years old, have been married for 13 years, have 5 kids and sing now and then. I like to create, NOT COOK or CLEAN, which is turning out to be a great challenge since I am in charge of a house with 7 PEOPLE! I do love the people, though. Here for you all to laugh at me and with me, is a record of my funny life, the mistakes I make, and the lessons I learn while trying to earn, MY BIG GIRL PANTS.

Friday, January 27, 2012


Yesterday, I went to the hospital and took my radioactive iodine pill. That is what you take with thyroid cancer  instead of general radiation. The thyroid cells absorb iodine so they attach the radiation to iodine, it gets absorbed by the thyroid cells left over after the thyroidectomy, and kills them. I didn't really want to do it, but I have to have a body scan anyway and the radiation will show up on the scan if there are any other areas of concern. I feel fine, a little tied maybe from being off my thyroid pills for a couple weeks. You have to be hypothyroid when you get the radiation pill. Don't really understand why. Don't really care, just ready to move on. I have been very indifferent about everything, I think it is a depression or something from being hypothyroid. I'm also starving, I can see how you could gain weight with an underproducing thyroid.

In some ways, even without my thyroid pill, I think I feel better than I did before surgery. I don't know what it was doing, but I am functioning on less sleep better than I could before. Or maybe it is because my babies are 3 and 4 now. Of course, they still stay up with me until midnight most nights. They are at that age where they can't get through the day without a nap , but won't nap until 5:00, the witching hour. I need to get a grip on that situation. 

I can't be around my kids for 4 days. I am locked in my room now listening to them play with my 13 year old. She is amazing with them. They love her so much. It is adorable to listen to them giggling while she tricks them into getting dressed. It is also torture to not be able to squeeze on them. Bob is taking them to his mom's for the weekend. They don't know I am in here, or they wouldn't stay away. 

It is funny how you take contact with your kids for granted. I got to kiss Trev and Whit but they had to leave quickly. I wanted them to stay and I wanted to hold them. But every other day I do it mindlessly and don't realize what a gift that simple thing is. I have to keep my glands functioning and I woke up with dry eyes so I got on the computer to find something to make me cry. I watched Diane Sawyer's interview with Jaycee Dugard and cried and cried at the pictures of her mom looking for her. Not being able to hold her for 18 years. A hug is such a gift, and most of the time we do it so mindlessly we don't feel it or even remember it. 

My cancer is gone, we assume, but in quiet, alone moments, like the shower the last two mornings, my mind wonders about it being somewhere else. Anywhere else would be significantly more dangerous and frightening. When I was young, I always thought everyone could be cured, but I know better as an adult. I know it's dramatic, but every once in a while, I think about it anyway. I'll think about it every time I go in for a scan for the rest of my life. 

I don't have many regrets here, but I would regret not being more patient with my kids, and more understanding. I'd regret not listening and I'd regret enforcing the fact that I am the mother so I get to be right, even if I'm not. I am so good at holding babies and closing my eyes and breathing them in and giggling at their voices, but not as good at absorbing my big kids. Watching THEM in wonder. It is harder for me to appreciate the character they show and value it because I just expect it. And I would regret not holding them more, and tickling them and tucking them in. 

I used to lay with them at night and sing Dolly Parton's "Jolene" or  give them the creeps with "Poison Ivy". As soon as I am not radioactive, I'm going to start again, because even if cancer never comes back, we could be separated by something else, like growing up, and I don't want to wish I had loved them more, or better.

Thyroid cancer has given me a few unexpected gifts and insights. Or perhaps, God has given me a few unexpected gifts and insights. As always, He has everything under control. So I'm just going to go with it.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thyroid Journal Entry

I still feel great. My incision is healing nicely. It has quite a bit of scar tissue still but the bumpiness is a little better and the redness is calming down. I go to the endocrinologist on the 11th to talk about radioactive iodine and I'm going to see if there is a way to avoid it. Radiation gave me the cancer in the first place and I don't want any more, but I'll do whatever we decide. My ENT says it is controversial right now but he would do it since there was another small cancer spot starting to grow that they found from the pathology. I'm just going to throw out big words like "Pathology" now and then so I sound medically informed and a little cool. They may be used in the wrong context, I'm hoping you don't know.

The effects of not having a thyroid haven't been that bad. A few days after having the thyroidectomy, the extensions of my mammary glands (that means nipples, I don't really want to talk about this, but if someone is going through this also and finds my blog I want to give support and couldn't find much about it online), anyway, they hurt for a while but it went away. 

One day I forgot to take my thyroid pill and the next day I was a wreck. My whole body ached and I was an emotional mess. I wonder how many mental issues and depression are caused by an under active thyroid. I laid in bed and cried and was crazy and hurt all day.

I have some slighter mood swings now and then. I'll just feel like crying. I think before I had the thyroid out I was feeling symptoms of imbalance and was little crazy then also. I would flip out on the kids so quickly. I was also more aggressive and sometimes felt like I was running over people more than usual (I'm probably a little bossy by nature, I mean, I am bossy). 

Ok, that's all for now. Except for sometimes I am really hungry too. So bring me some food. Cause I'll eat it. But no onions. And I am so tired, but sometimes I am not tired and feel better than I did before. Yah, I'm all over the place.

 This was a couple hours after surgery. There were little spots all around the incision, even to my shoulders where I am guessing they had tacked the skin back or something for surgery.

 Two Days after surgery.

 10 days after surgery. When I took the tape off, most of that was just dried blood. The skin was really tender and red underneath. I took it off at two weeks.

Two Weeks after surgery. It was really bumpy. There was also a string sticking out from the inside stitches. The doctor had to pull on it and cut it and it was not fun. It feels almost like there is a long piece of cartilage running the length of the incision.

3+ Weeks after Surgery, today. You can't tell from this picture, but it sticks out little, I am told it is still swollen and that it will go down. It also still feels like the scar tissue or whatever is cartilage.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Post Without a Moral, Almost.

There is a lot of funny going on around here lately.

Like when when the whole family was driving around during Christmas break and Blake started crying because Trevor, 10, took his nose and wouldn't give it back. I told Trevor he already had a nose and didn't need Blake's, so he gave it back. Blake's cry turned into a grateful whimper and he said, "Thanks Treb."

Rilee and Trevor have been having a blast this week making winter camp fires in the backyard. I'm probably going to regret that.

Speaking of regrets, I thought I was so cool because I was totally going to follow the "Asking Jane" protocol about iPods and phones. No phone until 16, no texting until 18, and no Ipods until 14. But somehow, I gave into peer pressure and now everyone here has an iPod and Rilee, almost 13 got a phone! We had a deal that if she got one she could only call me. I added to the list her dad and the Grandma who arm wrestled me and won to get her the phone. The Ri asked if she could just have one friend to text. I agreed because I like the friend and her mom is strict like me, she doesn't have a phone. So Rilee comes home today begging for two more of her friends to be able to text her. Being a mom is hard. She has never really had a group of friends until this year and WE ARE SO EXCITED! But I'm also very cautious about everyone having access to her all the time. What am I doing? It is all spinning out of control! I hope I am not making a mistake. She is a great kid, so does she deserve to have a phone because she is, or is she a great kid because she is so sheltered? THAT is the question.

I found a magical fairy called the "Flylady". Do you know about her? She is crazy and distracted and her house used to be CHAOS like mine, so she understands my problems, and she magic-ed a way to keep our houses clean! And so I am figuring a few things out I didn't know and couldn't do before. I was doing great all through the surgery, then Christmas vacation hit and when the kids went back to school on Wednesday, I literally cried because of the mess they left me in. I called my BFF and she came right over and pretty soon I had HER crying while she was folding my clothes. It was a bad day. But my dear love came home last night and fixed a bed and put in a light and started putting more shelves in all my closets, which he finished tonight before he finished my baseboards in the living room. Swoon, he just made everything better, enough that I can see the light again. Plus also BFF cleaned and organized my master bedroom closet for me. I was just going to throw in a match and shut the door.

So a day after one of the worst in recent years, I am at peace again. NOTE: I am noticing a little imbalance now and then from the thyroidectomy/hormone pill situation. You should keep that in mind for a while.

Well, the boys are on my bed with some glow sticks they found. They are fighting over who's is the grandpa and then they are cutting each other up with them, so I need to get off and laugh and stop the pending fights. Wait, now the glow sticks are reindeer antlers, and they are fighting over who is Santa and who is not flying the sleigh the right way and how Santa is out of presents.

Aren't you glad to have a post from me that DOESN'T have a moral to the story? And no order? I know my kids will be. Rilee told me I ruin all the movies because I point-out or create life lessons from them so then every time she watches it again she thinks about the lesson, and it ruins the movie. I can't help it, I'm a teacher, without a degree. And that is why I should have finished college, and THAT is now the lesson to this post.