At the very beginning of my pregnancy, at my first doctors appointment in September 2013 my doctor checked my thyroid and thought it was a little large. They ordered some blood tests but they came back fairly normal and suggested I see an endocrinologist. After that I had problem after problem with this doctors office and was never able to get a referral from them, which I needed for insurance purposes.
I finally switched to a new ob-gyn, who at my first appointment with him, ordered an ultrasound of my thyroid. I had the ultrasound in December. What they found was a large node on my thyroid. So in January I had my thyroid biopsied. The very next day, the doctor called and wanted me to come into his office. Not good. I had a bit of a freak-out. We went to see the doctor and they told me that it was suspicious of thyroid cancer, but they could not say for sure because I was pregnant and that can affect the results.
So once again I needed to see an endocrinologist and a high-risk ob-gyn (MFM) that specialized in mothers with cancer. I went to see the MFM and basically she said that thyroid cancer grows so slowly that they weren't going to do anything until the baby was born. I had lots of extra ultrasounds during my whole pregnancy to make sure Sophie was ok, even though it shouldn't really affect her. My appointment with the endocrinologist was the shortest of all. All she said was I needed surgery to remove it and she set up an appointment with a surgeon.
In March, we met with the surgeon, Dr. Suliburk. He said that I had a 80% chance that it was cancer. Around 6 weeks after I had given birth I would have surgery to remove part or all of my thyroid. They would remove half, have a pathologist check it right there and then, and if it was confirmed to be cancer then they would remove the rest of it. It the pathology was negative they would leave the other half of my thyroid. After the surgery, if it was definitely cancer then I would also need radiation treatment.
So after having Sophie, surgery was set for May 8th, 5 weeks after giving birth. My parents flew out to Houston to come help, which ended up being amazing since Christian's family was dealing with Gunther's recent cancer diagnosis.
On the way to the hospital for surgery
My surgery was an out-patient procedure so we headed downtown to St. Luke's Hospital and my surgery was set for 12 pm. Getting checked in and everything set up takes forever, and I just kept getting more and more nervous. Finally the surgeon showed up to talk to me and gave my some pretty purple drawings on my neck.
The surgery only took about an hour because the pathology came back NEGATIVE! I was able to keep half of my thyroid and have a high chance that I won't even need any additional thyroid hormones in the form of medication. Recovery wasn't too bad. I was tired a lot and had a sore throat and a hoarse voice for a while. The biggest problem was that I wasn't supposed to strain my neck so I couldn't hold any of my kids. That was one of the biggest reasons my parents were such lifesavers! My mom even took care of Sophie during the night and it was amazing.
In the end, we had so much help from family, friends, people from church that helped out with meals and watching the kids. I was definitely blessed with how things turned out and I am completely back to normal, except a tiny little scar :)
3 days later
2 weeks later
And here are some more random photos from May.
We also blessed Sophie at home on Thursday May 15th so that my parents could be there for it.
Picking blackberries and eating dirt
Pool party with friends