Sunday, September 20, 2009

Thyroid Disease

A lot of people don't know this about me but for about 15 years now I've been taking Thyroid medication, and I will continue to do so everyday for the rest of my life. It all started when some friends of mine and I decided to start working out. I had given birth to my second child, and was ready to loose that baby weight. But, for the first time I couldn't loose the weight. Even with dieting and exercise.

Then I started to notice my heart wasn't beating in it's regular pattern. At night I would tell John, I feel like my hearts not beating right and he would put his hand on my pulse and he could feel it skipping beats, and then pounding really hard. (and I was lying still) And having heart disease in my family, we made a Doctor's appointment.

They ran tests, and I wore a heart monitor for a while, but my heart muscle was fine. (Thankfully) So, they wanted to check out my Thyroid. The Thyroid is a small gland in the front of the throat, that looks like a bow tie!

The test showed slightly elevated numbers, and what looked like a growth. I had an Ultra sound on my throat and then a biopsy with them sticking 6 needles into my neck. With the conclusion that I had Thyroid Cancer. This was a very scary time for us with two small children to raise.

I went to the University of Michigan to have my Thyroid removed, because a doctor there specialized in removing the entire gland. Usually they leave the part that is attached to the vocal cords because that is hard to take out without complications, like loosing your voice permanently. But, because mine was cancerous, they wanted the entire thing removed. And anyone who knows me, knows I talk a lot! Thankfully my vocal cords were not damaged!

Now, for being such a small gland, the Thyroid does a lot! It regulates your heart beat, produces energy for your body, regulates your metabolism. Without it, among other things, your hair falls out, (it's a good thing I have so much hair, because I've lost more than most people have!) it effects milk production (which I found out a couple of years latter when I was trying to nurse newborn twins to no avail!) It basically keeps your body running. With out a Thyroid my body has no physical way of creating energy. So, my little pill I take everyday for life just gives me what my Thyroid should. I have to have a chemical way of producing energy, or I would literally be a blob.

I had surgery, leaving me with a cool scar in the front of my neck. I used to love to tell people who asked about it that I had had my throat slit in a gang fight, or something exciting like that! (And that they should have seen the other person! haha) But, for some reason no one believed me. But, now I have to point out the scar when telling someone about it, and they still can't even really see it anymore. I also had to have a treatment of radiation after the surgery, to ensure all the cancer was gone.

During this time I found out that three of my Aunts (my dad's sisters) had had Thyroid disease. One of them was cancer as well. It is very hereditary. And this is the whole point of my post today. You see, tomorrow, Monday Sept. 21st my Mom is having surgery to have her Thyroid removed. They have been watching it for years on her, and finally have decided to remove it. So, I'd like to ask you to pray for her. She has had a lot of health problems this year, this is just one of them. But I'm living proof you can live a productive life with Thyroid Disease. Thank you so much for the prayers.

(Mom, with my Dad a few years ago)


Lori ~ LL-K said...

Thank you for sharing this story with all of us!! You are one amazing woman!! Ü

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this story. I didn't even know about this disease. I'll definitely be praying for your mother today.

Michele said...

I'm praying for your mom, Star.

You and Bryan should compare your fight stories...whenever anyone asks him about an injury, his response is always "knife fight".

Love ya! :)

Juliet Grossman said...

Awwww...many big hugs to you & prayers for you & for your mom. Thanks so much for swinging by my blog on my Sits Day last week:-)