Tomorrow morning, my wife and I will fly with our oldest child to Rochester, MN to visit the Mayo Clinic.
We’ll be visiting the clinic because my oldest daughter has been dealing with thyroid cancer since the summer of 2010. She’s undergone surgery and a radioactive iodine treatment (along with countless other pokings and proddings), but still has a trace of cancer left in a lymph node or two in her neck. The Mayo Clinic offers a treatment whereby the affected lymph nodes can be injected with alcohol and, hopefully, the alcohol will kill any remaining cancer.
They tell me that if you’re going to have cancer in your neck or head, thyroid cancer is the kind to have. I suppose they are right, but it has still been unspeakably tough to watch my daughter go through all of this. The surgery to remove her thyroid gland and lymph nodes in her neck involved an incision being made behind one ear, going down the front of her neck in the shape of a “U” to behind her other ear. The scar after surgery was gruesome and a tough badge for a teenage girl to wear. The radioactive iodine treatment involved swallowing a radioactive pill. She instantly became radioactive and spend a couple of days alone in the hospital and then spent another week at home, isolated until the radiation level subsided.
Thyroid cancer is very common and – thank the Lord – can be fairly “easily” treated. I guess easy would be as compared to other sorts of cancer. The hardest part, at least for the parents, has been knowing that your child has cancer. Nothing about that is right. It’s been so tough to see her wear a scar. She’s a beautiful girl (if I do say so myself), and the scar has subsided quite a bit, but she knows it’s there. And it’s been tough to hear the doctor say that they haven’t quite gotten all of the cancer.
My daughter has handled all of this much better than her parents. She never misses a beat. She missed quite a bit of school with the surgery and radioactive iodine treatment, but she made all As on her report cards. Her first day back to school following the surgery, she wore her hair up in a pony tail, rather than wearing it down to try to hide the scar. She’s been a lot tougher than I would have been, without a doubt. I’m very proud at how she’s handled everything. I know this may sound strange to some, but we can definitely see how the Lord is using this to shape her and change her into the lady He wants her to be. And it’s neat to see how she recognizes this.
So now the road leads us to Mayo. We are excited to go. It’s definitely a blessing to be able to receive this type of treatment. We are praying that it works.
If you are the praying kind, your prayers would be appreciated.
Have a good day,