December 20, 2012

Post-Op Report

Okay my faithful followers, I'm reporting in as a thyroid-less woman and so far I can say I don't feel that different. I do have an extremely heightened sense of smell, weirdly enough.

In true Project Chick fashion, I had an impressive showing in the surgery waiting room. I'm told there were fifteen people at the height of the day's crowd. Fifteen people all waiting for me while I was in lah-lah land with my throat cut wide open. Ahhhhhh, I had an audience and I wasn't even there to enjoy it. :)

As soon as I was settled in my hospital room for the night, my super sweet gal pal Jean snapped this pic for me for the blog... (check out her oh-so-cute-and-pregnant blog here)

Last night and this morning I began to really be able to feel the incision and become aware of the pain. HELLO, WHINY SHEILA. 

Here comes the bad news:
Last night before I was discharged, we got the pathology results from my surgery. Unfortunately it was NOT the good news we were expecting. As well as removing that back-stabbing-skank-of-a-thyroid, my surgeon did a right central neck dissection. Meaning he took out 7 lymph nodes and 5 of them had the nasty cancer in them. I'm trying not to dwell on the staging, but it's at Stage 4, promise me you won't google it... it's freakin scary, trust me. My true outlook is not nearly as terrifying as what any google search will tell you. In 6-8 weeks I'll be undergoing radioactive iodine treatments to make sure the cancer hadn't spread to any of my other lymph nodes in my body. And hopefully that will be the end of the Sheila Busts a Cap in Cancer's Butt chapter of my life story.

The scar: Nowhere near as bad as I'd thought it would be.
Amazing to think of all the crap they pulled out of that
little opening in my neck.
Regardless, this was, of course, not the news we were hoping for and I'm still questioning WHY this is happening to me. I'm oh so thankful for my super supportive family and friends for the sweet notes, visits, and 'happies' during this time, but I just wish this were all a bad dream. With the radioactive iodine treatments come periods of isolation (no contact with ANYONE) and the worst part for us - no pregnancy for a year following the treatments, for my health and the hypothetical baby's health. Even if that wasn't in the plans for us in 2013, no one really likes being told when they can or cannot start a family and we were really hoping to just leave it in God's hands. But I am just trusting that this, too, is part of the master plan.

What is normal anyway?
Two years ago this Christmas we were sitting in the hospital dealing with my PawPaw's diagnosis and brief battle with pancreatic cancer. Last Christmas I was flying back and forth between here and St. Louis to see my love. With the wedding behind us, I was really hoping to have a 'normal' Christmas this year and do all the fun, jolly things there are to do as a young married couple. But rather, no presents have been bought, trips to Bellingrath Gardens have been skipped, and I'm just hoping to be able to go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

The "fire" Mr. K gave me in an effort to lift my spirits.
Oddly enough though, I'm so thankful just to be here and enjoying this rough patch with my husband and family and friends by my side.

I'm thankful I know my body well enough to have found the mass in my neck before it had time to spread more than it did.

I'm thankful for skilled doctors to help me get through this.

And I'm thankful for an incredibly supportive boss and team of coworkers at my job.

I don't want to sound greedy, but please continue to pray not only for my health but also that I don't let this depression overwhelm me. I know I'm an event planner and all, but nobody likes a pity-party, especially at the holidays! I tell myself that I have every right to be a little pissed off but that I do need to remember my blessings and that there are so many people out there not as lucky as me. That's rational enough, right?!


  1. You are such an amazingly strong woman to deal with all that you have dealt with these last few years and I'm so happy to see that you've kept your head up. You and your family are in my prayers Sheila.

    -Jessica R

  2. Sheila, you leave me smiling and shaking my head and then smiling and nodding my head and then smiling... You make me smile! And the fact that you can do that, right now, is a wonder... You are Wonder Woman! (Well, a very close approximation without the crazy outfit and the invisible plane.)

    Thinking of you, praying for you and grateful for you,

  3. Wow, what an amazing woman you are! What an attitude.........please know that prayers on coming your way this very minute and will continue to come your way. Hugs from me and Big Rob! Merry Christmas!

    Mary "Nanna"

  4. I love your positive attitude and that you are so strong mentally, emotionally, and physically. So you push forward and this too shall pass. You keep that beautiful smile and you can be certain that you are loved by all who know you.

    Sharon Liskow

  5. Thank you for answers to my comment1
    Very best wishes to you!
    Please enjoy these flowers which will never fade:

  6. Praying for you, Sheila. You, my friend, are a bad ass in the truest sense. I know this sucks, but I also know that you are stronger than any diagnosis. SLAM-McCall

  7. Hi Sheila, I found your blog through Instagram and your story is inspiring--especially to someone like me. I'm sitting poolside in Hawaii and I should be relaxing, but every once in a while, I remember that I'm having a thyroidectomy in the new year. Thank you for putting your story out there. I hope you don't mind if I continue to follow your story. Your positivity is very encouraging.


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