The previous post was password protected because we needed to get the news to friends and family first. We are facing a rather interesting September.
Two surgeries are over already! Our little kitten, Chewy, had to be neutered on Sept. 2. All went well and he is none the worse for wear.
Arno's brother in Australia had to have cataract surgery on Sept. 3. The eye is still a little scratchy, but we have full hope that all will be clear very soon. The second eye will be done later this month.
My brother in South Africa will have complicated surgery on September 9.
My surgery on Sept. 8, as posted before --- also the day our schools start again after the long summer holidays! We have to make sure we get to the hospital early enough.
[Jenni will post updates during the day to this blog. To see if there is anything new if you come back to the same post, hit F5 on your keyboard, or just refresh / reload your browser.]
HISTORY OF THE LUMP
- Sept 2, 2014: I notice the lump on the left side of Arno's neck.
- Saw our doctor who ordered an ultrasound.
- Ultrasound found a lump of 7 cm on the thyroid, as well as two nodules on the right side.
- Try to schedule a biopsy --- finally managed to get one at the end of November 2014.
- By the way, we were told several times that a thyroid nodule or lump (quite common) is biopsied when it gets to 2 cm or about 1 inch.
- We were told the biopsy was clear, no cancer. So - we had to wait for surgery.
- Several months went by and after about five months of no surgery date, we called the doctor's office again. One of the (rather unfriendly) women said it "would take another year".
- That was unacceptable, so we made another appointment to see the doctor.
- His comment: "Why do I see you in my office and not on my operating table?" When we told him what the women said, he went with us to order them that surgery must happen by August at the latest.
- On June 14, I had my collapse and spent four days in hospital. During that time, he got the call that his surgery would be in July.
- On July 15, the left side of his thyroid was removed. We had to wait for pathology results.
- A month went by --- no results. I was told to keep calling the office, since they might not call us. Five weeks - no results back yet. That was after we were told originally that results would be back as early as ten days after surgery.
- Almost six weeks after the surgery, the results were finally back and we arranged to see the surgeon again. I quote: The removed lump was 7.5 cm in size. Of that, 6 cm is cancer.
- When the surgeon delivered this verdict, I told him that his biopsy in November came back clear - no cancer. Did he put the needle in the tiny part where there was no cancer?
- Then surgery was suddenly scheduled to happen immediately, within three weeks. When I said I have brain surgery on Sept. 8, the surgeon let fly a rather strong exclamation.
- Is our health system broken? You tell me.
- Arno will have a full thyroidectomy --- a year after the lump was first noticed.
Thank you to everyone who cares, who prays, who sent messages or cards, offered help, driving, cooking, fun and joy! We love you, we appreciate you and we are being held up by you.