Yesterday we met with the surgeon to discuss the findings in the pathology report from Rob’s cancer surgery two weeks ago. We did not know for sure what we would be told and what the future plans would be in regards to the cancer. Needless to say, the trip to Charlotte was rather quiet and we were busy thinking about the appointment.
When the doctor came in she looked at Rob’s incision and said it looked fantastic. Everything is healing well and we have had no complications there. Praise the Lord!
She then pulled out her swivel doctor’s chair, opened up her notes and started shaking her head. She said that the pathology reports were odd and apologized that so much of the information that we have been given about his tumor and neck have been confusing. She then went on to explain and brought light to why we were dealing with so much conflicting information.
First of all there were two different types of cancer on the thyroid. There was the tumor that we all knew (and could clearly see was there); but there was a small tumor on the other side of the thyroid that turned out to be cancer – and a different type of cancer all together than the tumor. She said she was able to remove all of that and feels that we got all of that cancer. (Papillary Cancer – the most common and easily treatable thyroid cancer there is.) She also said that she feels we will not need to go in for another surgery to remove lymph nodes in the neck because the looked good during the surgery and the biopsy did not show any concern with the lymph nodes. Praise the Lord!
Then she shook her head again and said, “Now we can talk about the tumor.” The tumor was a Hurthel Cell Carcinoma (one of the rarest forms of thyroid cancer). She said it was the oddest thing that she has ever seen. The tumor had lost it’s source of blood supply and was dying by the time she got in to remove it. She said that as a doctor this just ‘does not make sense’ because they had biopsied it only four weeks before the surgery and had found a solid mass (so solid that they had to use larger needles to penetrate the mass to get a sample of it for a biopsy). I asked her what would cause there to be a loss of blood supply to a tumor. She replied that she had no idea it just did not make sense. She went on to explain that many many pathologist had looked at his biopsies and studied them. For two reasons – this type of cancer is not often seen – and a solid mass of a tumor does not usually loose its blood supply and die within a month. Praise the Lord!
God is a great God. We KNOW this is HIS doing. We are rejoicing in His mercy and goodness to us!
We still have decisions to make as far as treatment goes to make sure that this has not spread.(Hurthel Cell Cancer does have a tendency to spread and be a more aggressive cancer.) We also will need to monitor his blood work, as most all cancer patients do, to make sure we are not seeing signs of the cancer coming back or reoccurring. We also are still getting the dosage for his thyroid medication adjusted to where he needs it to be. So those are all still matters of prayer and decision for us at this time.
From the moment we heard the word cancer we determined that we wanted God to be the focus of this – not the cancer. Rob has had a peace going through this that has amazed me. Truly His trust has been in the Lord. It has been amazing to watch how solid Rob’s faith is in His God. For me, there have been times when this has been difficult. It is so easy to see the here and now and lose sight of God. I also have learned that dependence upon God is a choice. I must choose to depend upon Him for each situation – and EVERY TIME He is faithful to give the strength and grace to go through the day ahead of me. God has grown my faith in Him during these past couple of months. God has become so big to us during this time; and cancer has been the avenue that has allowed God to be magnified in our eyes. God is good all the time. I must be honest that yesterday while I was sitting in the doctor’s office my first thoughts were of disappointment that we *still* did not know if the cancer has spread. When we got in the car Rob looked at me and asked me how I was feeling about the doctor appointment. I told him I was disappointed that we did not have more answers. He started laughing and told me I was failing to rejoice in what we did know. At that moment – cancer was bigger than my God. I sat there in silence and realized that he was right. God has done a wonderful thing for us in this – and *WE* are rejoicing today in His goodness to us. I can not explain how wonderful it was to sit the kids down last night and tell them the news from our doctor's appointment. To watch their eyes grow big as we told them about the tumor loosing it's blood supply and to see them connect the dots and realize that God had done something wonderful. Truly last night's conversation with them will forever be etched in the gallery of my mind and cherished forever. Last night I got to see cancer build the faith of my children in a God that can do more than we can think or imagine! Praise the Lord!
We know SO many have prayed and have held us up in prayers. God has answered your prayers! A solid mass of a tumor lost it’s blood supply and was dead in four weeks time because God heard the prayers of so many and chose to answer in this way. He is so good! He truly is the Great Physician! We have been safe in His care this entire time and will continue to receive the best health care from Him in the days ahead. God does not practice medicine – He truly is the best ‘doctor’ we could have. Thank you for praying.
"Be still and know that I am God.."