Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I had my surgery yesterday, the second major surgery I have had in the past 5 months that where completely unrelated to each other. Since all this, we have met our total out-of-pocket expenses with our insurance, so Brian and I joke around that we are trying to think of other things I could get done before the end of the year. Will our medical insurance cover a tummy tuck? Or is that considered cosmetic? hm.....something to think about!

Everything went well. I was at the same surgery center I was at last time, and funny thing was that I had the same nurses that were with me before and during surgery both times! They obviously didn't remember us, but Brian and I had a good laugh about it.

This surgery was a lot more invasive then my ear surgery, requiring more time and two doctors, however, it seems that the recovery experience has been a lot better. Probably because with my ear surgery, my inner ear was swollen and I couldn't hear and it was VERY painful. With this one, it is quite painful, its hard to swallow and it feels like someone punched me in the chest, but, unlike the first one, I feel like I can be mobile. At least for a while. I don't feel so bound to laying in bed all day long. So, that has been a positive.

I have a huge scar around my neck, but I have heard from numerous people that it will be barely noticeable. I went to the Dr. today to get the drain taken off and he said that he made the incision on one of the neck creases, so when it heals it will be less noticeable as well. He also said that while he was in surgery he could tell that the the growth I had was in fact benign (otherwise he would have taken the whole thyroid) and while I was in his office, his nurse came in and gave him the pathology report to confirm it was in fact benign. It has a specific name but I cant remember it. He said that you may see this kind of growth a lot in impoverished countries were people have giant tumors sticking out of their necks because it does not stop growing. He said that mine was the same and that even if I hadn't had removed it now, it would have had to come out sooner or later. And now I am glad it was sooner.

I get to go back next week to get the stitches removed, then in 6 weeks I'll get blood work done on my hormone levels to make sure half of the thyroid is producing enough. I also have to keep an eye on the other nodule I have on the left side, but the Dr. said he wasn't concerned. I just have to make a point to have it checked once a year.

I hope this is the last for me as far as health issues. At least for a long while. I don't feel like they were major health issues, but they have required a LOT of work and energy!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Towards the end of May, preschool was about to be done, and I had A LOT to do to wrap up the school year. During that time, I felt a bump in my throat and it was hard to swallow, but I was also having other allergy symptoms, so that's what I thought it was. After a few days it seemed to have gone away, with my other allergies, so I didn't think about it again. A couple of weeks later, beginning of June, I felt the lump in my throat again, but again, just thought it was allergies. One night I woke up and I thought I couldn't breath. I think that If I had an epi-pen I would have used it. It freaked me out so much that went to the Dr. that very morning. She checked my throat and she said my thyroid felt a little swollen. They went head and did some blood work that later showed up that I have no food allergies (my mom is allergic to tons of things) and just your basic seasonal allergies like mountain cedar, grass etc.... Since the blood work came out fine, she referred me to a sonographer to have an ultrasound done on my thyroid. I wasn't in a huge hurry, my parents were in Brazil, so I had to wait for them to get back so my mom could watch Maddie, and in general, I wasn't to worried about it. I waited about a week then made the appointment for Wednesday the following week. By then, I could really feel it when I swallowed and I could also feel it on the outside, like there was a bump sticking out or something. No one else could see it, but I could.

It wasn't until the next Tuesday, that my Dr. called me back and said that there was a hard mass on my Thyroid. From the sonogram they could tell it was not a cyst, but it was a mass of some sort. She gave me the comforting news that it still could be a million different things and to not worry about it. Then she made an appointment for me to go to Plano Presby Hospital and have some imaging done. The appointment was for the following Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday I went to the hospital and took a radioactive pill with Iodine. Then on Thursday I went back and they took some pictures using an ultrasound. Apparently Iodine and Radiation are like magnets to the Thyroid. The Thyroid will soak up all the iodine and radiation and from that the Dr. will be able to tell more about what is on the Thyroid. If it had soaked up all the liquids, it would have meant I had a goiter (which is swelling of the thyroid) or a functioning nodule (or a hot nodule i.e. a nodule that produces hormones) Hot nodules are always benign. However, there was a large spot on my thyroid that didn't take up any of the liquids. This is called a cold nodule. Which is a mass on my thyroid that isn't doing anything ( 95% benign). I got these results back on Friday and by Thursday the next week I had an appointment with an ENT in Plano to talk about doing a biopsy. My Dr. also said that IF it is cancer, out of all cancers a person wants to get is thyroid and testicular cancer. They are the easiest to cure because they don't really spread and they take a long time to grow.

This ENT didn't really tell me a whole lot I didn't know before. He felt my throat and confirmed again that Thyroid nodules are VERY common, most people don't even know they have them and 95% of all thyroid nodules are benign. He said my age is a good factor for it being benign, however, my nodule (by this point) was large for a nodule. It is clearly visible (for people who see me everyday) that there is something there and the fact that its a cold nodule raise the possibility for cancer. He also said that either way it would be a good idea for me to have surgery to have it removed because of its size and biopsy's are not 100% correct.

The next Monday I was made an appointment to have the biopsy done on Wednesday and I had to go ahead and make the surgery for the following Monday, June 25th. It was either then, or August 23rd. Which, if it were benign, I could probably wait that long, but then school would have started a week later, and I would have no time for recovery. Another crappy thing was that we were planning on going to a family reunion and float down the Brazos River, then take Maddie to Sea World that weekend and we wouldn't be back until the 27th. But...it needs to be done, so the 25th is it. Bummer.

Needles to say these past 6 weeks or so have been absolute torture. With bad news after bad news...it seems like the chances for this thing being benign are getting slimmer and slimmer. I also didn't like that it took SO LONG to get from appointment to appointment. I feel like I could have been over with this already. Having to wait a whole week in between appointments plus the weekend, and not to mention the whole time thinking the worst. I don't think anyone could help it though. Thinking the worst. Especially if you have kids. The first thought in your mind ALWAYS goes to your babies. What will happen to Maddie if......? Or what is Maddie going to be thinking if.....? Will she understand? These thoughts are terrible and will eat you up inside, so I did my best to think positive and stay busy so I wouldn't even think about it at all. I was just wanting to get the biopsy done. It was a hurdle I wanted and needed to jump over.

While in the hospital Baylor Plano this time, it all came crashing down. This was real, it was really happening and all my thoughts about Maddie and my family kept swirling around. It was hard to keep from completely hyperventilating in the waiting room. The Biopsy was not pleasant. The Dr. gave me some local anesthetic which really hurt, then he poked me 4 times with 4 different needles. I couldn't feel the needles through the skin, but I could feel them in my throat. It was a weird feeling. Finally I was done.

Today I got the call. It was benign. I almost cried of joy and relief, but I think I'm all cryed out. I literally feel a HUGE burden lifted off of me. I feel like I carried it this whole time.

I'm still scheduled for surgery on Monday. They will be removing half of my thyroid. While doing the biopsy, they found another very very small nodule on the left side, but they are not concerned. It would be wiser to just keep an eye on it and leave me with half of my thyroid, so as to not need to take hormones the rest of my life. The surgery will be at the same place I went for my ear surgery. Forest Park Surgery Center. I loved that place it was very new and nice. This surgery will take approximately 3 hrs and I may or may not stay over night. While I'm still under, they will take the nodule and biopsy it one more time to be 100% positive its benign.

When I first got the bad news I wondered why all these things keep happening. This will be my 2nd surgery in 5 months. Not to mention the personal goals Brian and I have set for ourselves that for many other reasons we have not been able to achieve quite yet. I have been shown time and time again that God works in His time. Not mine. I need to remember that He is with me ALWAYS and that His plan is SO much greater then mine. I think he is trying to teach me to lean on Him and give everything up to Him and to stop trying to control the directions I take in my life. I praise Him for being with me through this rough time. I always remember that He never allows us to be in situations we cannot handle.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Movie Time!

Yesterday, Saturday, Brian and I took Maddie to her her first movie at a movie theater. They were showing a new Winnie the Pooh movie and I had been wanting to take Maddie to it since I had seen the previews for it a month ago. We got up and I ran to the store to grab somethings for a hardy breakfast, since our movie started at 11, and I knew she would want popcorn when we got there. So, I wanted Maddie to eat a good brunch before having junk food.
When we got into the car, she didn't really understand where we were taking her to, she kept asking us were the Winnie the Pooh movie was. We kept telling her she would see it in a little bit, and I tried to make it as big of a deal as I could. By the time we walked in the atrium of the theater, she was very excited. We were running a little late (of course) and to my surprise most of the seats were taken, so we had to get seats just a couple of rows from the front. 45 min later, the movie was over, Maddie loved it, and Brian and I had a great time.

These were taken from my iphone.
On our way! Be sure to always wear your Barbie sunglasses when its bright outside!

She really got into the movie AND popcorn!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Family Photoshoot

Last Sunday I did a photoshoot for a family that I have become good friends with through Maddie. Maddie and their little girl are in gymnastics and ballet together and are good friends. They have gone to each others birthday parties, have gone on swimming dates and they see each other each week at ASI. It is so cute to watch their friendship develop. This little girl just turned 3, so her mom asked me to take some photos of her, rather then them going to Sears, were they have been going for the past couple of years. I said SURE! and we were off. Here are a few of shots. To see more, you may go to my photography blog. www.taraedwardsphotography.blogspot.com

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

4th of July, 2011

This year for our 4th celebration, we went to my Aunt's house in Fort Worth. Or more accurately, Azle. We had lots of bbq, desert, games and swimming. Maddie went down the water slide they had, and I think she didn't know weather to love it, or hate it. We also forgot her life vest/floaty, so it was partially our fault she didn't feel secure enough to go down it. But over all, we had had a great time!

Maddie really wanted to play pool with my dad and Brian

Then she got upset and pouty that they wouldn't let her play in the middle of their game.
She came to me for comfort, but I couldn't help to find it a little humorous. Then took a picture.

She wanted to go down this slide really bad at first, then she decided, she didn't want to anymore.

Brian almost had to pull her down. But she let go eventually.

After all the fun had been had at the house, we went out to the lake around the corner to watch the fireworks. Maddie was not too impressed. Probably because she was exhausted.