“Cancer”… One of the scariest words next to “death”, in my opinion… It’s something no one wants to face and it’s not something anyone really can be totally prepared for (in the beginning anyway), I believe, no matter what TYPE of cancer it is. It’s scary and can be life changing.
Wes & I have been trying to conceive since about 9 months after we got married… As I mentioned before, I did in fact get pregnant once, but it wasn’t a healthy pregnancy… After that, we took time off from “trying”… but then once we started trying again, without any luck… It began to get frustrating… We weren’t sure if it was on my end or his end or both… As I mentioned previously, I found out I did/do have Papillary Stage 3 Thyroid Cancer. I figured I would share a timeline of what has happened over the past few months.
In March, I had gone to my doctor for a regular female checkup and everything came back fine with that (thankfully), but I had also mentioned to my doctor that I had trouble falling asleep, and he prescribed me some sleeping meds (that only worked for a short period of time), but while talking to him, he asked if I had ever had my thyroid checked out. I didn’t know anything about the thyroid, but I knew the general area that it was, and asked him if the knots in my neck were something to worry about. He immediately tried to get me scheduled for an ultrasound. I had to wait for 3 months to get in for my ultrasound on my neck, and my ultrasound tech said “It doesn’t LOOK like cancer. Cancer usually looks different.” I got a call a couple of days after that to schedule a biopsy, because they had found multiple nodules. The biopsy a few days later confirmed that it was in fact cancer. The positive is that I didn’t worry about it as much for those 3 months in between, but it was still very upsetting to get false hope about something like this. I can’t change the outcome of what they will tell me in December. I know I’ve done what I can in the meantime though.
June 11, 2013- My world comes to a halt, as I get the diagnosis.. Not only am I going to have to have my entire thyroid removed, but I am going to be on life-long medication, but I also have to go through a round of chemotherapy/radiation… People think of chemo and they think “Oh my God.” “Am I going to lose my hair?” “Will I beat this?”
June 19, 2013- I decided the best way to get my mind off of my upcoming total thyroidectomy is to get together with friends, just to get my mind off of what was to come.. Wes also took off 6 weeks starting around this time. I have no idea if I could have gotten through this as easily without him. He really is my “rock”. I think his strength over the years genuinely has helped me, and especially helped me to stay strong and positive and get through this, however I needed to. The night of the get together, as everyone was starting to go home, there were about 6 of us left that night. 2 of the friends are musicians in a band in Nashville that we love. I’m having a conversation with one of the guys (Sam) at the time, and the other guy (Josh) says to me, “Gavin DeGraw is over there and he wants to meet you.” Before I could even process what he just had said to me (because Gavin is in my top 10 favorite artists EVER), Gavin comes over and introduces himself. I burst into tears from being so overcome with with emotion. He tells me he’ll be praying for me, asks if I would like a drink, brings me a drink, squeezes lime in it. I’m pretty sure my mouth stayed open the entire time. Here’s a couple of pics from that night.
The moment I met Gavin. I’ll never forget it! I can’t believe they caught this moment on camera.
Clockwise: Me, Sam, Gavin DeGraw, Josh & Wes
June 21, 2013- Surgery day. They removed my entire thyroid. I was extremely sore (and still am a little sore even now…but the pain gets a little better every day).
July 12-14, 2013-Radiation… Total isolation… Feeling sick & feeling lonely… I couldn’t be around anyone… Not Wes, not my dogs… No one… It was tough enough, dealing with feeling sick from the radiation, but it was even tougher emotionally… Luckily, we live in a generation of technology, so I relied on amazing friends to call, text, facebook & video chat with me to get me through the weekend. I was so depressed that weekend, but knowing I had so many caring people, made it easier.
July 15, 2013- I finally decided to share with my entire list of Facebook friends what I had gone through. I had told close friends and family up to this point. I felt like I had to do it this way, because I didn’t really want sympathy or everyone worried about me. I just wanted support… and boy, did I get it. I still get choked up, thinking about how many people left supportive messages, sent gifts and flowers, called and visited.
July 28, 2013- A singer friend of mine, Steven Clawson had seen my status about everything I had gone through and he offered to do a free concert at our house, just to lift spirits… I was blown away by his kindness and thoughtfulness & it was exactly what I needed.
August 8, 2013… Now, I’m starting to feel more like my old self… Although, not 100%… I’m slowly getting there. I wrote a blog about that night… We decide to go to Bluebird Cafe to watch Steven Clawson play… After he plays, some other songwriters are playing and it is for a benefit for a breast cancer survivor, named Tammy. (You can read that blog as well…) It really helped me… I know I’m not alone. I know being scared was a valid feeling… and I now know that me feeling silly about being so down about my own situation after meeting her was just…silly… Cancer is cancer.. and as I said earlier… It is scary. I feel like I’m going to beat it… but there is always a chance… I know I can’t live in fear for the next 5 months before I do my first full body scan though. It is what it is… All I can do is do whatever I have to, to take care of myself & PRAY and trust that God will watch over me.
I’m not sure if this entry will help anyone or not, but I pray that it does. I realized that I’m not alone and hopefully others going through similar situations will realize that they are not alone either. It has been a long few months, but I have a feeling deep down that I WILL get through this. I’m so thankful for my friends, family, and especially Wes for helping me stay strong. I actually surprised myself with my own inner strength. The old Lindsey would have just let life stop completely… but I decided that it won’t do me a bit of good… So I’m just going to keep on going… Keep praying & hoping… It’ll all work out though, in the end. I just know it.
<—My reminder if where I’ve been and how far I’ve come, and that I will get through this.