Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Health Issues Update

I blogged about my health issues here and I wanted to make a quick update on it mainly for family and friends around the world ;) and for anybody who might have the same experience. I definitely welcome encouraging comments and stories.

Anyway, I saw my surgeon last week for consultation and she did a very good job of explaining the whole surgery process on my neck. She seemed to be well-experienced in her field. Before meeting her, I was hoping to see someone older (anywhere between the ages 40-50). For some reason, that's of importance to me. I already had a sense of trust in her being that she was recommended by my endocrinologist. Meeting her in person for the first time, gave me a comfortable feeling that she would do a great job. She mentioned that the procedure would last from an hour to an hour and a half. It's gonna be a lobectomy. This is the case where the entire right portion of the thyroid would be removed. And while I am asleep, they will do several biopsies of the part that would be taken out to find out if there is any malignant cell, which she said is a very slim possibility.

We scheduled my surgery on the 6th of November. A week before the surgery I must have a general physical evaluation to make sure I qualify for the procedure.

The anticipation of an up-coming surgery isn't very pleasant. But I am thankful to the Lord for the courage He gave me to choose that route rather than waiting for another 6 months and then go through a repeat process of tests, which my endocrinologist gave as another option.

I have a month to gather more strength from the Lord before my surgery. And to pray that my surgeon's hand would be guided by the Lord.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Izzy's Early Birthday

We celebrated Izzy's 3rd birthday with P's side of the family much earlier this year. The whole family got together two weeks ago for the party. We also celebrated the birthdays of two of Izzy's cousins. I got to make the cake which Izzy especially requested. She wanted the ice cream cone butterfly cake. She saw it from my cake recipe book. Too bad I wasn't able to take photos of all of the ice cream cone fun cakes... Izzy's cousins couldn't wait to pick their favorite design before I could get a chance to take the photos. Yeah, the little cakes came in different designs- butterflies (Izzy's favorite), flowers and I even made a lady bug. I will probably make another one on Izzy's actual birthday.

Our little girl was so excited to get a couple Veggie Tales DVD's, Kailan and Mr. Fluffy's Bakery set and a Kailan doll for gifts. Of course her favorite is the Kailan doll.

Minnesota State Fair- II

When we went to the state fair on the second time, the Treuenfels (friend Maricris' family) were with us...

Friend Cris and me

The sweetest roasted corn I've ever had!

Izzy and her daddy and Cy and his daddy went on the giant slide! Rides... rides... rides...

My second grilled Turkey Leg!

Friend Maricris, her kiddos- Cy and Jo and Izzy and Me.

We were met by a huge robot at the entrance of the fair. We are still wondering if there was a man inside the robot. He did a conversation with Paul. We don't know if that's possible for a robot to actually carry a conversation like that.

Minnesota State Fair- I

Paul loves the chocolate-coated fruit slices on a stick.

Izzy's favorite thing to do at the fair is watching horse show. She could basically sit watching the Rodeo, especially, for hours if we let her. It was so fun. I enjoy it a lot as well.

A pose with Simon, the black sheep. It was nice to see the sheep at the animal barn.

The butterfly nursery was also fun to visit. Izzy really enjoy that experience. She couldn't believe butterflies would freely come to her and stick with her until she pushed them away.

Love the big crowd at the fair. More than a hundred thousand people visit the fair each day.

I'd come to the fair excitedly mainly for the grilled Turkey Leg on a stick! Super yummy!

Randy, P's brother, came with us on our first visit.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Health Issues

I've been very healthy. I try to be disciplined in eating well and exercising every morning. I am not a big sports person. I swim. Work out. Walk as much as I could. Bike for miles. Play basketball and table tennis. But I don't do sports competition. I wouldn't be seen me in a triathlon or in a basketball competition(although I kind of did that when I was in Mongolia). Despite all the efforts done to keep me fit, I am not a hundred percent perfectly well. I have struggled with a couple issues regarding my general health.

Right after I gave birth to my daughter, Izzy, Bell's Palsy hit me. Thankfully, it didn't last long. I had it for only a month. It was frightening! It felt like it would never go away. One month felt like forever. It deformed my face like crazy. I was sad but was able to overcome the frustration that came with it by God's grace. A couple months passed after the Bell's Palsy disappeared on its own, I had my friends over for lunch at my house. One of them was a Filipino doctor. She noticed that the right side of my neck was abnormally bigger. I quickly checked the mirror and realized that it's true. My neck was bigger than it normally was! My husband and I went to our doctor in Fairview Ridges for consultation. She confirmed that my right thyroid was enlarged. She recommended me to see an endocrinologist, which we did immediately.

My endocrinologist said that there was a nodule in my right thyroid and it has to be biopsied. Ultrasound-guided biopsy would be the only way to know if the lump was benign or malignant. Being that I was nursing my daughter during that time and was planning to nurse her until she would turn three, I didn't want to do anything that might have divided my attention as a new mom. I had the issue of my enlarged right thyroid at rest. Somehow, I wasn't worried. I did well in enjoying my life as a full-time stay-at-home mom. I knew that once my daughter was completely off from nursing that I would start dealing with my own physical condition.

Two and a half years had passed and it's time to see my endocrinologist again. She noticed that my neck was a little bit bigger than when she saw me last. Once again, she recommended an ultrasound-guided biopsy immediately. And I was ready for it.

I had the biopsy last week. It was somewhat scary. The ultrasound technician, the nurse and the radiologist were super nice. The very young Chinese radiologist stuck a total of 4 very tiny needles in my neck. The first one was the Novocaine to numb the nodule area and the next three needles were to draw sample cells. It went well.

The biopsy result came in yesterday. All the sample cells turned out benign. Praise God! However, my endocrinologist gave me two options... one, wait 6 months for another ultrasound; two, surgery. I am leaning toward having the nodule removed as soon as possible being that it is getting bigger. As it gets bigger it pushes in and will cause me more dry throat. Yes, my voice has been really affected by the nodule. I've noticed how I lost my voice after singing or teaching Sunday School. I've been struggling with forcing my voice out at times. My endocrinologist explained that it is the lump in my thyroid that has caused this.

My perspective about sicknesses has been checked. I used to persistently pray that God will take away all of my physical problems. And there's nothing wrong with that kind of prayer because it is God's will that His children enjoy good health. But the prayer has to have, "Your will be done, Oh, God." I have learned to pray for more of His grace and strength to carry me through most trying times. God is my Jehovah Rophe yesterday, today and forever. However, there are times that He uses sickness to build our character in Him.

Many of us don't act differently than those spoiled brats. We only want to eat what is sweet. We want God to remove every uncomfortable and painful experience. Apparently though, God uses painful experiences to make us become more like Him. Character is being built up and solidified through trying times. Thus, "My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing [this], that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have [her] perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:1-4