Thursday, March 11, 2010

It Was Just A Little Lump

My husband and I had just moved from the Midwest to the Pacific Northwest with our six kids. In the midst of all the chaos my oldest daughter began suffering with daily headaches and I was plagued with a neck ache. It hurt to sleep, it hurt to stand, it hurt to sit with this nagging pain. We found a chiropractor in the new neighborhood and began going several times a week for adjustments.

In October 2004, after one of the treatments, I was massaging my relieved neck when I found it.

It was just a little lump.

Just a tiny little lump on the upper right side of my neck.

I showed my husband and we began the daily task of feeling the lump. It grew over time.

I found a primary care physician. She felt the lump and called for a sonogram.They found a second lump on the thyroid. My journey had officially begun.

At the beginning of December I had a neck CT, which led to a fine-needle aspiration biopsy in January.  It came back negative. Doubtful, my doctor sent me to an Endocrinologist and an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor (ENT). She didn't want me to give up. She only said, "I'm just not comfortable. There are two lumps for a reason."

The first ENT I visited blew me off after a quick check to my neck. She said she couldn’t even find the lump. She suggested coming back every six months.

When my Endocrinologist repeated this to me I was a bit annoyed.

"Even my husband can find it! He checks it every day to see if it has grown, or if it is throbbing."

Sarcastically he said, "Oh, is your husband a doctor?"

"No, and that is exactly my point. If he isn't a doctor and he can find it, she should be able to."

I found a new ENT, he was able to find the lump.  Each step took so long because it was hard to get in as a new patient to so many different doctors. Sometimes I had to wait 6-8 weeks just for the next appointment.

By the time my Endocrinologist took me seriously and did his own biopsy on my neck it was May.

On the way to find the results of the second biopsy,  I pulled out of my driveway and was immediately filled with the Presence of the Lord.  It was a surreal peace and comfort, the kind you read about in books.  Bible verses I had previously memorized began flooding my mind, "I am with thee and will keep thee in all places, sayeth the Lord,"  and "For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

At that moment, I knew I had cancer. I also knew that I would not be on the journey alone. When I had trusted Christ as my Saviour at 18, I had committed to Him my entire heart, mind, soul and body. I was not about to rescind any part of that committment despite the circumstances.

The lumps turned out to be papillary thyroid carcinoma that had metasticized.  A total thyroidectomy and a radical neck dissection were performed June 2005 in a six hour surgery.   Only 1 of the 30 lymph nodes had cancer.  The doctors thought the  100 mCi's dose of radioactive iodine in August would be the final step in my treatment.

In September I found new little lumps.  Just little tiny lumps that my fingertips discovered when doing my ritual "neck-check."  My journey wasn't over.

They watched and waited and watched and waited.  In April 2009 they went back in for another surgery for those little lumps.

In October 2009 I was declared in remission.

In January 2010 my sonogram revealed - you guessed it -




These little, less than a centimeter lumps are unwanted invaders, a cancer that cannot be conquered. The testing this time eliminated radioactive iodine as a treatment, because my body did not take in the tracer dose given.  Surgery is not an encouraged at this time because you can only have so many neck surgeries in a lifetime, and I have already used two of my options.

So, we watch, we wait and we hope and pray they don't grow.

Because they're just little lumps of papillary thyroid carcinoma.


  1. Believing God to do this surgery we pray and believe for Him to come with His healing Power.

    I am going to pray...okay?


    We come before you first to Praise and thank you for who you are. I thank you that Mindy knows you and is putting her faith solely in you.

    Lord, we are concerned with these little lumps. Father, you know where they are and all the ins and outs of Mindy's body. We ask for you to come in your Holy Power to eradicate all of these lumps, bumps and any inking of cancer that might be trying to take up residence in my friend's body.

    I, in the name and authority of Jesus, that has been given to me, tell this papillary thyroid carcinoma, to leave her body now. Lord, you have told us to pray for your Kingdom to come on earth as it is in heaven. Lord I KNOW that there is no cancer in heaven, so I ask you to move here on earth in Mindy's body -forcing this enemy of this world to leave her. Father we trust in you, we believe you alone are able to all that we ask.

    I ask for you to strengthen my sister (and the other sisters here). I ask for you to move among them, in healing, in strength, in your Holy Spirit's full power to bring yourself glory. Lord encourage their hearts, give them great courage and up their levels of faith as they bow their knees and hearts before you. Lord we love you and we seek your face for healing. Let Mindy bring you much glory. I ask for your continued hand upon her, prosper her Lord and bless her as only You know how.

    And Father I know that this cancer thing is a thing of this world and that many who have it don't know you. Will you send them here, so these women can minister your life and love to them? May they not leave this place without a real-ationship with you. May they come seeking support and find not only that, but may they meet their Lord and Savior, Jesus too. Oh Father, save the lost, give hope to those without hope!

    We ask this in the name that is above all others, Jesus come and minister your life and love to my friend and to those she loves as well.Holy Spirit fill their hearts, minds, souls and spirits with your presence. And as you do, may you leave your fullness of joy within them.

    In Jesus' name amen.

    mama to 8
    one homemade and 6 1/2 adopted

  2. I am sorry. You are living what most of us Moms fear-- and you are such a testimony to the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you. Thank you and may God be your great Physician no matter what.

  3. What a rollercoaster! For me, that's the hardest part. So many ups and downs. I, too, rely on faith to get me through this. It is good to know we are not alone.

  4. You are not alone my friend....nor will you ever be. I am so sorry for all that you are going through and I am happy that your strong Faith will help you along this journey. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers...Hugs