"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps."

Monday, May 6, 2013

Life is Cystful…

So, what’s the difference between a Russian optimist and Russian pessimist?

A Russian pessimist says “Why, things just can’t get any worse…”

A Russian optimists says “Sure they can!”

You would have thought that between Nick’s appendectomy, my sickness earlier, and Gemma’s hospitalization that we would have used up our bad vibrations quota for the year… but apparently we have not. I haven’t blogged in a month because life has been hazelnuts!

I didn’t mention this before, but when Gemma was hospitalized for her virus/possible urinary tract infection they did an ultrasound of her kidneys.  While they were there, they found some large cysts on her ovaries, and at least one was close to the size the required surgery.  Apparently they don’t have enough data on babies Gemma’s age to know what is normal or what isn’t, so they didn’t know if it would pass as the birth hormones left her or if she needed treatment.  New born babies still have a lot of their mother’s hormones for weeks after birth, even little boys, and they thought that the cysts might be caused by that.  They just didn’t know!

Anyway, the plan was just to wait a little bit and then do another ultrasound to see if the cysts went down or away.  So a few weeks ago, I got my sweet little princess up at 5:30 AM to take her to one of the Texas Children’s branches in the Woodlands for an ultrasound on her ovaries, and also to recheck her kidneys.

My sweet, sweet baby. I hate seeing her in hospital beds, She just looks so tiny and so vulnerable. I can’t believe how much I love her.


Anyway it took about two hours, because they needed her kidneys to be full and we kept missing the right window, but the end result was good news!  Her ovaries, and also her kidneys are perfectly fine. Thank the Lord, there is nothing worse than thinking something is wrong with your child. Nothing.

Then there was me!  A few weeks ago I was having lunch with my Aunt and Uncle and I went to rub my neck and I felt a weird lump.  I had my mom check it, and sure enough there was lump on my neck in the region of my thyroid.  I knew that I had had an abnormal reading on my thyroid when I went in for a physical a few weeks earlier, and I know two people, both of them nursing mothers who had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the past six months.

I got on it immediately, I called my OB who referred me to my GP who ordered an ultrasound on my neck.  It came back with four large nodules – three cysts and one mass.  I was then referred to an endocrinologist.  He seemed very concerned and ordered a biopsy on the nodules.

It took them a while to get back to me on the biopsy, and I admit that that frustrated me.  I could understand if took a while for them to get me in, but to schedule the biopsy it took them three days to call back, even after they had said they would rush.  They knew I was trying to get back to Russia as quickly as possible.

I went to lunch with a friend who had had thyroid cancer, and she recommended her endocrinologist who had experience working with out of country patients and tended to move quickly.  She called and got us an appointment, and we did some research.  Apparently he is extremely well respected, and also rumor has it, is the endocrinologist of a certain Houston based former US president.

We went to the appointment, and my doctor was super nice… still we had a moment where we wondered if we could trust a doctor that had this hanging on his wall…

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Anyway, he was very competent and also a total and complete goober.  My kind of doctor! We really liked him and we felt that we could trust his credentials better than my previous doctor.  Also he sent us to a center that specializes in ENT surgeries for my biopsy and we felt that we could better trust not getting a false negative from there over the place that the other doctor was going to send us to.  My friend who recommended this doctor had had a false negative and we had some fear of the same thing a happening to me.

So, we all have our quirks… one of my quirks is that I ABOSLUTELY HATE and it MAKES MY BLOOD RUN COLD to have someone touch my neck.  I wanted to ask for a relaxant or something, but it would have meant pumping and dumping for a day, which I didn’t want to do.  Nick said “I can’t believe this is happening to you of all people… I guess its just time for you to face your fears head on.”

I went in, and the surgeon was very nice, and really put me at ease. He wanted to do everything possible so that I could “get back to mothering.” That was nice to hear as a SAHM. I felt like he didn’t have a negative view of the fact that I “just spend all day at home with my kids” that I get from so many other people who ask what I do. As hard as I try not to care, sometimes it makes me feel a little small.

The worst part was when he numbed my neck.  Goodness, I was sweating and I was shaking and squeezing my hands, but I got through it.  The biopsy was not that bad since I was mostly numb, but it did have a few painful moments.  They had to redo one a few times.

Thankfully they were able to do a preliminary review of the samples right then and there, and they came back NO for cancer!  They still need to finalize the test and run the report, but for now everything looks fine.

Super huge major relief!

After the biopsy it looked like I had been attacked by vampires.  One of my best friends Jessy said “Thank goodness it was catch and release!” HA! We went to breakfast as Le Peep to celebrate before we headed back to the Thistle Patch.

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Anyway, now of course I feel silly since everything came back normal, but we were very scared and concerned.  It is very prevalent in my age group and apparently these things tend to surface around pregnancy and childbirth due to all of the hormones going through your body.  We do still need to monitor it, but for now, everything looks good!

Nick kept telling me to “stop faking cancer to get out of going to Midland!” HA! I love how he can keep me laughing at any time.

I am so thankful for all of the support that my friends and family showed me during this time.  I am so, absurdly ridiculously blessed.  The tagline of my blog used to read “But then there was a star danced, and under that was I born.” I do feel a little bit like I was born under a lucky star. I have done so little to deserve what I have.

Also, we have had a lot of bad puns on this blog over the years, but this one may be the worst… which means its my favorite of all times ever. Smile

Also, also I have used the word hormones on the blog way more times than I ever thought I would.  I hope that I have no reason to use it ever again!


  1. Praise the Lord that you and sweet Gemma are just fine! Praying for a quick return to Russia, sweet good-byes, and a smooth transition to Midland.

  2. Wow. Just wow. I haven't checked blogs in a bit and I come to this. Glad everything turned out great. Yipes! Scary!!!

    (and I can't even tell you how sad it makes me to see those empty boxes under Sonny, Daphne, and Suzanne. Makes me want to just break down and cry.)

  3. Thank you for your prayers Elizabeth!

    Justine, I just took those empty boxes down. I did break down and cry. :( What is going to happen to those babies?


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