Tuesday, March 2, 2010

From the heart....or thyroid

While departing from Trader Joe's today I saw a woman get out of her car with this license plate.  I said to her, "I LOVE your license plate!"  She replied, while casually glancing back to look at it, "Oh, thanks, my husband picked it out." 

I think today may have been a day filled with messages.  The one shown above- I mean really, we can ALL be a little KINDER in all aspects of our life.  And the other message came while watching Roger Ebert on Oprah I cried and felt ashamed that I ever take anything for granted.  That I complain.  That I am obsessed with my children........they are the greatest joy and accomplishment, yet I long to go to work some mornings or call the sitter.....or just to have quiet and do nothing.  Roger Ebert had complications with thyroid cancer that led to removal of his salivary glands and lower jaw, thus, he lost he ability to speak or eat.

A few weeks ago I had a biopsy on my thyroid.  Or shall I say, a bunch of needle picks to freeze the area and a few tissue samples where taken from each nodule I have surrounding my thyroid.  For those of you not in the know (and who is?) the thyroid is a butterfly shaped organ in the "adam's apple" region of your neck.  It plays a big role in how your body functions.  It impacts everything from your heart rate, to your energy level and your  metabolism.  The thyroid controls how quickly the body uses energy, makes proteins, and controls how sensitive the body should be to other hormones.

Many many years ago my hair started falling out and it led to a simple blood test which told me I had an underactive thyroid.  It is a simple fix really and I just take a pill daily to regulate my levels.  The nodules, (lumps and bumps on my thyroid gland) however, need to be monitored each year with an ultrasound and if the results look different than the previous one, a biopsy to check for sketchy cells....aka.....cancer.

Well, all was well with the biopsy.  I wasn't even worried really until the second the doctor called and my life did a quick flash.  Like a movie that plays out in your mind with alternate endings.  I looked at the kids and my heart started beating and I felt like you are standing at the threshold of life as usual, or life turned upside down. 

And then Roger Ebert brought it all home today.  I had no idea any of those things could happen.  And really, it's not like I have googled the bad outcomes.  I am the sort of person who really looks on the bright side most of the time.  Why worry until you have the facts?

So today I am thankful and glad that sometimes "boring" is good.  I remember my mom telling me, "not everyday can be exciting and when you get older that will be comforting."  I am thankful today for my health and the lessons and stories that others share that impact my life.

How can you be kinder?


  1. So glad to hear the results were normal and life is still "boring." Love you :)

  2. How can I be kinder? What a convicting and refreshing question. Refreshing because I think I am generally speaking a kind person. Convicting because I can be mean. Mean to my family, mean to my friends, mean to my husband, mean to God. And even mean to myself. I am glad you are healthy, Tricia. There would be a great hole in the universe without you.