Thursday, February 23, 2012

Blood Test and Official Ultrasound Results

Ronny's blood tests came back showing he has hypothyroidism (under producing thyroid). The doctor asked if he had seen hair loss, weight gain, dry skin, and a few other symptoms. All of which have happened but all of which could also be contributed to getting older or coming off a mighty stressful year. Ronny was awarded a new prescription that he'll most likely be on indefinitely. The mass measured 1.2 cm officially which put him in the need to biopsy category. The first ultrasound measured it as .9 cm which I believe still puts it into the margin of error but something to think on nonetheless and a question of is it getting bigger? I asked the doctor if cysts like this or cysts that are cancerous usually resulted in hypo or hyper thyroids. He said they usually would result in hypo thyroids. Not exactly the answer I was hoping for. Ronny will have his blood work redone in 8 weeks and they will also test him for a few autoimmune diseases as well. An ENT will actually be the one doing the biopsy so we are waiting to hear when they can get him in. The doctor said he still doesn't think its something to worry about, however in my book he becomes less convincing with the more tests he orders. Just saying....

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ultrasound Preliminary Results

Ronny's ultrasound showed a cyst with a mass that looked a little different this time than last time and measured 1 cm I believe (the mass is 1 cm the cyst is quite a bit bigger). The cyst consisted of both soft and hard tissue. The tech seemed to think this would warrant a FNA, fine needle aspiration, or essentially a biopsy. There was also a second smaller mass above the cyst. The smaller mass didn't seem to be concerning. Ronny's doctor's office called him this afternoon after receiving the results to make sure he had an appointment to come back next week. Hmmmm, not quite sure how I feel about that yet. We'll see what his blood tests look like then too.

More Ultrasound Surprises

A few weeks ago Ronny and I went to the open house for the new University of Utah Health Center here in Daybreak. Its massive and awesome, sure wish it had been open last year at this time! Anyway, they were doing several free assessments, including an ultrasound on the caryatid artery to check for plaque. Ronny was all for it and we waited in line. While both of us had no plague in the arteries the technician also checked our thyroid glands. When the tech started on the left side of Ronny's neck I asked what that odd mushroom looking object with a large black sack around it that seemed to be growing off his gland was. The tech turned and was surprised I caught it, I told him I had had my fair share of ultrasounds and could spot something out of place especially such a strange looking thing that clearly was not right.
He recommended Ronny have it checked out. Yeah, no problem there!

During the next week we talked to a few docs in the family to get their assessment. All said it was probably nothing but that he should definitely get it checked out. We also did a little hunting on the internet and found out that only about 5% of these are cancerous and then they listed about 6 risk factors, 4 of which Ronny fell into including being of male gender. So with our past history of rare medical finds, Ronny saw an internist yesterday and had his blood drawn for several tests. Today he gets another ultrasound and then a followup appointment next week. They'll decide then if it needs to be biopsied. Last night he was telling me that he had never had so much blood taken at one time (4 vials). I laughed out loud and told him it wasn't as much as he thought, then again when you see Ronny having any kind of needle near him it was enough to set off a few butterflies in his stomach. We'll see what the doctor says next week and where we go from here. We are very optimistic that this is not something major to worry about, however it seems that we were saying the same thing right about this time last year with a different kind of ultrasound....

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

He Loves Me

Monday morning I was surprised when the UPS guy stopped at our house with a package of gourmet chocolates and very sweet note. Tuesday morning I was surprised again when the doorbell rang and these beautiful flowers were delivered. Both days I was still in my pajamas when the deliveries came and the flower delivery guy was trying not to laugh. The owner of the flower shop they came from is in our ward, apparently they have been this arrangement for a couple weeks. He knows I'm a sucker for tulips and the tiger lilies were an added bonus as they were the main flower at our wedding. Sneaky man I'm married too, usually I can sniff out surprises like this, this year I was completely surprised. The floral scent coming from these are amazing, my house smells great!

I would definitely say that Ronny and I have had a great marriage thus far, we've had our bumps and our triumphs along the way like everyone else, but this last year I would say our marriage grew by leaps and bounds. We walked through fire together, prayed together, and cried together during our journey. There was a moment though one day while I was in the hospital and the discussion came up with the doctor whether or not I should be released. There was a look that came into Ronny's eyes that told me just how much he loved me and my heart melted all over again. I thank my lucky stars this man is in my life and can't imagine one day without him and I look forward to the rest of eternity with him.

Monday, February 06, 2012

It comes and goes.....

A friend of mine asked me recently if the pain of losing Aaron is as strong today as it was when he died. The answer is yes. Its difficult to describe though. The pain is constant, its always there. The intensity of it comes and goes though. Some moments its almost overwhelming and I feel like my heart is breaking all over again and other times its just a raw rubbing in the back of my head or chest but I can function. I can't imagine the pain ever fully going away, and the thought of it going away scares me. I know that sounds backwards but its somewhat difficult to put into words.

For those wondering how I'm doing, I have really good days, days filled with joy. I have days that function as smoothly as it did before Aaron came. I also have not such good days, those are the days that I usually stick close to home, days that I feel productive if I just can get the basic things done like getting the kids to school and getting dinner on the table, even if its late. Those are the days that I remind myself that if I can just get through it, tomorrow will not be so bad. Those are the days that I send constant pleas for comfort to my Father in Heaven, pleading for that warm peace that tells me all is well and tomorrow will come.

I came across this poem or mantra of sort on a friend's blog. Not all of it applies to me but most of it does, most of it describes exactly the things I tell myself on those difficult days.

Just For Today, For Bereaved Parents
By Vicki Tushingham

Just for today I will try to live through the next 24 hours and not expect to get over my child's death, but instead learn to live with it, just one day at a time.

Just for today I will remember my child's life, not just his death, and bask in the comfort of all those treasured days and moments we shared.

Just for today I will forgive all the family and friends who didn't help or comfort me the way I needed them to. They truly did not know how.

Just for today I will smile no matter how much I hurt on the inside, for maybe if I smile a little, my heart will soften and I will begin to heal.

Just for today I will reach out to comfort a relative or friend of my child, for they are hurting too, and perhaps we can help each other.

Just for today I will free myself from my self-inflicted burden of guilt, for deep in my heart I know if there was anything in the world I could have done to save my child from death, I would have done it.

Just for today I will honor my child's memory by doing something with another child because I know that would make my own child proud.

Just for today I will offer my hand in friendship to another bereaved parent for I do know how they feel.

(my favorite part)
Just for today when my heart feels like breaking, I will stop and remember that grief is the price we pay for loving and the only reason I hurt is because I had the privilege of loving so much.

Just for today I will not compare myself with others. I am fortunate to be who I am and have had my child for as long as I did.

Just for today I will allow myself to be happy, for I know that I am not deserting him by living on.

Just for today I will accept that I did not die when my child did, my life did go on, and I am the only one who can make that life worthwhile once more.

I would add a stanza though if I could ...
Just for today I will remember to allow God to take the burden that is upon my shoulders. I will accept the strength He can only give. I will ask Him for the peace that reminds me tomorrow will come and tomorrow will be better than today.

Like I said, not all of it applies but the majority of it does. These hard days don't come as often as they once did. The phrase "Time heals all wounds" is somewhat misleading I think. Time doesn't necessarily heal the wounds it just gives you the opportunity to learn to live with them. People ask me all the time if things are back to "normal" now. I have yet to figure out what that means, if it means that we are doing the things that we did before Aaron came the answer is yes. We have a working schedule, the kids are doing well in school and the house is somewhat in orde, we continue to live on and move forward, but does it feel "normal"? The answer is no, I feel like we are missing someone and that pain, its still there.

Temple Trip

Since being put on bed rest last year, last March was the last time my husband and I were able to attend the temple together. This last Saturday we were able to attend once again together along with our daughter. When Charley turned 12 our bishop gave her a temple recommend to perform baptisms whenever she was able. For one reason or anther we just weren't able to go together until this last weekend. We had heard it was busy so we had planned to be gone for at least 2 hours, it took 3! I asked one of my visiting teachers if she would watch the boys while we were gone. We arrived at the temple to see the baptistry packed! We were instructed to the chapel and told the line started in the back and they would take a few people at a time and just to scooch down the pews as people left. Most who were there were youth with an occasional parent mixed in. Watching we realized that each youth did 5 names unless they brought their own family names and then they seemed to do a max of 10 at a time. The process was very efficient yet it still took us an hour and a half to just get to the front of the line.

When it was our turn we were directed to the clothing area and the sweet matron explained to Charley the process and told her to remember her size for her clothing so that she would be able to know in the future her sizes and feel right at home. She asked if I would be willing to hand out towels or if I had names to do, I told her I would do whatever they needed me to do. Ronny was able to baptize and confirm Charley as well as several other youth in attendance that day. I was touched to see the willingness and eagerness of the youth to want to be in the temple. I could not have asked for a better example for our daughter. One of the workers explained that there are open hours for baptisms every Friday morning, Saturday, and each holiday for all those wanting to come. The baptistry opens at 6:00 am and they said that there are youth lined up outside the doors at 5:45 each time and that the chapel is always filled by 6:00. So where are the youth in South Jordan each Friday and Saturday morning, they are at the temple.

When I was a youth we were able to attend the temple twice a year and would do between 10 and 20 names when we went and I remember the temple workers begging us to come back soon. In college I would try to do baptisms during open hours once a week with a few friends. I remember the workers well. They would beg us to come back each week. What a completely different experience for our daughter.

While sitting in the chapel waiting our turn I felt that all too familiar squeeze on my heart. I felt a little jipped thinking that we were not able to do this for our son. I know that it is not necessary as his place with his Father in Heaven is assured, yet I still felt like we were missing out on this experience with him. What joy has come to those that have been waiting for their ordinances though. I hope Charley remembers that day, I know I will and I look forward to going with the boys in the future.