Reeling in the originality points for that title.
I hate to abruptly shift gears from photo, photo caption...photo, photo, photo, photo caption to word word word word and more words but Simon thinks I should branch out and make the word to photo ratio look a little less like 1:30 and more like 300:1 and of course I do everything he says.
One little year ago today I had just returned from a good friend's wedding out in Pittsburgh. I was probably having a panic attack and flooding my underarms with a small ocean of nervous sweat in between 90 minute (!!!) class periods about how many times Alexander rolled his eyes at me during block one and how many copies could I make in five minutes before block two showed up with their heavy bevy of excuses about why they couldn't complete the My Antonia study guide. That is not to say I wasn't beginning to see the light at the end of the teaching tunnel and was very much looking forward to admiring the stacks of graded final exams in a short month's time. I was 16ish weeks pregnant and was enjoying the second trimester tidings of renewed energy and nausea-free living. Simon was on his OB-GYN rotation at school and aside from the semi-frequent night of call, his schedule was pretty light and we were getting to see a lot more of each other than some previous rotations had allowed. The weather was warming up and the cold, long winter was finally winding to a welcome close. I had taken to greeting each morning with a rousing rendition of, "My Life is a Fairytale". No, no, not quite but overall everything was a pretty shade of rosy red.
Alright, alright, alright I realize I'm going to need to speed things up if I am going to cover this past year in one little post.
The following day I would need to overcome the small hurdle of undergoing one more hellish needle biopsy of a small lump on my thyroid to ensure that is was benign. The first biopsy had been inconclusive due to the fact that the doctor had not procured enough liquid from the nodule. I hate needles and had read about 89 forums about the biopsy procedure from start to finish. The accounts ranged from, "didn't feel a thing" to "worst pain of my life...including child birth". I can say that the hours of childbirth pre-epidural that I did experience were far worse than the fat needle sticks but it was still high on my list of, "please never ever ever agains". So you can imagine my trepidation going in for a second biopsy but I was a brave little martyr and to the gauntlet I marched and survived with only a heart shaped bruise marking my neck to show for my suffering. I was a smart enough cupcake to know that when the doctor left a message during fourth block the following Thursday saying that he wanted to discuss the findings asap that perhaps the results weren't going to be benign after all.
I called him back just as the last pair of school uniformed legs scurried out my classroom door a few long minutes after the dismissal bell mercifully rang. He kindly and matter of factly informed me that it was indeed thyroid cancer and that I would need to undergo surgery relatively soon and following Julia's birth I would have to have a radioactive iodine treatment which would involve weaning Julia at a very young age and remaining several feet away from her for several days following the treatment. Never one to be melodramatic about anything, my mind spun thinking about the gargantuan task of getting enough sub-par lesson plans prepared for the sub while I was out for the surgery and how scared I was of having surgery especially while pregnant. The omnipresent vain side of me dwelled on the lifelong scar necklace that was looming in my very immediate future.
I won't drag out the details of the surgery and the treatment because I have already addressed them at medium-sized length in other posts but in hindsight everything went incredibly smoothly and relatively easily. The most difficult part was being on the brutal low iodine diet and going off of my thyroid medicine, rendering me embarrassingly emotionally unpredictable and zapped of all energy. Por ejemplo, I had the mother of all meltdowns when I couldn't remember where I had parked my car at the hospital after a very short appointment at the hospital in the days prior to the iodine treatment. Thankfully, I am a heartless mother and being away from Julia wasn't nearly as difficult as I had imagined. Simon and his family took great care of her and she took to formula and bottle feeding like a little championess.
Tonight Simon, Julia and I went on a walk like we normally do in the evening and as we passed by a car with a bumper sticker that read, "Get Rich Quick! Count Your Blessings!", I found myself succumbing to the sentiment of the message and thinking back to this time last year because the same sense of rosy red calmness has settled over our lives once again. We have so much to be grateful for. We know now that Simon will be doing a four year OB-GYN residency in St. Louis starting in June, we know where we will be living (barring any unforeseeable contract breaking circumstances), Julia is an almost perfectly content chubby babe and I am healthy as a Clydesdale all over again.
what we do best...snap photos while taking breathers from short evening walks
Never one to shy away from an opportunity to complain, I am (for once) exercising my right to voice how appreciative I am for all of the blessings God has bestowed on our little familia. Despite the ups and downs of the past year, I still feel as though we are way ahead in the ups count and were able to weather the downs with ease and the help of family, friends and prayer.
I'm taking a flying leap off my sentimental soapbox now and if you've made it this far I would like to say you're welcome for the year's worth of Hallmarkesque sap you just inhaled.
Have a lovely Monday.