During a routine physical exam in April 2004, my doctor noticed that I had an enlarged thyroid. He sent me to get a sonogram to get a better look and a few days later it showed two nodules or growths; one on each side of my thyroid gland. One was 1.2cm, the other just over twice that size.
I was then scheduled for a biopsy to check for cancerous cells and of course, the “c” word scared the heck out of me!
The results of the biopsy were inconclusive; the pathologist called them “suspicious.” I called my doctor and he said they could be benign follicular nodules or malignant tumors. To be safe, he recommended surgery to remove the growths and part, or possibly all, of my thyroid gland. He said that the only way to find out for sure if they were cancerous was to perform a tissue biopsy after removal.
“But don’t you worry,” my doctor said, “if they are malignant, surgically removing them will 100% cure the thyroid cancer. And if they turn out to be benign, then it’s no big deal. We’ll put you on synthetic hormone replacement medicine for the rest of your life, and you’ll be just fine.”
He gave me the name of a surgeon and urged me to schedule surgery to remove my thyroid. I was afraid. The doctor is always right, isn’t he? Nobody wants to mess around when he spouts words like “malignant” or “cancer.” I did as I was told and got on the phone right away and scheduled surgery.
But I Wasn’t Ready to Cut Out My Thyroid on a Hunch
Fortunately a small, but saner part of my mind totally balked at the willy-nilly chopping out of my God-given thyroid gland, on the unsubstantiated hunch that it may have malignant tumors.
Just this past week the terrifying scourge of breast cancer took two of our best and brightest women. Unfortunately, this is not rare.
Both so very young.
One was Angelina Jolie’s mother, just 56 years of age. The second was the famously insightful reporter, Molly Ivins, whose syndicated column was read by millions every week. Molly Ivins was a gem. In a world where women’s voices are still rare, her’s could not be ignored.
She wasn’t just good at what she did, she was great. I didn’t always agree with her, but I always read her. She had a unique way of seeing the world and putting it into words that made a Molly Ivins column totally recognizable and often unforgettable. She was passionate and inspirational, and now that passion and inspiration is gone. Stolen by breast cancer. Another one lost. When will this end?
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), things are not getting any better. Death rates from cancer in this country are down, albeit just barely. In 2007, NCI predicts 178,480 women and 2,030 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer; 40,460 women and 450 men will die of it. Molly Ivins was one of the 41,000 we lost.
It may be better, but it is hardly good enough. It is an epidemic, a war just like Iraq, spiraling out of control by the second.
Are the cells of your brain dying a dismal death? Could they be without you knowing?
Such a cellular death leads to the end of life, a rotten brain full of holes and early-onset Alzheimer’s. It can totally ruin any joy in old age, by subjecting you to life as a zombie with constant care in a nursing home.
The latest link to rapid onset brain disease supports a dramatic and terrifying link between high dairy consumption, Mad Cow Disease and early-onset Alzheimer’s.