celebrating survivorship

Today I celebrate not only St. Patrick’s Day, but more importantly 4 years of thyroid cancer survivorship. It is truly a blessing to be a survivor, to be a member of a very unique group of people. God has watched over me and provided me with everything that I have needed to be a cancer survivor.

The news came as a shock when I found out just 3 short months prior to my wedding day, at the very young age of 22. My diagnosis was excellent – my thyroid was removed along with additional lymph nodes through a near-total thyroidectomy, then I would undergo annual treatments of radioactive iodine for 5 years. It would not be an easy road, but one that I have walked with relative grace thanks to the strong warriors that God has placed in my lives.

Three short months prior to my wedding day, on St. Patrick’s Day 2005, I arrived at Palmetto Health Baptist for my surgery. I followed my surgery with a few weeks of recovery and then my first round of radio active iodine. I was completely without thyroid hormone, making my energy levels close to nothing. This lasted for about 8 weeks at which point I had my first scan that came back clean. I had another round in February/March 2006 where I underwent exactly the same treatment. The scans came back clean then, too. In 2007 I was able to remain on my thyroid hormone and simply have shots every day for a week prior to my scan. In 2008, there was no scan at all. My endocrinologist gave me a year off for three straight clean scans!

I will go back to my endocrinologist for my bi-annual checkup on Thursday, and I will have a thyroid ultrasound, and I’m almost positive that I’ll undergo more scans this year given my time off last year. Either way, I’m not concerned or worried, for I know that God is in control of this. Whatever comes, I know that God will continue to provide me the very best of care, medicine, support and strength. After all, I am a survivor.

Here are a few pictures that chronicle my journey…

luminary-ktLuminary at Relay For Life

survivors-2008Three generations of cancer survivors:
Nana/Betty, breast
Candy, breast
Katie, thyroid

Today, while everyone is celebrating St. Patrick’s day, I’ll be celebrating my 4th anniversary of survivorship. Mason is taking me out on a date tonight to celebrate, and then we’re going to scream and yell as the Gamecocks take on Davidson in both basketball and baseball. Tonight we will make up for the few weeks 4 years ago that I did not have a voice after surgery. And yes, don’t worry, just as I did when I was wheeled into the OR, I’ll be wearing my green so that I won’t be pinched.

God is so good, all the time. Today I celebrate life, and give thanks to the life-giver. I praise the Lord for showing me such love throughout my journey, but also for giving me not just life here on earth, but eternal life through my savior Jesus Christ.

Mama would agree, while the Doxology is always appropriate, there are certain occasions where the Doxology is especially appropriate. Days like  today are one of those extra special occasions:

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.

3 thoughts on “celebrating survivorship

  1. What a wonderful day! We celebrate your journey and presence with us. Thanks to God for the beautiful woman you are today and the very special friend we have in our lives.


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