Results are in!

Give to the wind thy fears
hope and be undismayed
God hears thy sighs and counts thy tears,
Leave to His sovereign sway
To choose and to command;
Then shalt thou, wandering, own His way,
Far, far above thy thought,
His counsel shall appear
When fully He the work hath wrought
Through waves and clouds and storms,
He gently clears the way;
Wait thou His time; so shall this night
Soon end in joyous day.
~He Will Lift Up Your Head, Paul Gerhardt, mid 1600s


The long-awaited report from Mayo arrived over the weekend. I pored over it at 10 p.m. last night, when we arrived home from a Sunday evening wedding. What I found was mostly old news, with a few confusing details thrown in. I was diagnosed with orthostatic intolerance related to a hyperadrenergic state. Which basically means that my blood pressure drops when I change position, because my nervous system is sending inappropriate stress signals to my brain. It's probably the same problem that plagued me through high school and college, now back to haunt me as an adult as well. My sweat test also showed abnormalities consistent with a malfunctioning nervous system.

In other parts of the report, more information came to light: my neck ultrasound showed a stable nodule in the left thyroid bed suspicious for neoplasm; a stable nodule in a lymph node high in the left upper lateral internal jugular chain suspicious for neoplasm; and a normal-appearing enlarged submental lymph node (underneath my tongue). See numbers 1, 4, and 6 on the following image for the location of the areas in question.


Treatment of the internal jugular lymph node will present the greatest challenge when or if it becomes necessary to remove it. It is attached to the jugular vein and the incidence of complications is higher than with the initial thyroidectomy. Which is why they are remaining in the "watch and see" mode for so long. It is also less than half a centimeter in diameter, which is not very big in the grand scope of thyroid cancer. Removing it would involve a neck dissection, where the skin and overlying tissues are removed from the left side of my neck to expose the entire chain of lymph nodes. I covet prayers that I not be required to undergo such an invasive and painful surgery.

Other item of note: my brain MRI showed a congenital defect called diaphragma sella incompetence, a structure in the front of the brain near the pituitary and hypothalamus. I also have enlargement of the sella secondary to this congenital defect. This benign brain deformity causes obesity in 30-50 year old women. And headaches. But its no big deal. At least now I can blame my weight on my brain abnormality!

I also have multiple (no number given) retentions cysts in the maxillary antra. After some reading, I discovered this just means that I have chronic sinusitis, and cysts have developed over the years because of this. No big shocker there.

I hope to write tomorrow about the spiritual and emotional consequences of receiving such a report at 10 p.m. on a Sunday when you are tired. And researching it the next day while running between washing machine and puking children. But today I must tend to the puking children and the laundry instead!