I stand corrected.  Doctors DO come in on their vacation days to give patients GOOD news, especially when they want a different day off. That is the reason my appointment time was changed. The thyroid is noncancerous.  Praise the Lord!  My laryngeal nerve was damaged during the surgery when it was accidentally clamped along with a nearby blood vessel.  It may take up to 6 weeks before I get my voice back.   Apparently, I am to use this time to hone my listening skills! What a lesson I learned in making assumptions.  A lot of unnecessary worry this past weekend, even though I was combating it by reading God’s word.

I am believing that God is going to give me a better voice – one that can even carry a tune!  I told the doctor this, but he seemed skeptical.  Ten years ago I took singing lessons as a fun activity with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law who both dropped out after one session.  After $500 into it, the instructor told me she thought I could probably spend my money better elsewhere. Ha Ha.  So see what a miracle a beautiful singing voice would be!  

Take care. Need to celebrate with my family!


A Soft Answer

Proverbs 15:1 says “a soft answer turns away wrath…” so I figure we should be pretty happy in our household since I can only speak softly.  We have always been one of those “yelling” families, not in an angry way, but more like “ANSWER THE DOOR” or “IT’s YOUR TURN TO LET THE DOG OUT” as we yell to each other from one room to another.  I am becoming so civilized as I walk to my kids’ rooms to converse (okay, I admit I still text them from the other room also).  It really does bring on a calm spirit when you are unable to raise your voice.  

My follow-up doctor visit is this Monday.  Originally, it was suppose to be January 7th but the office called wondering if I could meet Dr. Borreson on Monday the 30th instead.  Coincidentally, this is when my lab results should be ready. Does a doctor come in to work on his vacation day to give a patient good results?  I want to be naive enough to believe so.  Regardless, I am bringing my posse – Richard, my main squeeze; Cheri, my notetaker; and of course, God, at my side!  Bring it on!

On a positive note, I have lovely painted nails.  My friend, Sandra, has been doing a nail care ministry for me since the beginning of my diagnosis.  Do not underestimate the power of pretty nails!  I received a gel nail polish kit with LED light for Christmas that promotes the color staying on for up to two weeks.  Sandra is skeptical but says if it works, she is going to buy many beautiful colors! If you know Sandra, you know this to be true.  She has more colors than a salon.  Who knew there were 5 different shades of black?

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your family and are looking forward to the new year – my family and I are!  Love, Just Pamela

God has a plan for you Ph 1:6  He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.   

Medicated Misinformation

So I can’t blame Miss Cheri for incorrect information as I fed it to her.  However, I had just come out of surgery when I spoke to the doctor and it all got a little murky.  Luckily he called me on the phone later that night when I had a few more wits about me (although Cheri may disagree about this).  Dr. Borreson did not have to shave suspicious cancer off my laryngeal nerve.  However, he had to clip / cauterize a blood vessel that was very close to my laryngeal nerve.  At the end of the surgery, they tested 

the nerve with a device and it did not activate (meaning the nerve was no longer functioning).  Dr. Borreson said he looked at the nerve under magnification and it looked intact.  He felt perhaps the device was “finicky”.  He felt my voice sounded as it should post surgery.  We really will need to wait for the post-op followup to determine the status of my voice.  I feel as though it has already improved.  It is still softer and hoarser and it is hard to clear my throat but overall functional for conversing!  (hint, hint).  I also will not find out if it is cancerous until the follow-up appointment.  Because he ended up taking the whole thyroid, there was not a rush order put on the lab work.  Back to the waiting game.  

Believe it or not, I had one of the best Christmas eves / Christmas days.  I had lots of visitors and the most wonderful staff.  I had a goodie basket for staff  and visitors to pick treats from.  Lottery tickets and packets of gum were the hot items.  Courtney, from the kitchen, was a $2 winner!  I also asked each of the nursing staff who cared for me to share a tidbit about themselves each time they came into my room.  I found out all sorts of INTERESTING bits of information.  

If you are feeling bad for my family having to spend the night away from home, don’t.  They stayed at the Hope Lodge across the street where they played chess, pool, and shuffleboard.  They even had cable TV which is better than at home.  We packed sufficient munchies too.  They met a family from Minnesota who was also staying at the Hope Lodge as the 17 year old granddaughter was in a clinical trial for liver cancer.  Puts everything in perspective when you want to have a pity party for yourself.

Here is a picture of Team Boomer.  


Merry Christmas-Part 2

Pamela asked me to write an update. I feel pressure and told her so. I’m typing away on my iPhone which is adding more pressure. I told her I was worried about my writing reputation. She said, don’t worry about it… (Now I know you think that is her being nice, but just wait for the end of her sentence)….”I wouldn’t ruin my reputation for you”. I had nothing after that. She gets a free pass (for today). Ok.. So here is the update from Just Pamela from St. Mary’s

She had a thyroidectomy today. Her surgeon, Dr. Borreson, removed her thyroid and scraped her laryngeal nerve on the the left side. There was questionable cancerous tissue on her laryngeal nerve. She will find out the results tomorrow.
Meanwhile, she is handing out goodies to every hospital staff who walks by her room. She told the last patient care aid that “you should market that smile of yours”. She then quickly held up her wedding ring finger to let him know she was married. Just Pamela is still our “Just Amazingly Wonderful Pamela”

Blessings, Joy for the birth of our King, and Peace.


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

With all the time on my hands, you would think I could send out Christmas cards. However, I am learning not to sweat the small stuff (and some big stuff too), so here it is presented digitally. Merry Christmas from the Boomers. Praying that this season brings much fellowship, love, and laughs to your family.

Final Decision

I am deciding not to have the reexcision surgery to take more tissue from the initial surgery area. Dr. Brader and I spoke at length this morning and after considering all the information, we feel it is in my best interests to not have the surgery.  I remind myself also that Dr. Brader and  both U of M doctors who I visited said my margins were considered clean (one spot was 2mm instead of the textbook 4mm) and also that two of the three tumor boards who have reviewed my case did not have this recommendation of reexcision.  

My niece who is doing her fellowship in hematology oncology told me when I was first diagnosed that this  journey was going to feel like an emotional rollercoaster. She could not have been more correct. Sometimes I feel bi-polar with all my ups and downs. Fortunately, with God’s help I am more up than down these days.  Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas. 

He Has Done Great Things for Me

Yesterday I was on a high after completing two doctor’s appointments which I had been dreading.  They ended up not being bad at all. There were many God moments sprinkled throughout the day, from seeing my friend in the waiting room, to getting my second appointment bumped up two hours and to a caring nurse scheduling the same anesthesiologist for my second surgery as my 1st surgery after I jokingly requested him.  So it came as a complete surprise when I got a call from U of M last night.  The gynecological tumor board is recommending excision of more tissue from the 1st surgical area because the margins around the tumor were not completely free of disease.  If that was not enough of a blow, I then learned I am not a candidate for the Gleevec medication, which is the only medication known to hold off this cancer.  I was devastated to say the least.  However, it is amazing what time AND sleep can do.  I awoke this morning to Chris Tomlin’s song lyrics in my head “My soul magnifies the Lord.  He has done great things for me – great things for me”. Over and over it played in my mind bringing comfort and reminding me “God is good all the time”.  He will see me through whatever comes my way.  I am asking for prayers for discernment for the doctors and myself regarding whether this is the path I need to take.  The U of M doctor and the Grand Rapids doctor are suppose to discuss this recommendation as they are not in agreement. I pray God would be at the center of this discussion and there would be agreement to help guide me.

Philippians 4:6-7  6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.