Cancer times 3!

One of the great things about our recent trip to Europe was the fact that for three and a half weeks I was just a Canadian tourist enjoying the sights. I had no medical appointments during that time and no one who saw me would have guessed that I’ve been fighting a little known, incurable cancer for almost six years.

Unfortunately, life isn’t always like that. Less than 24 hours after stepping back onto Canadian soil, I had a needle biopsy of my thyroid. I was visiting family in Vancouver when a call came from the doctor’s office. “He wants to see you,” I was told. I knew immediately that the news wasn’t going to be good. Dr W is a very busy man and he wouldn’t ask to see me without good reason, especially when he knows that I live two hours outside the city.

Since I’m having what will likely be my final PRRT treatment tomorrow morning followed by scans the next day to see if there has been any change to my neuroendocrine cancer (NETs) in the past six months and I’ll also be meeting with those doctors to discuss future treatment options, I convinced Dr W’s receptionist to have him call me. I wanted to know what else I was up against before that discussion took place.

The suspicious looking nodule in my thyroid is indeed another cancer, the third completely unrelated cancer in the past six years. Cancer number two which was located in my left parotid (salivary) gland was diagnosed seven months after the NETs cancer. It was removed surgically followed by six weeks of radiation.

At this point, I don’t even know what this new cancer is called, but Dr W hastened to assure me that it isn’t aggressive and that it is, in fact, quite common in people over the age of 65. Many live their entire lifetime without even knowing they have it. Apparently common practice is simply to monitor it, but since we already know that mine is growing, it may require more than that. I’ll be seeing Dr W next month to discuss options.

My first cancer diagnosis came as as a complete shock and the second one almost as much so. At that point, I didn’t know that second cancers have been reported to occur in 10 to 20% of patients with neuroendocrine cancer. I have no idea what the incidence of third cancers is, but I’m guessing that I’m not the first one to travel this road.

I do know that I’m not stressing out over it. I’m resting in the “peace that passes understanding” (Philippians 4:7). The Lord promised to take care of me at the beginning of this journey and I’m pretty sure He’s still on the job!

At the same time, this might be a good time to remind myself once again what cancer cannot do.

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30 thoughts on “Cancer times 3!

  1. Dr. W is one of the most caring and professional surgeons I have ever worked with . I trust his opinion 110% and have no doubt he will have the right course of action for you xoxo

  2. Thank you for this. I have also had surgery for NETs. I thought I would have to give up travel. You inspire me. Have you written about getting medical travel insurance with a pre-existing condition? Seeking advice.

  3. You are Amazing! So Strong and Resilient. I’m grateful you have such a strong Faith and that you Trust your Dr.


  4. I’m sorry to read of this reoccurrence yet thankful for your faith! Thank you for sharing! Prayers coming your way!

  5. Good luck in yet again another battle! They say things come in threes – praying that this is the last time you have to undergo yet another treatment, but as you say, God has been with you on this journey and will always be there as well as Richard…God’s blessings and I will keep you in prayer….

  6. Elaine, my fingers are crossed for you!  My partner has leukaemia and of course there have been a myriad of nasty associated events happen… usually when he is in peak form after recovering from another near death situation so I have an inkling of where your head is at… an inkling only because this is happening to you and not your husband but a personal awarenss none the less.  And we too no longer stress out over each one and just leave it up to the universe.  Though I must say… this winter was the first decent holiday we have had in almost a decade… 8 trips have been cancelled, a couple on the day we were due to leave… so ithe timing does get annoying!!!!!! Tryinf dor Albania in the spring but we shall see what happens.As my mother would say, keep your tits up!

    Terri Boldt 780-571-3228Sent from my iPad

    • So glad you were able to get away for a holiday and I hope there will be many more. Your mom’s comment made me laugh! I remember her with fondness.

  7. Elaine, I’m praying for you. I’m glad he was able to call – nothing worse than having to wait for an appointment knowing it won’t be good news. I have complete faith in God and our medical system.

  8. Dear Elaine, I’m so sorry you have one more mountain to climb!
    I had my thyroid removed almost 35 years ago… cancer…. always ridiculously scary, but here I am, and you will climb this mountain, and come down again!
    Prayers, for your health, your recovery, and the stress that can swirl!
    One day at a time 💜🙏💜

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  10. Your strength and faith and determination will bring you through yet another hurdle of life’s pathway. Thoughts and prayers are with you

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