I’ve been contemplating starting an occasional “Everyday Opportunity” post for a while now. It seems these opportunities to share Christ and encourage others are all around us…if we will only look.
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And I barely had time to take my seat among the elderly before they called my name.
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The nurse and doctor asked their usual questions, and the doctor then asked me to lie down on the bed, so she could examine my thyroid with an ultrasound.
6 weeks of taking thyroid medicine for a goiter and “lowish” thyroid levels, and she gives me the news: “You do NOT have a goiter. Your thyroid looks…normal.”
Confused, I sit up. Normal? Then why did a doctor, a physician’s assistant and a midwife all tell me I had a goiter? And this medicine I’ve been taking–could it have hurt the baby?
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The doctor assured me that the medicine (Armor Thyroid, which is naturally derived from a pig’s thyroid) would not hurt the baby. She also explained that although my thyroid looked normal in size, I did have some “patchy” areas, whereas, most of the time, the thyroid should look solid gray on an ultrasound.
Because of these “patchy areas,” the doctor ordered blood work to check for Hashimoto’s disease, an autoimmune disorder that’s a precursor to hypothyroidism.
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When I left the lab that day, I ran into one of the elderly couples by the elevator. I had already placed my cap back on my head–all bundled up and ready to re-enter the cold.
The man hesitated a bit and then asked me–“Are you taking chemo…too?”
I touched my cap and realized that, since my hair was up, it must look as if I had no hair.
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I’m sure my cheeks reddened, and my heart broke for this couple simply looking for someone to empathize.
“Oh, no,” I said. “No, I’m just here for thyroid tests…and I’m pregnant. Are you going through chemo?”
The woman–who looked to be 90 but whose feminine style of dress and painted face told me she was a beauty in her day–pulled her own knitted cap from her head.
“Yes,” she nodded. “I have breast cancer.”
My heart sunk. But then I realized that perhaps my mom’s story could encourage this desperate couple.
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“My mother has had cancer twice,” I recounted. “Ovarian. And she went through chemo twice. And she’s still alive. She was 46 the first time.”
They smiled. I sensed hope.
“I’m 67,” the much-older-looking lady said.
I hid my shock and knew…the cancer and chemo both had aged her.
And then I felt the Lord prompting me to ask her name.
“Jody, I will pray for you. Take heart.”
And as I waved goodbye and exited the building into the blurry rain, my eyes blurred a bit as well. The doctor had just told me I quite possibly had nothing wrong with me at all–when 6 weeks before I could have been facing a cancer diagnosis myself.
The doctor’s office called me with the news this morning: I do not have Hashimoto’s.
Will you join me in praying for Jody?
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