On Friday, 3/25/11, The Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I was diagnosed with cancer of the thyroid. Below are blog posts with updates on my health. Posts are listed with the most recent at the top.
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|SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 2013|
|My Newest Project|
Divine Mercy Sunday
Hello Dear Friends!
It's been almost two years now that I have had my surgery and have been cancer free. It seems very surreal that this even happened at all; I am only reminded of this little trial when I notice the almost-now-invisible scar on my neck. Still fresh in my mind and heart however is God's great mercy for me. Yes, He allowed this little trial, but it was all for His good. And God didn't stop giving - less than a year later we found out we were pregnant.
We were overwhelmed with joy, and also very scared as we were told we couldn't get pregnant for at least 3 years, maybe even 5. We knew there might be a good chance that we would only be able to meet our baby in heaven, but trusted in God's plan. Despite the odds, our little baby grew and came into the world on October 4th, 2012. Budd Harold - our first boy! - was born healthy....and hefty at a whopping 10lbs 7oz.
God's mercy and love and generosity go far beyond our human comprehension! Today's Psalm said: "Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love is everlasting." What words can express this thanks? And so, awestruck at such love, all I can do is kiss the beautiful face of my son and marvel at how our Lord gives himself to us continually in this life in the difficult things and the beautiful things, in the smallest things and in the greatest things.
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ.” (Ephesians 2:4-5)
|Apr 07, 2013 @ 8:50 PM | 0 comment(s)|
|FRIDAY, JULY 1, 2011|
(July 1st, Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus)
I finished my radioactive iodine treatment, and my final scans came back that surgery and treatment got rid of all my thyroid cells, which means I am cancer free. It is only through God's great mercy and that He heard the prayers of so many people that I am here and doing well! For these prayers, I will be eternally grateful. I continue to pray for all of you!
Now, it is time to enjoy summer vacation with my dear family!!
I leave you with some beautiful quotes on this most beautiful day when we meditate on how perfect God loves us through the heart of His beloved Son:
"We do not understand ourselves and have no idea what to seek. We need to trust God, leaving things in his care. He knows us better than we know ourselves. Humility means we are satisfied with what God gives us. God owes us no favors. He knows we are not able to drink of his cup." - St. Teresa of Avila
"The essential nucleus of Christianity is expressed in the heart of Jesus; in Christ the whole of the revolutionary newness of the Gospel was revealed and given to us: the Love that saves us and already makes us live in God's eternity. Even our shortcomings, our limitations, and our weaknesses must lead us back to the heart of Jesus. His divine Heart calls to our hearts, inviting us to come out of ourselves, to abandon our human certainties to trust in him, and, following is example, to make ourselves a gift of love without reserve." - Pope Benedict XVI
"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love. In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son in expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another. No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another, God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us." (1 John 4:7-12)
|Jul 01, 2011 @ 9:33 PM | 0 comment(s)|
|WEDNESDAY, JUNE 1, 2011|
|...Two more things|
Over the summer Brandy and I figured that we had a little bit of $ from our benefit allowance for our job, so I decided to talk to the AFLAC rep for our school to see if we can get something for that amount. For a little over $200 extra a month, we were able to get 4 policies – one for accidents, one for hospitalization, one for vision, and one for….CANCER. So I signed the policy September 1st. On Sept. 28th I got into my little car accident, and in March I was diagnosed with cancer. How amazing is God’s providence?? Because of this little supplemental insurance, we’ll be able to pay off any extra hospital bills and maybe have some left over!
Last week I talked to my surgeon to ask him a couple of things. We started talking about my voice and when it would return. He was confident it would return soon. Then he shared with me how good my voice actually sounded compared with other people he operated on. Finally he said, "Actually, it's a good thing your doctor caught this when she did; if you had let this cancer grow much longer, it could have permanently damaged or destroyed your vocal chords." I know that my voice is a gift from God. Being without it for these past few weeks has made me appreciate it even more so!
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant." (Luke 1:39-56)
"How many, oh Lord my God, are the wonders and designs that you have worked for us; you have no equal. Should I proclaim and speak of them, they are more than I can tell." (Psalm 40)
"Thank God! Give him the praise and the glory. Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things he has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song. Before all men, honor and proclaim God's deeds, and do not be slack in praising him. A king's secret it is prudent to keep, but the works of God are to be declared and made known. Praise them with due honor." (Tobit 12:6-7)
|Jun 01, 2011 @ 4:59 AM | 0 comment(s)|
|TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2011|
|Rejoice in hope, Endure in affliction, Persevere in prayer|
Dear Friends and Family,
(Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary)
Well, stitches have been out a week, my scar is healing pretty nicely. I have been pretty tired, but that’s about it. A little back pain, and still no regular voice yet. No singing in church or any lullabies to the girls at night. L
Brandy and I went to the endocrinologist yesterday to find out what the next step is. As of today, I will stop taking my thyroid medication. I was on a pretty low dose, which was most likely the reason why I have been more tired than normal, but now, without any medicine, I should start to get really tired. But hey – what else is new, right? With four kids, I know what being tired is all about! Haha! The doc said I will be hypothyroid (essentially no thyroid hormone) for about 2-3 weeks until they can get a DIFFERENT hormone high enough in my blood. Once this hormone is high enough (2-3 weeks) I will be able to do my radioactive iodine treatment, which consists of isolating myself at home, taking some pills and then radiating stuff out for a few days. Sounds scary, but I guess it’s ok. At worst I might have a sore throat. No nausea, which is good. Brandy will take the girls (and the dog at his insistence) up to his parents’ house for a few days and come to check on me a couple of times a day.
After 2-4 days of this, I will go in for a full body scan so that they can see if there are any leftover thyroid cells – cancerous or non – in my body. If there are some still left, we repeat this process of radioactive iodine in another year. If all are destroyed, I’m good to go. After the scan, it will be a few weeks to months of trying to get a good level for my thyroid medicine; too much and I will be shaky and unable to concentrate, too little and I will be lethargic and blah. So that will be interesting!
So these next couple of weeks will be a challenge as far as keeping my energy level up. Right now I get pretty tired quickly, so I imagine without any medicine I will be even more so. The doc did say there is a chance that it won’t really affect me much. Pray for this! Thank God Brandy will be home and out of school to help. When all is said and done, I should be over this hurdle within 4-6 weeks! Praise God!
I continue to pray for those whose struggles with cancer are much more difficult than mine. Our good friend's brother is suffering very much from a brain tumor. He was just accepted into medical school with a very promising career ahead of him. He is 25 years old. Usually tumors like this will respond well to radiation treatment, but he is in the 10% of the population whose tumor is not responding. He is in extreme pain and does not want to undergo any more treatment. Please keep him in your prayers. I am offering up my suffering for his healing, if it is God's will, or for his quick path to heaven.
Today's reading from the New Testament is a beautiful reminder of what it means to be Christian:
"Brothers and Sisters: Let love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow in slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality. Bless those who persecute you, bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation." (Romans 12:9-16)
|May 31, 2011 @ 2:17 PM | 0 comment(s)|
|THURSDAY, MAY 26, 2011|
|Back to "Normal"|
On Monday I went to the surgeon and got my stitches and my drain out. I am doing so well in my recovery - it's amazing. It is truly thanks to all of your prayers and to God's great mercy that I have recovered so well and so quickly.
The pathology reports from the surgeon said they got all of the cancer out. He even took out a few other lymph nodes near where the other tumors were just to be safe. Turns out that they were filled with little cancerous tumors too that they couldn't see before! God is so good! So, besides being a little hoarse and looking a little like Frankenstein, I am pretty much back to normal!
I am a little tired, but I'm chalking that up to 4 busy little ladies who have been loving on their momma non-stop since I've been home. I would say the hardest thing through all of this was to be away from them for so long. As I said in my last post, I have such an amazing new-found admiration for people - especially moms - who undergo the trial of cancer and all its horrendous treatments. I am keeping these strong women in my prayers and hope you will too.
In closing, here is a beautiful quote from St. Philip Neri, whose feast day is today, 5/26. He was an amazing saint who lived from 1515-1595 in Italy. St. Philip was known for hs ability to be cheerful and to laugh from the depths of his burning love for Christ and to win other hearts for Christ by the quality of his joy. I pray that we all can be like beautiful windows from which God's love can shine out from within us so that others can know the joy of loving Christ through our love for each other.
"He who works purely for the love of God desires nothing but his honor, and this is ready in everything either to act or not to act, and that not in indifferent matters only, but even in good ones; and he is always resigned to the will of God. The Lord grants in a moment what we may have been unable to obtain in dozens of years. To obtain perfectly the gift of humilty, four things are required: to despise the world, to despise no person, to despise one's self, and to despise being despised. Perfection consists in leading captive our own will, and in playing the king over it. A man ought to mortify his undertsanding in little things, if he wishes to mortify it in great ones, and to advance in the way of virtue. Without morification nothing can be done. We ought to hope for and love the glory of God by means of a good life." -- St. Philip Neri
"The kingdom of God is not a matter of food and drink, but of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit; whoever serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by others. Let us then pursue what leads to peace and to building up one another." (Romans 14: 17-19)
|May 26, 2011 @ 1:01 PM | 0 comment(s)|
Copyright Shauna Antoniuc 2011