Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Situation

I let myself cry, and then I write. This is usually how it goes. If I hadn't been diagnosed with a second cancer, I'd be doing neither of these things- presumably, I'd be tying up loose ends and embarking on my very first cross-country-moving-adventure. But, let's not presume. Let's not think of the what ifs and perhaps maybe might have beens. Here are the facts:

1. I have papillary thyroid cancer that has spread to most of the lymph nodes on my neck.
2. Said nodes have been scraped out, along with my thyroid, parathyroid glands, and a bit of my trachea, which shows cancer involvement.
3. In 3 weeks or so, I will receive radioactive iodine treatment to take care of any cancer cells the surgeon left behind. My pee will glow in the dark. I will be dangerously radioactive. If you touch my skin, yours will burn. Seriously!
4. I am definitely staying here for awhile. I need to be monitored closely.

The surgery was supposed to be 3 hours but turned into a 9 hour affair due to the many surprises my neck provided. When I awoke and saw that it was 1:45 am, I was convinced the clocks were broken. Nope. Just me.

Recovery has been painful, but I am now able to eat soft foods and turn my head slightly. I have been taking advantage of this and eating heaps of ice cream. Here's a picture during my hospital stay, with the drains still in:

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haaah, wait, here it is:

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and here is a picture of how it's healing:

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One of the first things I noticed about the incision was how beautiful and even my surgeon's stitches were- seamstresses would call this a blanket stitch. In this photo I'm still very swollen and unable to turn my neck or sleep on my side. lameness. Literally!


Levi said...

Amazing that this is happening. I actually loved the animation though I was a bit nervous at first.
Stitches are lovely, just like you said.
Hope you feel better soon.

kaylin andres said...

;p I found that animation randomly while recovering in the hospital. Free wifi and too much free time= fortuitous discoveries.

Anonymous said...

I know that is a massive incision, but those sutures are beautiful and precise. Give it a couple months and it will look completely different. 6 months to a year and it will just be a white line.

chrissy said...

so i know this will probably seem creepy and weird, but i'm one of rhoni's coworkers and i read your blog pretty regularly. i just wanna say that you are probably one of the strongest people i pseudo-know. you kicked cancer's ass once, and i'm sure you'll do it again. :)

Robin said...

Just another admirer of your designs and aesthetic/reader or your journal, but I wanted to tell you that I am rooting for you. I don't think there's one person aware of your situation who isn't rooting for you. That must count for something. I hope that our hearts will help carry you to wherever it is you want to go.

Anonymous said...

I love that no matter how much you may cry or be hurting you always have an amazing sense of humor.

I love you beyond words! :)

kaylin andres said...

not creepy and not at all weird. thank you!

Anonymous said...

I love the comments strangers leave you. I'm just another one who wanted to wish you well and tell you I think you are so incredibly brave and beautiful. I really admire you.

Levi said...

Kaylin, Hope you're doing better today and not having too much discomfort (other than a damn recurrence!).

courtney said...

I am really sorry to hear of your diagnosis. Your stitches make you look hardcore (in a good way). I discovered your blog awhile ago when my sister was battling cancer. I think you are in norcal? If in socal, let me know if there's anything I can do to help. B/c of my sister, I understand that it can be esp. tough dealing with cancer at a youngish age (she was diagnosed at 28..the age I turned yesterday...which kinda freaks me out, to tell you the truth).

kaylin andres said...

I know... it's hard not to worry. I have a sister that is 3 years younger, but she is fine. With my particular cancers, there is no known "genetic susceptibility"-- I was just unlucky with a poor immune system, I guess.

don't know what I would've done without my sis, though!

Anonymous said...

Damn it. Poor girl.

Well for Christ's sake...I hope that this is just all the bad stuff in life coming at once and then the rest of your life is blissful and wonderful and long.

You are annoyingly industrious. Good things will come your way.

I have started praying again. I will keep you in my prayers. I'll start now.


Caroline said...

Your scar will fade to nothingness. I got mine at 19 nearly 30 years ago... and it was stapled not stitched and is a fine line these days.

Cancer does suck though.

Andrea said...

I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer my senior year of high school. I saw your story on The World of Jenks and I saw our scar and it made me not feel so alone. Howver, my doctor is not all the way around my neck, it is just from the middle all the way up to just below my ear. I have had scar revision surgery to correct how it healed, unfortunatly it did not work. It is very thick and rough and just keeps growing bigger. I just wanted to say, your scar is beautiful. I know I for one wear scarves almost everyday, my hair up and really try to avoid anyone seeing it. In fear that people will think I was in a horrible knife fight, or accident. I admire that you put yourself out there on t.v and how awesome you are!