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  • Writer's pictureKate

Mercury's in Retrograde

Okay, guess what. This could be a Last Holiday scenario. (See above photo of Queen Latifah with Gerard Depardieu, who gets to utter that immortal line: "Butter is the secret of life.") I shit you not. Here's the scoop. After receiving that devastating diagnosis, the universe, in the form of my cousin Sarah, nudged me. Here is what happened. Sarah has a friend who had thyroid cancer. The friend told her surgeon, Eugene Alford, about me. Hmm, he said. Have her call me. So I did. I told him everything I know about my case and he told me that it is essential that I get a second opinion, "I doubt you have this cancer," is what he said. Which is kind of reckless but I'll take it. Here is what he told me: This cancer rarely manifests itself without paralysis of the vocal cords and normally does something to your lymph nodes. He said that 95% of the time there are other symptoms. That is because it is such an aggressive cancer that it goes full bore with everything at once. (Frankly, it was late June when these nodules went kaboing!; if it were the cancer they diagnosed, I should be dead already). "Everything that you tell me makes me doubt the accuracy of the diagnosis; get a second opinion," he said. I asked about the pathologist's decision. He said that unless you're a thyroid specialist, it is hard to discern. He said there is another tumor that can occur anywhere in the body that is often mistaken for this cancer. But he didn't want to go into any more detail than that on it because he said it too speculative. He asked me if my surgeon was a neck surgeon. She is not. She is a general surgeon. She does specialize in thyroid and adrenal surgeries. But, you know, specialize, specialize. Anyway, Dr. Alford trained everyone in the special clinic I'm going to in Houston and they specialize in this kind of cancer and actually save the lives of some of the people who have it. So. Major deal. Meanwhile, the swelling has gone down substantially -- I've been putting a bag of frozen peas on it whenever I can. I also know what I'll be for Halloween. Mrs. Frankenstein. I've got a whale of a scar an I think I'm having another surgery. And, if you can, please review my book! A holistic friend of mine said that thyroid stuff is about unexpressed words. And part of my book lets me express a lot of words that I need to get out there. So think Queen Latifah and chant "I highly doubt this diagnosis." And remember what my dear friend Michelle told me, Mercury's in retrograde.

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