Wednesday, May 10, 2006

oh where oh where has the diss research gone?

This is for the two of my readers who I do not know in real life, or who I do not communicate with through other internet means. You may have noticed that I was talking about heading imminently to the jungle for my doctoral research, and then all of a sudden I was posting book lists and cat pictures. Well, I was on the verge of getting on that plane for South America, when it was found I have a growth on my thyroid. Yes, my thyroid is misbehaving and growing extra parts it does not need. In the week and a half since this was found, I have had an ultrasound, appointments with two different doctors and a biopsy, all of which have now led me to the point of needing surgery to get that sucker out. It is probably not thyroid cancer, but so far no one can tell that for sure so they are going to yank it out and give a look. I have an appointment with the surgeon on Monday, and hopefully can get into the operating room pretty quickly after that.

I am not too worried about my health, as I feel better than ever. I have been eating right and exercising and haven't had a cold in forever. And even if I am unlucky, and it is thyroid cancer, I have been told numerous times that is the cancer to get, if one is going to get a cancer. I am hoping to avoid that, as 97-99% of these growths are not cancer and any cancer, even the best one, would not be fun. However, I am worried about my dissertation. I told my endocrinologist that every day I am here is a day I am not collecting data. He was impressed that I am so "hardcore", but I just want to graduate!

Anyway, that is why I am not regaling you with monkey stories right now. It seems like I will be at least a month late getting to the jungle. I am aiming for early June as my new departure date, but it will all depend on the surgery scheduling and what the little thyroid looks like when they can see it. I was pretty depressed for a few days, but some mac and cheese, Hershey's Special Dark and bocce with my friend Anna have really helped and I am in a much better place about it all now. I am trying to take advantage of this extra time with R and my Florida friends, and deciding if I should finish the second crochet sock, or make pillows for my mom's couch in her new house. Or maybe even finish cleaning up the master's for publication? Lots of people have been telling me to take this like a vacation, so that is what I am going to do until after the doctor on Monday, at least. R and I may even attempt both a watermelon AND a zucchini festival on Saturday...woo! We are party animals.


hucpuc said...

Hey! So sorry to hear about your current health scare, but glad to read you are taking it in stride. I will send positive thoughts your way. And I completely understand the preoccupation with the diss! Go hardcore anthropologists! Hang in there, and keep us posted!

Kate said...

That's just how grad school goes. I didn't get to my field site until after my fourth year and I'm still finishing early for my discipline. Don't worry; it could be by waiting a bit to go into the field you end up having more time to think about your project, or read something helpful, or just enjoy time with your guy and cat.

Your thyroid situation does sound scary; let yourself forget about the field for a little and just feel whatever you're feeling (which can of course include more Special Dark). I really hope it all works out for you -- I'm thinking of you and rooting for you! May you have a swift recovery and negative biopsy!

Laurie said...

thanks, guys! I know I need to roll with the punches, and really, a month less of field research should not make a huge difference in the end. I can always go again next summer or spring if I have to.

I think more dark chocolate is definitely called for, though...