In 17 months, five of my close family members passed away. In addition, my husband and I both went through challenging job changes. As we prepared for employment transition I was fighting a respiratory infection and found a bump on my neck. I sensed God instructing me to get an ultrasound, so I made an appointment.
The night before the ultrasound I attended a women’s event at our church. I prayed silently at the altar, “God, you know what’s going on and what I’m concerned about. Please speak to me tonight.” Right there, a woman placed her hand on my neck and prayed for me.
After the ultrasound I heard from my physician: “It looks like an enlarged thyroid. We need to get you in to see an Endocrinologist. Let me make a call to schedule an appointment for you.” Within minutes the assistant called back and marveled, “I’ve never been able to get someone in so quickly. There’s an appointment for 2 o’clock this afternoon. I highly recommend you take it.”
That afternoon I went to see the Endocrinologist, who reviewed the ultrasound results with me. He explained that I had a one-inch growth on my thyroid that was acting like a parasite. After a biopsy and blood tests, the doctor decided surgery was the answer, though my vocal cords might be damaged in the process.
A week after the surgery I got back the full pathology report: the growth was not cancerous and my vocal cords were unharmed. However, it also reported that I have an autoimmune disease known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which attacks the thyroid tissue. Studies have shown that women who have thyroid problems may have trouble conceiving, carrying the baby, and giving birth to a healthy child. Thrilled to be cancer-free, I still wondered what God had in mind with my continued health challenges. Would I ever be able to have children?
My God can create new life no matter the circumstance. One year ago I was dealing with a bump on my neck. Now, I’m dealing with a bump on my lower abdomen—a baby on the way! That’s my God.
I now consider what I went through a privilege. If it were not for the suffering, I would not have the real life story to share and to raise awareness of God’s restorative power.
During this time, my story was picked up by a health and lifestyle TV show in Boston. The segment showed my diagnosis, treatment and acceptance of the condition I now have, and gave me the opportunity to say to the world that I am Second.
To learn more about Stacey’s story visit staceythureen.com.