[Submitted by: William Anton Lee]
Post-op appointment today brought great news. Dawne’s thyroid tumors were totally encapsulated, meaning the cancerous stuff was contained within each tumor and not in the thyroid itself. When the thyroid was removed all of the cancer cells came with it. Combine this with earlier news that the lymph nodes draining her thyroid are clear of cancer and there is ample reason to celebrate. METASTASIS IS HIGHLY UNLIKELY.
More good news. Pathology results combined with predictive modeling the doctors use suggests that there is no advantage to doing “radioactive iodine” (RAI) treatments. This is huge. These treatments have really bad downsides for many patients. We’ll take the doctors recommendation to not do these.
Dawne did have two tumors. A 3.5 cm one in the left thyroid and a less than 1 mm one in the right thyroid. Both were found to be cancerous. Interestingly, prior to surgery the left tumor was thought to be only 2 cm and it was the only one to have a biopsy done on it. How good is it that Dawne decided in advance of surgery to have her entire thyroid removed? Darn good; it turned out to absolutely be the right decision. No future surgery will be needed now.
Recovery is in process. Balancing thyroid-hormone replacement is key and the doctor expects this will take a few months. Slit throat needs to heal and it is looking pretty good for being several days old. And unexpectedly, muscles need to heal in her arms and the back of her neck. The doctor explained how Dawne’s head was titled back at an abnormal angle and arms in the crucifix position during this protracted surgery which over stretches these muscles.
So family and friends, scream thank you doctor!
Picture says it best!
NO CANCER detectable in tissues and lymph nodes taken during surgery!
Dawne is home and doing extremely well. Final pathology will be done by the end of next week. We have every expectation that final pathology will show Dawne is completely clear of all cancer.
Remember our earlier “med-tech” talk? Final pathology is key. We are confidently looking at a “pathologically complete response” [pCR] directly attributed to the antibody drugs in Dawne’s regime. I am so glad Dawne fought the fight to get Perjeta added to her drug infusion protocol. Once added, Dawne’s tumors shrank away to nothing in 3 cycles, leaving the 3 remaining cycles to chase any breakaway cells that would be looking to seed somewhere else in her body.
Happy barely describes our elation this morning – more like euphoric!
Pictures are rumored to be worth 1,000 words. What do you think? Doesn’t Dawne look remarkable coming out of a 4-hour surgery.
I can’t say enough about the support you all have given Dawne.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
William Anton Lee
‘s birthday is December 31, New Years Eve.
This is William, her husband. challenging everyone to create, take and post a SPECIAL PICTURE of you wishing her happy birthday. Ask to be her friend and post away. She is on Facebook at Dawne (Wood) Lee
. Let’s give Dawne the biggest birthday of her life.
Be creative. Do things like adding in something that tells her what year it is and/or how you met or where you would like to meet her in a year. Can’t find a photographer or friendly passer-by to shoot the picture, do a selfie.
Dawne’s one year of chemo treatments started on December 16th, so next year’s holidays and birthday will be the best ever. Until then, let’s give her a big smile and push.
Gather a group of friends and family and send as many pictures as you wish. I’ll save these off and make Dawne a huge picture book using the iPhone apps for scrap booking or picture books.
“Marriage gifts you with a lifetime mirror, a lovely one at that, which unequivocally, pristinely reflects you. Open your heart, soul, mind and arms, as this wisely and magically transforms what appears as glass into Wonderland’s Door.”
Dear Dawne … Prompted to reflect on our marriage within the context of marriage in general, I penned the above words during a stolen moment last night while on the way home from Southern California. These words are an evolution of thoughts, spoken words which found paper because our son’s loving ways nudged me yesterday. As with most of my writings which I return to from time to time, these words may need refinement. So often my napkin poetry sits on its table for a while and then disappears. I took a second look at last night’s thoughts this morning – I like these well enough to share them with you. My life is definitely a wonderland and reflective of your gracious and compelling approach to life. Love you dearly!
William writes …
Some of you have observed it is bold to share Dawne’s journey so openly and candidly. We do so passionately because we have learned much from others who have chosen to do likewise. Cancer is a wicked disease which takes a community to beat it down. A special thank you to Cousin Danene – she has gifted hands and a big heart. Dawne’s days are definitely easier having her attentive care.