As a cancer survivor myself, I believe that these screenings and wellness checks are important, and we always take advantage of these opportunities to get checked out. On September 19, 2013, my wife and I had organ screening appointments scheduled. That day we dragged Patrick, our 14-year-old, along with us even though he really wanted to stay home.
We asked if Patrick could be screened and were told that under my insurance he could, but unfortunately the schedule was full. However, while we were there someone with an appointment was a no-show, so Patrick was approved to be screened in the place of the no-show.
The woman who did the thyroid scan came out to get us while Patrick was still behind the curtain. She explained that the scan showed that he had a mass on his right thyroid lobe. Our collective thoughts were "No way!"…"You weren't supposed to find anything!"… and "This must be a mistake!"
The staff was terrific. They explained that we needed to get him to his primary care doctor as soon as possible and then to an endocrinologist. These are the four worst words in the English language..."your son has cancer." Fortunately, it is a very slow growing and very curable cancer. His surgery was Tuesday, October 15 at University Medical Center in Tucson. The surgery was long and difficult, but it was a success, removing all of the thyroid.
If it hadn’t been for that accidental screening, who knows how long it would’ve been before we knew he was sick. Patrick is a big, strong, healthy young man and he is doing well. We are so blessed that it was detected at an early stage. Our son is going to be fine and the way things happened, we believe it was meant to be this way.