A miracle is, "an effect or extraordinary event in the physical world that surpasses all know human and natural powers and is ascribed to a super natural cause."
Statistics say that the “average survival rate is 10.6% and survival with good neurologic function is 8.3%.” For those adults who are placed on an ECMO machine, the “survival rate of patients with ECMO varies from 30% to 50%. I was told it was about 40%.
I beat both of those odds and daily consider my life after the cardiac arrest a miracle. I truly believe that the doctors and nurses at Bryan East made the environment right for healing to occur. They welcomed my family, friends, and prayers. They facilitated the healing while my husband directed everyone involved, to allowing a miracle to happen.
In 2014, I truly believe I experienced another miracle. Not only did my family and friends pray for my survival, but my doctor told Billy and that he stayed up all night praying. Before surgery, he told my mother to begin praying for me and for him. I believe God directed his hands.
Since the cardiac arrest, I have dealt with neuropathy, congestive heart failure, lymphedema, three open heart surgeries, a by-pass surgery. I have had two thoracenteses, C-Diff, vertigo, Lymphatic treatment, Right leg vein ablation, numerous hospital stays, and gall bladder removal. Something is up. Why is it as if my body is falling apart? It seems as though each time something happens, I come through it as a survivor. This is what I mean by journey of miracles. Each time something happens to me, I survive. My journey leads to miracles every minute.
Now, I have papillary cancer of the thyroid. I understand that this is the easiest kind of cancer to cure, but that does not keep me from being concerned. As Billy and I were researching Papillary Cancer, we found 95% - 98% of nodules found on thyroids are begin. I am that 2-5% of the population that experiences the malignant cancer. We also found that this cancer accounts for 85% of thyroid cancers due to radiation exposure.
In the last three years, I have undergone so many different procedures that use radiation. There is a probability that this cancer is a result of surviving the cardiac arrest, just as neuropathy and lymphedema. In more than 50% of papillary thyroid cancer cases, it spreads to lymph nodes of the neck. Not good odds. So, this makes me think, “Am I going to overcome the crazy odds, again?”
Now, I don’t understand what I have done to deserve such miracles in my life, but it seems that miracles happen around me every day. The fact that I am alive is a miracle, and I am so glad to live in this time of history so that science and faith can work together to facilitate healing. I am very blessed to experience, these extraordinary events that surpass all know human and natural powers. The thing that keeps coming to my mind is a scripture I learned as a child. “Be confident that He who began a good work in your will be faithful to complete it.” This is from Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
I just wonder how He will complete the story. When will the health trials end? How can I help others to avoid these crises?
All I can think right now is that God must have some very important task for me to do, because I feel attacked at every milestone of my recovery. I found out today that I do indeed have Papillary Thyroid Cancer. Of all the cancers, it is the most easiest to overcome. Although I know this and my brain understands this, it is really hard to digest. I've been doing so well. I eat really well...to the point of totally transforming my diet. I exercise and I've cut back on so much at school. It is hard to understand why. Why can't I just have a break.
However, the doctor will remove my thyroid in the upcoming weeks, and I am confident that all will eventually be well. It is just another cog in the wheel of stress that I do not need. For me, the surgery will be more difficult than the "normal person" as I have heart issues that must be addressed, especially with anesthesia. My cardiologist will have to be on board, too. The doctor did say that he tries to cut at a winkle, but it will be hard for him since he doesn't see any in my neck. LOL! There is a positive. He also said that had I not had an emergency trip with my gallbladder, we would not know I had the cancer.
Some possible risks include damage to my parathyroid which would mean I have to take calcium for the rest of my life. He also said that I could loose my voice to the point where I can no longer talk, much less sing (my joy). So there it is.
My training as a Holistic Health Practitioner is coming along, and I'm glad to be learning more about the body and body systems. It's reassuring to know what the doctor is talking about.
My Journey from death's door to the miracle of life.
Annie Dragoo is a wife, mother, actor, singer, dancer, educator, and holistic health practitioner who lives in Austin, Texas.