Welcome to Ruthies.co!
It is such a pleasure to have you stop by and want to find out more.
My name is Ruthie and this is my journey. I have tried and failed so many times then gave up with ever losing weight! I stopped believing I could and as a result of this stopped trying altogether.
My story may be familiar with a similar scenario and headline playing out all over the world –
Full time working Mum, devoted to her kids, puts everyone first, tired all the time, no time for herself.
A decade of this and we end up with a real wake up call.
My Wake Up Call…
Last year I became quite ill with the flu so I went to the doctor. Whilst I was there the Dr said have you noticed anything about your neck. I said I have noticed it getting larger but thought it was because I was putting on weight. I was a little nervous when she pointed it out because I just put up with it and ignored it! If you see photos it is probably very obvious! When I look back I feel so silly for not noticing more for such a long time! It was a blessing in disguise – I went to a new lady Dr. who took the time to ask me a few more questions. What an angel she is!
Anyway, the Dr. sent me straight away for an ultrasound. The ultra sound lady bless her heart said – “haven’t you noticed this before??”. This made me feel even more anxious! She was a lady with experience so I asked her what she saw and if she could tell me and she said ” I am glad the Dr will be giving you your results!”. Needless to say this didn’t help me at all to calm me!!! – Doesn’t everywoman have an “ultrasound lady” story!!!
I went back to the Dr. for the results. She told me I had an enlarged thyroid – a multi nodular goitre. This explains the neck swelling! She went onto explain that she needed further tests to determine whether the lumps were malignant. That stopped me because that means cancer.
It is one thing to walk through something with people it is another thing when YOU have to walk through something!!!
I held it together then lost it in the car. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and what I had to face. I came home and cried and lay on my bed sobbing. There was a knock at the door which I ignored because I was crying and crying and crying and crying.
After a while I went to get something from the car and there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a card. (I think there were chocolates but I can’t remember they would only have lasted less than an hour :0 ) It was some flowers from my church and flowers from dear friends. WOW! I was amazed at the timing of this. Just when I needed some encouraging I got it. Not a coincidence.
Next step was to go for the needle biopsy into my neck. Not as bad as I thought – not fun but not too bad. They had to have two goes in two different spots in order to get enough to test.
The hard part now is the waiting. It is the questions. It’s trying to stay positive and hopeful. Waiting is awful. Waiting is necessary. In the waiting you reflect about your life…..
The results came back as “indiscriminate”. That means that they could not tell if the cells were malignant. The only way they could do this is from testing the whole lump.
I was referred straight to a specialist surgeon – endocrinologist. He could amazingly fit me in his schedule in 4 weeks. I thought that is amazing service. Little did I realise that the fast service was because it was pretty SERIOUS! The surgeon got me to put my hands above my head and my face went BRIGHT RED. Basically what that meant was the lump was so large it was constricting my breathing and impacting my trachea (windpipe)! It’s all becoming very clear – my problems sleeping at night, breathing heavily and “feeling” breathless were making a little more sense!
The surgeon ordered a hemithyroidectomy on the right side. He said I would have that first and in a few weeks if testing was positive for cancer I would have the left side on the menu too!
I came out of the surgeons office and burst into tears…. again! I was in shock that I was heading for surgery so quickly!
In the coming weeks leading up to surgery generic statements start to surface – “if you get thyroid cancer that is the once to have”. Well meaning but not so helpful when you are trying to focus on just getting out of bed and putting on a brave face. Very difficult! After that I kept things quiet. Sometimes you need to be careful who you allow to speak over you and the less people you tell the better.
I was sent for a cat scan because anaesthetist like to know exactly where things are when your breathing is impacted.
Fast forward 4 weeks and surgery day has arrived. I was surprised with how well everything went. I was not in pain but still quite groggy and tired. I got my own room to recover in that looked over a car park with some amazing trees. This was a blessing as I was worried about sharing a room with a stranger.
I came out of surgery and the first thing I noticed and said to the nurse was I could breathe again! My breathing had deteriorated so much that it became my new normal!!! The scar was a little bit of a shock but it was taped up. I had a neck again and the scar was the last thing I should have worried so much about!!! The lump which I had for over a DECADE had gone!!! Very happy but it’s more waiting for the results.
A few weeks later I met with the surgeon and he said my lump was one of the largest he had seen being 155g – (4cm by 3cm by 2cm). Nice to know I am breaking records and above average in something 😉
All jokes aside this was welcomed news! Lump gone, no cancer, thin neck and I can breathe again!
I didn’t think my year could get any worse
I took my son to the Dr. to get blister on his lip looked at and I just happened to say to the Dr. can you check this mole near my eyelid. It had been there a very long time – 16 years or so. It had grown a little so on the spur of the moment I asked the Dr. I began to feel I had been there again! The Dr. said skin cancer is very common there I need to refer you to a specialist surgeon. Little did I know what I was in for!!!!
I thought the thyroid experience was rough. It must have been my stepping stone! I went to the skin surgeon and he examined me and asked if I want the biopsy now or book another appointment. I had the kids with me and rather than making another time I said I would do it now. I know what waiting is like and just wanted it over and done with. That was interesting to say the least. A local injection near the eye was sore. I won’t lie. The sensation of cutting dull and not where I wanted to be! Sample taken – my expectation was that would be it. He has got what he wanted and i don’t have the mole! How wrong I was.
A day before my birthday…
The surgeon phoned me on my mobile. Not twigging i thought oh this is nice personal service! Personal service in the medical world is not usually for good news. He said Im afraid to tell you we found skin cancer. It is a basal skin cancer. You will need 2 surgeries on 2 consecutive days to get rid of it. One for removal the other for reconstruction with a specialist eye surgeon. Removal of the skin cancer was going to be a specialised surgery called MOH’s surgery. DO NOT GOOGLE ANY PROCEDURE YOU WILL BE HAVING! Lesson learnt!
I’ll leave my comments about MOHS and reconstruction as confronting.
When I came home after the surgery and had a look at the results I cried….again. This scar is slightly more obvious. Everyone said it doesn’t look like anything I hardly noticed. All of which were lies and I knew this as a fact when it was written all over the Jehovah Witnesses face! This lady knocked on my door and her face was visably shocked. I wanted to ask her if I could pick up her jaw off the floor!!! Yes you can tell that I look a little like a patchwork! #callmepatch
My decision is to be proud of my scars. Each scar tells a story. A story of overcoming and victory.
I want my story and my scars to count for something….
When I look back I see pictures with the lump starting to appear – this season in my life was the most hurt filled and difficult period in my life. It was filled with extreme disappointment, feelings of being let down by people who should have supported you. One minute in your life – then next nowhere to be seen. No wonder I was feeling terrible and physically things were happening even is I didn’t notice!
I felt as though I gave up everything for nothing. My family gave up careers, houses for people to turn their backs never to be seen again. No apologies. My family left with pieces of our lives on the floor. No thanks, no appreciation. I felt I was the reason for all the wrong towards us. It was all my fault my husband gave up everything for me! This season stripped us of everything. We felt like nothing everything we knew was gone in an instant…
How could I not notice!!! For such a long time I never noticed! It just slowly constricted my future and my voice.
This season in my life left me with emotional scars on the inside. Years have passed since going through this season. A season where you are locked in your mind. Feelings of helplessness of being trapped in a situation you felt you could never leave. A feeling of control over you. I know what it is like to feel you just have to accept “your lot in life”. Actually you don’t. It takes time and truth to break free of this mindset. You may read about the truth but you need to start to agreeing with the truth to experience freedom.
Last year has left me with 2 scars that are quite visable. Thyroid issues have left me with the knowing I have to physically get in shape, eat better, move more and handle stress better. The cancer has made me want to take notice of what is happening to me. It has made me reevaluate how I want to live my life.
My experience teaches me we need to value, tend and care for every area.
To make progress we need to look at the body, soul & spirit.
I want to use my story to help people who may be like me. I want my story and my journey – my pain to count for something. I want you to realise your journey your story is valuable and precious. It is a gift to pass onto others. Freedom, weight loss is a complex issue. There is a story behind it. We are not just a bunch of numbers. Look at your life and tend to your body, soul and spirit. Each area is connected to your freedom and progress. What areas in my life need attention so I can keep taking the higher step?
Our goal in life is not a number!!! Our goal should be to keep taking the higher step until you intersect with your destiny!
Am I there Yet?
I am closer to 100kgs than 90kgs – yip that’s defined as obese. Is that embarassing – sure. Society puts a number on you and says that is obese. Do I want to change that. Yes to have a long vibrant future yes. Yes there is a story to my weight. A journey of pain but of great joy. I have come to a place where I refuse to let the scales define me.
Am I there yet? What does “there” mean? Am I 30 kgs lighter – am I a number on a scale. Is that “there”?. Is that the sum total of my focus and existence? No… I refuse to be a number on a scale – I am more than that! I am starting to dream again. I am taking the higher step everyday that I can. I am not perfect but my mind set has changed. That is “there”. My dreams are coming alive – that is “there”. I am allowing peace to reign in my heart – that is there.
Am I at my goal weight – no! But that is not my goal – although when I take the higher step I am bound to intersect with my destiny! Am I there yet – no…. I am just taking one higher step everyday without guilt and condemnation. My losing weight is a byproduct of taking small steps everyday and beginning to dream again.
“There” to me is – getting it in my mind that I can achieve. Believing it first. That to me is getting there!
Getting it in my heart that no matter my daily achievements I am worthy and I can take the higher step.
Ruthies.co is here for you…
Ruthies.co is born to help and inspire people who desire to take the next step but who aren’t sure how. My desire is that you will learn how to handle life with grace through everything you face. By learning how to look after your body, soul and spirit. By hearing stories of people who are chosing to take the next higher step. People who are not there yet but people who getting real. People who don’t desire to have the perfect life on display. People who are NOT THERE YET.
People who are choosing to simple take the next higher step.
The question is are you “there”? Where are you at?
Do you believe you are still that number on a scale? Have you changed your mindset to believe that you can change. You can walk in freedom. You can take the higher step. You are more than a number you have a body, soul and spirit that needs nourishing. You are worth it! You are loved. What’s your story, what’s your journey? It’s made you who you are. Use it to grow – make your experience mean something for others.
When I look back I see pictures with the lump starting to appear – this season in my life was the most hurt filled and difficult period in my life. It was filled with extreme disappoinment, feelings of being let down by people who should have supported you. One minute in your life – then next nowhere to be seen. – no wonder I was feeling terrible!
Make your scars count