I never expected to have to deal with a cancer “scare”. I mean, that’s not something that happens to me right? Right? Apparently, I’m wrong. It’s not that I’m not realistic about my health. I’m a little sun baby and responsibly, I get my spots checked every year but of course, it all comes back clean every time. I sunscreen it up and I do my routine “girly” check-ups. I thought I had it all covered.

So who would have expected that a mere month ago, my mum would notice a lump on my neck that would lead to us having to discuss the “C” word?

It all happened very quickly, and aside from mentioning that I needed some cheering up, I kept this ordeal off the web because until now, I wasn’t really ready to talk about it. But since I tweeted about my surgery on Wednesday, I’ve received so many well wishes which reminds me how amazingly supportive this internet community can be (creepy paedophiles aside) and it really does give me “boost” (Maria will get this joke) to have your support.

Thank you.

To expand a little more on the dribs and drabs I’ve tweeted, in January while we were in Hong Kong, my mum noticed one side of my neck was “puffier” than the other. It seems really strange that I didn’t notice it myself but hey, mothers do seem to know best after all. Upon returning to Sydney, I consulted a GP, who sent me for some ultrasounds and blood tests to check my thyroid levels. The bloods came back normal, the ultrasounds showed a large solid lump (4cm x 3.5cm… so like, a little egg). I underwent biopsies, which is all kinds of un-fun, to determine the make up of the lump.

At this point, I was still feeling completely positive, having been told by a number of people that they all knew someone who had lumps grow in their thyroid, all of which were benign. Of course, I expected mine to be too.

So when I saw the doctor and she told me that in fact, mine weren’t benign, I was so shocked I actually laughed. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying “I have cancer” so please don’t bestow that level of concern on me. While not malignant, my lump was showing signs of malignancy, containing mutated cells which had a 10-15% chance of becoming cancerous.

10-15% chance? That is high enough for me, thank you very much.

And so on Wednesday 29 February, I was at the Mater Hospital in North Sydney (which is a very nice hospital, I might add) having a left-hemithyroidectomy to remove the whole left thyroid gland in which the lump had taken up residence. The surgery went fine, I am sore and doped up on some killer pain meds, and healing myself (physically and emotionally) with my favourite comfort food, pork and daikon soup.

For those of you who knew me a year ago, you know I need this surgery like I need a hole in my head, right? Eerily, exactly a year ago on 28 February 2011, I was admitted into hospital for a right-hemicolectomy (38cms of my large intestines were removed) and I am still recovering from that damn surgery!

Now I have two awesome scars. So don’t mess with me, bitches.

And thank you all again for all your support. I really do appreciate it.

Update 12 March: Last week I received my pathology results. All clear, no more “c” word and YAY!

Pork & daikon soup (easiest recipe ever)
500 grams pork ribs, chopped into chunks (get the bone and fat as they add to the flavour)
1 large daikon, peeled and chopped into chunks
  1. Place the chopped up pork ribs and daikon in a large pot. Add tap water until ingredients are just covered.
  2. Bring to boil and then turn down to a low simmer for a good 2-3 hours.
  3. The pork should fall off the bone!
Makes… a pot.

28 Thoughts on “recipe: pork & daikon soup. my ultimate comfort food

  1. Oh my gosh, Catty, I am so sorry to hear this. I hope you are feeling well after the surgery, and all the best from the three of us.

  2. The “C Word” is a real “C Word” if you ask me! I’m glad your mum noticed the lump and it was caught early…and I hope you have a really speedy recovery and start to feel tip top really soon…take it easy in the meantime.

  3. I didn’t realise it was almost exactly a year ago… wow.
    But at least it’s over, and I have my fingers & toes crossed that you will be all super duper healthy from now. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sending lots of happy and healthy vibes from W1. xxx

  4. Catty wish you a speedy recovery. Glad everything is okay ๐Ÿ˜€ please bug us on twitter if you need anything <3

  5. Oh dear sweetie! Hope you are on the mend and up and running in no time! I will send you even more (truck loads, in fact) of that boost and hope you feel much better soon. I can’t wait to see you again – keep well and stay positive!! xoxo

  6. Mel C on March 2, 2012 at 10:52 am said:

    Hi sweets, good to hear that the surgery went fine – all the best with the getting better. xo PS I’m going to try that soup, total comfort food ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Thanks for sharing your story with us hun, it shows the importance of keeping an eye out for your health as it’s a very important thing, we often take it for granted. I recently had a scare too, it’s an unpleasant thing to go through but is important, luckily for me it was benign, however I do keep an eye on it just incase. Gotta love comforting food, get well soon babe xo

  8. Oh no, Catty! ๐Ÿ™ Hope you get well very very soon.

  9. SO glad you are on the mend, was rooting for you down here xxx

  10. Am relieved that everything seems to be fine and that you came through this with such aplomb! It must have been a proper fright to hear the GP say that. Rest up, get plenty of comfort food down you and get your fully recovered. Maybe chow down on some matcha icecream too, because it’s important to keep your spirits up, right?

  11. glad the surgery went well mate, lots of hugs for you till you’re better xx

  12. :(( get well soon!!!

  13. Sean on March 3, 2012 at 4:19 am said:

    We love you more than all the food in the world could comfort you! x

  14. I wasn’t sure quite what was going on from Twitter but knew it did no sound good, so glad to hear that the operation went well and once you are eating lots of pork and daikon soup and being looked after by your mum I am sure you will be as good as gold in no time.

  15. I’m so sorry you had to go through another surgery Cat! I didn’t see the Tweet if not I would’ve messaged you sooner ~ But i’m really glad the surgery went well and I hope you’re feeling much better now ๐Ÿ™‚
    Please take good care of yourself, get well soon and we’re all here to support and comfort you when you need us ๐Ÿ™‚

    xoxo

  16. So glad surgery went well and wishing you a speedy recovery. Good thing your mum is observant ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. I’m so sorry to hear you had to go through this – but really happy to hear the surgery went well! That soup looks like the perfect thing to eat when you’re not feeling well. ๐Ÿ™‚ Good luck for your recovery, I hope you heal up really quick. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. jenny c on March 5, 2012 at 9:27 am said:

    Oooh Catty I hope you feel better soon and that you can eat lots again!

  19. Hi everyone – THANKS again for all your support, it really cheers me up! I am feeling a lot better already ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Glad to hear that the surgery went well and get well soon!

  21. I’m glad to hear that you’re back and feeling ok Catty! You poor thing, two surgeries in two years! But better to get it before it develops right? Get well soon! ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. Oh crap, oh crap, oh crap. I had not a clue, sweetie. Between this and last year, you are paying some strange kinda dues. Please get well. :**(

    • Awww don’t worry, I didn’t talk about it to anyone really before the surgery so you were not to know. I’m doing great now though! And you’re right, I’ve paid my dues, I am now going to be healthy til I’m a wrinkly old lady!

  23. Chrissie on March 6, 2012 at 11:46 am said:

    Oh Cat! I’m so sorry to hear all this happened to you, and it hasn’t been long since your last surgery. Get better soon, thinking of you xx

  24. And it’s sharing these stories about our lumps and bumps that may alert people that they should get theirs checked too =)

    Hope you’re healing up well *hugs*

  25. It’s scary – going through a bit of a moment myself so can imagine firsthand how you felt.

    I’ve stocked up on ramen and boiling up congee furiously though ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’m sorry to hear you’re also going through something! I hope all goes well for you and that your soups and congee help you recover ASAP! xx

  26. this is comfort food to me too (: all slow-simmered pork bone soups remind me of mummy and of home. daikon is especially nostalgic.

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