Ruth - always a lover of the water

Ruth Turner

First post: Oct 7, 2021 Latest post: Nov 29, 2022
September has been quite the month of emotions.  

The Turner family was all together in New Jersey to celebrate David and Randy’s marriage.  It was so amazing and wonderful to all be together again, and such a special wedding celebration.  The morning after flying home, Mom started to have ear pain and hoarseness.  This isn’t too out of the ordinary with allergies and having just flown, but after a couple of days without change except some shortness of breath, she went to the ER.  After 12 hours and lots of workup, it was found that Mom has a large thyroid mass.  This is pushing on or involving her recurrent laryngeal nerve and therefore causing her right vocal cord paralysis (thus her hoarseness).  It isn’t affecting her ability to breathe or swallow. 


She has an exemplary head and neck cancer team at U of Utah Huntsman Cancer Institute. At this point, we don’t have a lot of definitive answers.  We know she has thyroid cancer, we think it hasn’t had distant spread/metastisized, but there is local spread and thus it’s more aggressive than some thyroid cancers.  We are awaiting further biopsy, genetic and molecular tests that can help guide therapies, but because of its size and location - by her trachea, esophagus and carotid artery - we’ve decided not to wait to treat.  Further studies will be done and we’ll have more info in the next couple of weeks, but we hope she can start her chemo regimen ASAP.  


We’ve started this Caring Bridge site so you - Mom’s friends and family - can be kept up to date on how she’s doing and new information over time.  Feel free to share the link with anyone who may want it.  We appreciate your love and support, your positive thoughts and energy, and your lifting Mom, her care team, and all of us up in prayer however feels good to you. 


Our prayer requests are: 

1- That the type of cancer as well as genetics offer good treatment options. 

2- That her tumor responds to chemo meds and shrinks so it can be safely and effectively removed.  

3- That her chemo and treatments are well tolerated without significant side effects. 


Currently Mom is in great shape and overall health.  Camping, hiking, biking abound while enjoying the fall in Utah.  However, talking is hard for her.  She has a microphone device to help her be heard in person, but texting is often easier for conversations.  She’ll let you know what she’s up for depending on the day.  

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