James is going (back) into surgery next week to remove what is left of his thyroid. At the beginning of this year, during his regular physical, he and his doctor found a lump in his throat. Biopsies were performed with no conclusive results as to whether the growth was benign or cancerous. So a week or so later he had surgery to remove the growth along with half of his thyroid. And then we waited for the full biopsy results to come back - his biopsy went from NYU medical center to Italy and back before (many weeks later) we got the results. And the results were super lame - cancerous. Which means he is going back into surgery to have the remainder of his thyroid removed as a precaution to ensure the cancerous cells have not spread. The "good" thing about this type of cancer is that it is not fast spreading and he should be back to fully healthy in no time. Although, honestly, hearing the C word in reference to anything is super, super scary :-(
But, James has maintained an amazing positive outlook, being very open about everything that is going on. He even decided to create a character for himself now that he will have no thyroid and will have to depend upon synthroid in order to produce the hormones his non-existent thyroid cannot make <-- hopefully that made sense ;p. His character is The Happy-Hypo-Hypno-Hippo, which is, as he describes it: "Hero? Villain? Side kick? Comic relief? Or, distopic children's show star?"
I personally like to think of this hippo as both a side kick and a hero, and so I created a drawing for him (what I used for inspiration):