Join tens of thousands of cancer fighters, survivors, and supporters who understand. Why Join?

Dear Cancer, I Think About the World I Am a Part of and the World I Will Never Be a Part of

September 27th, 2019 |

by Sakshi | Survivor: Thyroid Cancer    Connect

Dear Cancer, 

I was seated on the chair right beside the doctor. The doctor was examining my FNAC reports. She quickly took hold of the blood test reports lying under the FNAC reports, adjusted her specs, took a deep breath and with a warm yet firm tone said, 

"You have papillary carcinoma of the thyroid gland. Basically, it's thyroid cancer.

As soon as these words fell in my ear, my thoughts raced backward instead of racing forward. I couldn't process where I was, I was simply staring at my doctor trying to register what just happened. On my left were my parents. I could see my father speaking to the doctor but my mind could hardly process what their conversation was about. My mother was seated right next to my father and I could see tears welling up in her eyes. 

I couldn't have thought that I would meet you in such a surprising way. Of course, you were not welcome. You were despised and even after my combined efforts of killing you, you chose to not give up.

The month that followed was even more adventurous. On one side were the oncologists all geared up to rage a war against you, and on the other side, you had arrested my butterfly-shaped gland in an attempt to destroy it. 

The war was excruciating. It lasted for 8 long hours in the operation theatre. You were taken out of my body but the butterfly-shaped gland had to be removed as well, so was it really your victory?

You had been removed. I was relieved. Or rather, I was told to be relieved because who knew that you actually never leave the people you meet. There's always some part of you residing in them. 

In order to stop you from coming back, I was asked to take a radioiodine therapy and go into a semi-isolation period for a week. Although I like spending time alone, believe that those were the most distressful 7 days of my life. 

I thought now that I had finally left you, that I can get back to life, but I was wrong...again. Even though you had been gone long back, you still stuck to my identity. 

It was spring of 2018. They say, "Spring breathes new life into the world around us." But, who knew that my life would be at stake again. My follow-up reports were not normal. I was awaiting the doctor's final call. My mind was not in its place and to be honest, I never wanted to see you again. I wanted to spill out all my emotions, all my pain. But, I thought, no one would get me. Yet, I was wrong, again. 

I rushed to my teacher. She knew my past, she knew that I had met you. I opened my bottle of emotions, told her everything and she listened to all of them with all the patience and in return embraced me with warmth. At that very moment, I felt that even if I have to see you again, I'll do that with all the strength because I have someone who I can fall back on. My reports were dicey but did not show your presence. However, I was warned that you can meet me anytime, most probably, out of the blue. 

The reports might show that you're gone, but are you really gone? You reside in me in the form of scanxiety, in the form of guilt that takes a toll on me whenever I see the medical bills and my parents struggling to get you out. You reside in me in the form of uncertainty, and, most importantly, in the form of diffidence that has made me internalize the notion that, I would never be able to lead a normal life like a normal person. 

I no longer see you solely as my identity although you continue to be a part of it. But, each time I look at myself in the mirror while brushing my hair or wearing a neck piece, the moment I see the mark left by sutures, I remember you and think about the world I am a part of, and the world I would never be a part of. 


(Not Yours),


Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Sign up to join our community here to continue the conversation.

Want to blog with us ? Learn more here.

Sakshi's picture

Sakshi was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer in 2017. Today, she calls herself a survivor, and thanks cancer for making her realize the intensity of pain, and for also invigorating her so that she can be empathetic to other people's struggles.