No One Cancer Is A Good Cancer
July 2021 was my 5 year anniversary of thyroid cancer. I'm in remission! Yay! The truth is I still have ups and downs. I sometimes get dragged into a dark place because I went from gummy kids’ vitamins to a lot of daily medication. It's like time stops once you hear those three words, “you have cancer.” Those words really stick out, and you will never forget them. Either you let it take over, or you take control. I really wish cancer came with a guidebook! Don’t you?
How does one deal with the aftermath of cancer?
I know and understand I should count my blessings because it could have been worse. In 2016, I was saying my daily nighttime prayers when suddenly I had a hot flash followed by anxiety and felt my heart racing. I suddenly became an advocate for myself when most doctors told me it was stress and it was all in my head, nothing is wrong with me. Here are some meds... “You’ll be fine, just one little pill and you will be fine.”
All my blood work was great, no sign of thyroid issues or anything wrong with me. Yet, I still kept having symptoms such as random anxiety attacks and IBS, and hot flashes and my hair kept thinning out a lot. My other symptoms were numbing and tingling on my feet and hands. I would also experience my upper lip randomly start to tingle, kind of like jumping up and down. So many issues were overlooked because supposedly, I was great and in perfect health. I really had to be very persistent with doctors to finally get a neck ultrasound. When I did, I was told the scan would come back normal because they believed I was just stressed, and I seemed fine... obviously I wasn’t, I had cancer.
I can honestly tell you without my mother, I don’t know what would be of me today; she is my number one person who has helped me out so much. She always listened to me and taught me to advocate for myself and my intuition. My journey hasn't been easy, although whose journey really has? I compare fighting cancer to the eye of the storm. It's beautiful, but can be vicious if left untreated. Remember that there is no such thing as “the good” cancer, and when you hear those words come out of someone’s mouth, stop them, please! Teach them, educate them, and let them know that no matter what cancer you have, it is never good. There are many groups online that can be great for support, and I have met some amazing friends through this support group! It has helped a lot to know and understand that I am not alone in my thyroid cancer journey. PLEASE always listen to your body and never give up. I am reminding you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE IN THIS JOURNEY!
I hope someone finds comfort in my story and you realize that we all have a purpose. I always wondered about my reason for being here. I am making it to speak up and tell everyone to listen to your body! Get the neck ultrasound! Be your own advocate! After thyroid cancer, it’s been difficult to get my levels good and normal. It’s been an adjustment to my new life and it hasn't been easy. I have dealt with depression and anxiety since my thyroid removal. I sometimes wonder how many people have been misdiagnosed with anxiety disorders, and it's actually thyroid issues. Like I said before, there is no such thing as “good” cancer even though some doctors use this phrase when they diagnose you with thyroid cancer.
It's natural to be very upset and full of rage about your diagnosis, experience anger, and wonder questions that cannot be answered. Sometimes we need a moment to cry it out grieve our old life and rage about our new one. I've had my fair share of moments but I hold onto the faith that things will get better. Never forget to listen to your body... we are in this together! #thyroidcancer
Photo courtesy of author.