Sunday, November 3, 2013
Hey all! It's been awhile! I sure do miss all my writer friends, I miss writing in fact! It's been too long! Life happens and it has become a distant, far away dream.....but someday, I will pick up that pen (not in a literal sense, more like the laptop) and I will write that novel that gets published! So, I thought I would take a moment to share a few things.....I don't write anymore, I do however still read, A LOT! But, there are other things that have changed me recently and I want to share my story, in case you are interested or more, my hope is that it will help someone who needs it! In August of this year, I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. Yep, that big scary "C" word!!! Now, thyroid cancer is the best kind to get (although, I still say no cancer is my favorite!) the most easily treated, the slowest growing, the best outcome. But, all my life my biggest fear has been that word, and when the doctor called to tell me I had cancer, my world crumbled. I couldn't hear everyone saying how good my chances were, I could only think about my children and how I didn't want to leave them. This is how it all transpired: My boss at work suggested I have my thyroid tested after a year of working out, with not a whole lot of results. I will forever be grateful to her!!! The doctor said my thyroid was enlarged, but all blood work came back normal. She sent me for an ultrasound, which showed a small nodule, just over 2 cm. Usually, when they are that small, they are not a problem, but she sent me for a biopsy anyway. Now, I will tell you, that biopsy was the worst experience, far worse than the surgery that followed or anything else! It was horrible and painful! Moving on! The results came back cancerous. Within the week, I went in to have my thyroid removed and they found that the cancer had spread to the lymph nodes behind the thyroid so they removed those also. But, my surgeon failed to tell us this part until almost 2 weeks later when I thought everything had been fine! This was upsetting, to say the least! They also removed one of my parathyroid glands, cut it into little pieces and implanted it in my neck muscle. WEIRD! Fast forward through weeks of recovery, weeks of being on meds that were not doing much for me to when I finally went to see the Endocronologist. He couldn't believe I was functioning and still working 2 jobs with the small amount of thyroid medicine I had been taking! But I was, and I guess that's what matters! Enter 2 weeks of low iodine diet and NO meds! YIKES! I am a strong person, I know this. I have been through a lot and I do a very good job of pulling through, but those 2 weeks could have been some of the hardest of my life. I couldn't eat anything. I was under 1000 calories a day, yet I gained 7 pounds in a week! I cried all the time. I was so tired some days that I honestly, could hardly get out of bed. And, that is not me! I am active and busy and on the go all the time! But, during this time, I tried not to complain too much. Everyone asked how I was, but I felt like they all wanted me to say "I'm doing good!" so I did! Over and over! No one wanted to hear how I really felt: exhausted, overwhelmed, weak, hungry, scared out of my freaking mind! Don't get me wrong, I had amazing family and friends supporting me and helping me out, but whenever I tried to talk about it, I felt like people shut off and didn't want to hear it. Maybe it was the lack of medication, maybe I was just overly sensative, I don't know, but it was rough. After 2 weeks, I had radioactive iodine treatment. A little gray pill that I swallowed and it turned me radioactive! No, I did not glow! This is meant to find any remaining thyroid tissue left and find any thyroid cancer in my body and kill it off. My family had to leave for 7 days and I was stuck in my house, alone! Which honestly, wasn't as bad as I had thought it would be! I had a full body scan a week later which showed the cancer had not spread and everything was on it's way out! GREAT NEWS!!!! I started new medicine, though the doctor says it will probably take 3 month to build everything back up, I will probably never feel like I used to. That's ok though. I feel like I can put a few things into prespective now. I'm alive and I am almost cancer free. I have time to spend with my children, even when they are irritating me, I am thankful for every second. I never realized how caring and thoughtful people can be until this tragedy happened. I have never been so thankful for my family in all my life and friends who weren't close before have been so important to me now and other friends I realized were never really friends at all! I guess the whole point of this is to share this experience and hope it helps someone! GET YOUR THYROID CHECKED! Thyroid cancer is on the rise, in men as well as women! Get it checked even if there doesn't seem to be anything wrong. I had no symptoms. I also want people to know how scary it is when the doctor says those words to you. It's ok to be terrified. It's ok to worry, even if everyone is telling you to not worry and not stress. Even if it's "the best cancer" it's still scary! it's ok to be mad and terrified and feel hopeless!!! IT'S OK!!! I want other people going through this to know that even if it doesn't feel like it right now, there is hope and it will get better! I'm getting there. It's a long process. It's slow and it's hard, but there is an end in sight! I will fight because I can! I will be here for my children and that is enough for me to keep going!