At 24 years old, the last thing you want to hear is “You have cancer.” I mean, no one wants to hear at any age they have cancer. But, to be honest, I knew I did. I knew I did the second the call came. The one where they ask you to come to the office as soon as you can. The one they insist can’t wait. You just know. Fear falls over you. You start to shake. You kind of want to cry but you don’t know who is going to see you so, you just start making the necessary phone calls. First call, your boss, you need to tell her you can’t come in tonight. Easy. Just kidding, good thing it went to voice mail but you did a terrible job of completing sentences and keeping your voice steady, she will know something is up for sure. Next, you probably shouldn’t drive yourself, you need a ride. Husband. He is the obvious choice but he’s at work. Maybe he can leave early, this is important. This call is a blur. So much so, after you calm down you have to call him back because you have no idea if he said he was coming or not. He is. Everything is fine.
One hour later. The waiting room. Waiting. Don’t think. Everything is fine. You get moved to a room. Still waiting. This must be the hour they give all the bad news to people. The walls are paper thin. You can hear other people start to cry. Bad News is coming but you feel prepared now. You won’t cry. What ever it is. You WON’T cry.
Thirty minutes later. The doctor walks in. The one that was jabbing needles in your neck for a biopsy last week. The results are in. “You have Thyroid Cancer.” The doctor continues to talk but he fades out while you contemplate how to tell your family. What do you tell your family? He lets you know to stop by the front desk. You see your husband. Shit. You forgot you told him to wait in the waiting area. You thought you would cry when you got the news if he was there. He looks anxious. Try to smile. Nope, you need to get out of there. You head for the door the second you hear “you’re all set”. Where’s the car. Don’t look at him. No crying. NO CRYING. He opens the car door for you. You start to cry. You tell him everything. He is quiet.
That’s what it was like to be me on Friday, March 4th, 2016. That is what it was like to get diagnosed with cancer. For me at least… I choose to see it as a bump in the road. I am not going to let to stop me, though, it may slow me down at times. I decided to write this blog as an outlet for my emotions and as a way to keep my friends and family updated on my progress. It took a day and a half to call people and I didn’t even get to everyone so I can’t imagine having to do that every time I get an update.
I’ve been researching day and night since I got diagnosed. There’s a lot of information out there on thyroid cancer. It’s rare. It’s mostly found in older woman after menopause. It’s the “easy” cancer. I’m lucky it isn’t a worse kind of cancer. <- that sentence is actually floating out there like I’m ACTUALLY LUCKY to have fucking cancer… This may be the most important reason I am choosing to share my experience. I may be “lucky” to know that I will make a full recovery and that my doctors are promising to do everything they can to prevent spreading and return of this awful sickness but, by NO means am I lucky to have to put my life on hold. To HAVE to put my life on hold while I deal with this life threatening sickness. To have to do a total adjustment on my life style and make new things a priority that I wouldn’t have before. All of a sudden my health is my main focus. Not my career. Not my family. Not my NEW marriage. My health, something I know just about everyone of us takes for granted when we have it. Health also takes on a new meaning. It is no longer the difference of having a cold or not having a cold. Health is no longer something you can outwardly see. Now every time I put food in my body I find myself wondering if I’m feeding this awful sickness with the food I eat. Could I have done something differently? Could this have been prevented if I ate only the recommended organic foods Whole Foods offered? I won’t know. I will have to find some way to stop asking my self those questions but, for now, I’m off to Whole Foods to by organic…
Thanks for reading.