Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bastille Day or my Third Cancerversary? You decide...

Has it been three years? Wow, it HAS been three years since I heard the words, "you have papillary carcinoma" and jumped into the cancer world with both feet. The good news about this year: 2011 was the year I finally got the all clear, the NED (no evidence of disease).

First, let's get this out of the way for you newbies...what is a cancerversary? Please see last year's cancerversary post for a good explanation. No sense boring those of you (all two of you...OK, maybe three counting my mom) who are regular readers.

Sometimes I wonder if I would be at the same place emotionally and physically if I had not had thyroid cancer. I'm tougher, not nearly as polite as I used to be about sharing my thoughts and feelings, which is a good thing for me. Cancer has forced me out of my shell in many ways. However, on the other end of the spectrum, I have been a blubbering, crying mess about Mackenzie graduating and going off to college this year...but wouldn't I have been anyway?

Physically, it seems like time stopped and cancer took over three years ago today. Even though it already had a stranglehold on my thyroid and associated lymph nodes, this is the day, July 14, 2008, it was confirmed I had thyroid cancer.

Post removal of my thyroid and associated cancerous lymph nodes, there is no denying that I have a newfound love for sleep and gained weight...more than I am comfortable with, that's for sure (who IS comfortable with gaining weight, I ask you?). But there is also a correlation between my lack of exercise and hours spent in front of the computer for my job...OK, and my recreation as well. So would I have gained the weight anyway? Uh, most likely.

And there is the ever present five inch scar on my neck that people either notice immediately and ask about (which I like, BTW...please ask and don't stare and wonder) or don't notice at all (which kinda bothers me...alot of time and recovery went into this scar!). Regardless, it's my badge of courage, my "cancer card" if you will.

Cancer is not who I am but a part of my many roles in life, and in a strange way, I embrace holding onto that survivor title. I can't go back in time and not have it. The alternative is being a patient again, which I am not fond doing again. I'll stick with survivor, keep telling my story to encourage people to "check your neck" and take care of yourself, people.

So, as I said last year, I'm not celebrating my cancerversary but observing it. OK, cancerversary, you are duly noted. Now get outta here...I've got bigger fish to fry.

1 comment:

  1. Because of my thyroid problems, i constantly suffered from dry scalp which in turn resulted in massive hair loss. I also noticed my skin being dry and itchy. So i decided to buy bovine thyroid supplements and after 3 weeks of using it i managed to bring back some moisture in my skin and the hair loss subsided finally.