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Proper cancer etiquette

So what is the proper etiquette when you are post-diagnosis for the third time with thyroid cancer and pre-surgery? Life as usual? Just keep going, doing your regular thing....sure, I guess. But the cancer is always "running" in the background. Not necessarily running the show but running. But life goes on so actually, yeah, goes on.

On the flip side, I don't want to go through life for the next month sad and depressed. Of note, this is serious business, neck surgery for the third time. Mulitple surgical risks beyond the "usual" anesthesia concerns. I am most certainly anxious and scared.

So I'm wrestling with this....normal vs. cancer normal. It's been a while, just over three years since I have dealt with cancer and a recurrence. I wasn't ready for it...who is?

People have lots of advice on this and frankly, truly all meaning well. My husband said something wise to me tonight about this, and basically it goes like this - people say things to me often to make themselves feel better. Certainly not knowingly or with bad intentions, but I can see this happening. Like "it will be fine" or "you will have the surgery, and they will get it all this time." These statements could be true just as they could be false. Honestly, it depends on what mood I am in when it is said how I take it.

Advice aside, I've got to take care of me, and I'm struggling with it currently. If you are paying attention to the timing of this post, it is almost 3 AM on a Monday morning. I can't go to sleep at night. I struggle to stay awake during the day. It's a vicious cycle. What's the problem? My mind is constantly going....constantly. My body is tired and weary, really tired.

I'm praying for peace...and sleep.


  1. Sometimes we don't know what to say or do. I just want to hug you for a couple of minutes and tell you "whatever I can do to help".

    But I can't help. And hugging might just be creepy.

    I think of Morgan as much as I think of you. Wishing. Hoping. My prayers go unanswered but if you think it will help, I'll do that.

    I can be funny and make you laugh. Maybe for those few seconds you can have some relief.

    I am open to any other suggestions. I just hope you know many love and many like you and we are hoping we can help somehow. Hoping, and wishing, and yes, even praying.

  2. People said crazy stuff to me after my husband died so I understand what you are talking about. I hope things turn out well for you. Maybe talk to your doc about some meds to help you sleep. Not sleeping is very unhealthy...I learned the hard way.

  3. Hi - A friend of Holly's here. I hope your treatment goes well and is painless and that you are DONE with cancer after this.

  4. As someone who has just been told that I need a second surgery (but the nodes are too small to go after yet, 3 @ 3-4 mm), I know just how you feel about the cancer running in the background. I had 5 years of promising results after having 63 nodes taken (21+), so life had almost returned to normal before my tg drifted up a little. Good luck to you in your recovers, and I suppose good luck to me trying to explain to people what this is like, knowing you're not bound to die but just be tortured a little bit over the years by the 1% chance.


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