Tuesday, January 20, 2015

C is for Cancer

It's amazing how your life and the way you hold things can change in the matter of moments. Things that once concerned you, don't really matter anymore. And you suddenly find yourself noticing all the things that you seemed to overlook until that one moment. Well, I had once such moment a week ago today.

I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last Tuesday morning. I have a cancerous tumor the size of my pinkie nail on the left side of my thyroid.

I will be having surgery at Borgess Hospital on Wednesday, January 28th at 8:00am to have the cancer and my thyroid removed. I have to be off of work for a week to ten days in order to heal and recover. And some time after my recovery from surgery, I will have to have a form of radiation treatment called radioactive iodine. And I will now be taking medication every day for the rest of my life to compensate for not having a thyroid.

The surgeon and all the things I have read say that if you're going to have a type of cancer, this is the kind that you want. It's treatable and it doesn't spread. So that's good. And my diagnosis has made a lot of things I've been experiencing this past year make sense. Thyroid problems can result in depression, tiredness, miscarriage, weight gain. All things that have been a part of my struggle this past year. Things that have rocked my world in huge ways. So I'm glad to now have a bit of perspective and know that I'm not crazy or weak or too emotional. I didn't cause my miscarriage. My body was just trying to tell me something was wrong.

I’m not sharing to get sympathy or pity – I may hurt you if you extend either of those toward me :) lol – just kidding (mostly). But I’m a big believer that we live in community, and we all need each other to survive and live well and be happy and whole people. We are to rejoice with each other when things are good. And we are to support/encourage each other when things are bad. We are not meant to venture through life alone. We need each other.....

It's not easy for me to admit that I need people. I'm the woman who pulls herself up by her bootstraps. I'm tough. I can do it by myself. I put my head down and power through. It's scary to admit that you need people, because what if they don't show up? What if they let me down? What if they decide they don't love me anymore? What if I'm too much for them? What if they think I'm weak?......But what I've been learning this past week is that I am blessed. I am so very loved by amazingly wonderful people. People have been angry with me. People have cried with me. Encouraged me. Shown me love through my love language (notes and cards). My friends are beautiful people with precious hearts who know how to love well. And I am so very blessed to receive their love and support.

As I have been calling and telling people the past several days they have been asking what they can do to help…..the short simple answer is nothing. And I know no one is satisfied with that answer, so here’s how you can help :)……
* Pray, however you pray or to whomever, doesn't matter to me….please pray! Pray for the surgery to go smoothly and without complication, for quick healing, for me to have peace, etc.
* As you all know, I love words. So words of affirmation, support, strength are always welcome. I love music, quotes, words with powerful meaning, etc.
*I need all the joy and laughter in my life I can get right now! So please feel free to make me laugh whenever you get the chance.

This feels like the darkest time in my life. And it's not easy. I'm still processing all of this. But with the darkest hour comes the dawn....so light is coming. I may not be able to see it right now, but it is coming.

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