We Are At The Beginning Of Change…
Monday April 22nd 2019



Post Published: 14 July 2009
Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 9 responses. Leave a comment

Dear Thyroid,

You are like a psychotic boyfriend who won’t let go.   Nine years later.   That’s bad.

Riddled with cancer and plucked from my neck at age 27, you’ve been incinerator ash blowing in the wind for nearly a decade.   So why do you still haunt my inbox with all of the why, why, why’s’ of our break up?   Here’s a summary of the email I received today:

“Dear Kairol, I was reading a great blog today (a.k.a. crap ass natural healing blog) and read an interesting piece of information (a.k.a. completely unscientific information that uses the word “study” to make it all sounds so empirical) about soy causing thyroid cancer.   I was wondering if that might have been linked to your cancer.   Love, very well meaning family member…

Thyroid, maybe it makes you feel better just knowing that my family and friends want to understand the root problem of our breakup.   But you see, many people who want to know what caused my cancer ask so that they can figure out how to not get what I’ve got.

If we truly understood the mechanisms that caused cancer, wouldn’t we be much closer to finding a cure?,   I’m not talking an RAI cure, I’m talking the kind of cure that makes you not get cancer in the first place.   We are nowhere near there.   Unexplained cases of thyroid cancer are skyrocketing (it is the fastest growing incident rate out of every kind of cancer in the United States.)

So my friends and family are going to have to shiver wondering if it will happen to them too.   Because the truth is that it just might.   Not cool news.   But when you are facing nine years of thyroid cancer, the truth is less painful than sugarcoating.   And I’m kinda learning to love life that way.

Ha, I win.


(Bio) Kairol Rosenthal is author of, Everything Changes: The Insider’s Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s.   On the shelves for almost six months, Kairol loves that her book is bringing together an unexpected readership of empowered patients with myriad forms of chronic illness.

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9 Responses to “Thychotic”

  1. Mauigirl says:

    You are so right; I think everyone’s first instinct is to try to figure out how not to get what you’ve got. I know when I read obituaries of people my age I get really annoyed if I can’t figure out what they died of….so I can figure out how to avoid it.

    I didn’t have thyroid cancer but did have tongue cancer…and in my case my friends don’t want to believe what the doctor told me – that alcohol is a major cause of it. My friends don’t want to think they have to give up their wine like I had to!

  2. Kathy says:

    I wish that I had your book in my hands 20 years ago when I had cancer. It wasn’t thyroid cancer, but was related to endocrine issues. I made it through ok..but I went through several years of denial and not going to the doctor’s because I just didn’t want to know. I didn’t want any more cancer, so if I didn’t know, it wouldn’t be there. Now, that’s scary..I’m glad that you’re ok. Do all the follow ups and follow throughs..keep it all in check. Thanks for sharing! And yes, you DO win!

  3. quin browne says:

    well said. sadly, i do have to warn my kids… all three of we girls have thyroid cancer in my generation… i suspect my brother has something going on, but, he won’t go get it checked out.

    we laugh and say it’s from when we ran behind the ddt trucks when we were little…

    it’s easier than thinking it’s in our genes.

  4. Thanks for your comments!

    Mauigirl – You are so not alone. I remember one of the first young adult cancer support groups I ever attended: me and three other women in their 20s all of whom had tongue cancer. It is on the rise for young women. When I lived in San Francisco there was a huge public awareness campaign – big bus stop bill boards of a young woman sticking out her tongue about “check your tongue.” Hang in there.

    Kathy – I have cancer and STILL need arm twisting to go get my pap smears. You’d think having cancer would make me run to the doc to figure out if I have more, but instead it just scares the crap out of me. This is why I continue to write about my cancer and seek support from other patients like you. I need positive reminders!

    Quin Brownie – While you were running behind DDT trucks I was climbing slag heaps in Pittsburgh. Until we have a definitive cause for thyroid cancer, all we can do is speculate, be vigilant about getting our necks checked, and laugh at our toxic childhood memories….


  5. lizschau says:


    i really got alot out of this letter. thanks so much for sharing it. the last two lines are so poignant and really hit me: “But when you are facing nine years of thyroid cancer, the truth is less painful than sugarcoating. And I’m kinda learning to love life that way.” i love it so much.


  6. Jen says:

    I get the questions, all the time, about my lymphoma: “how did you get it?”

    I usually respond: “by having piss-poor bad luck.”

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