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Wednesday October 16th 2019


The Human Condition Or Is That The Human Thydition

Post Published: 31 December 2009
Category: Thyroid humor column
This post currently has 14 responses. Leave a comment

Beth Orton is a beloved singer of mine. One of my favorite songs that she wrote is called “Sweetest Decline”. One of the lyrics has always made me think, it’s something I recite to myself and others often.
“What are regrets? They’re just lessons we haven’t learned yet”
Written by Katie Schwartz

This week, in asking as many questions as I did about thyroid diseases and thyroid cancers on Twitter and Facebook, I learned quite a bit. I thought I’d share what I learned with you.
  • Heroic: Being heroic does not rest with a patient’s ability to cope with their disease, or accept it, or happily live side-by-side with it. Being honest about it does. Assigning emotions to that is irrelevant, to the extent that whether you’re happy, sad or angry, you’re willing to speak out about it, and that is heroic.
  • Bravery: Each person who engaged to discuss: Using clay, if you could mold your disease into a shape, what would it be and why? If you could ask your disease questions, what questions would you ask? and,  What do you hate most about your disease? and so many others. To share your experience of your disease and how it affects you with other patients is brave. I don’t know if everyone realizes just how courageous it is. So many thyroid patients are in seclusion, ashamed of their symptoms and what their disease has morphed them into. By reaching out to each other, you remind us that we are less alone.
  • Sadness: Our respective thyroid diseases and thyroid cancers make us sad, that’s human and that’s real. The idea of: “Turn that frown upside down”, is something I reject with every fiber of my being. That’s not to say that I endorse wallowing in sadness because that doesn’t help either. Sometimes we need to just be sad.  The expression of sadness reflects the human condition and sharing that sadness is a beautiful thing.
  • Happiness: Many patients feel gratitude and happiness after contending with a diagnosis and enduring the process of thyroid diseases and thyroid cancers. For some patients, their disease redefines the core of their being on such a deep and healing level. This is an awesome, inspiring and exquisite gift, and should be shared as much as every other emotion.
  • Humor: Making wise ass cracks about your disease, wearing humorous thyroid t-shirts, writing a funny letter to your thyroid or from your thyroid, and posting on Facebook, Twitter and in the forums, funny comments about a bad endo experience, a creepy ass symptom, or just making us laugh about how you feel, all of it is healing, in my opinion. I refer to my eyes as lady balls (I have Graves Opthalmopathy, how could I not?), my thyroid has made me so fat, my hips are the size of the world wide web and my previous endo’s were so stupid, not cracking jokes at their expense simply isn’t an option.
  • Outspokenness: Our glands cause psychiatric disturbances, plain and simple. The emotions we feel overpower us like a hurricane. We can’t always control the rage, or depression or paranoia, et al. Similarly, collectively, we have strong ass opinions and personalities. At Dear Thyroid, everyone and their gland is outspoken. I digress, this is a gift.
  • Irreverence: Cursing, cursing, cursing. I love to curse. I was born into a family of 5 siblings and 2 irreverent parents with a dark sense of humor. When we could talk, our parents made sure that we knew the top 5 curse words; fuck, mother fucker, prick, asshole and dick. Each member of this dear community isn’t afraid to curse. You have no idea how much this warms my heart.
  • Anger: Being angry about what our diseases have taken from us is a normal, human emotion. Often times, I’ve been the recipient, as we all have, of being told that anger is an,  inappropriate,  response and unhealthy to the healing process. Of course this makes my blood boil even more. Within the,  kaleidescope,  of human emotions, when was anger,  omitted, because I never got the memo?! To every patient willing to freely express their anger, I congratulate you and welcome your angry glands.
  • Intimacy: Though we’ve never met, we have an intimate relationship with each other. Our glands and glandless selves have stirred an intimacy between us that is so rich, it’s experienced in the text and subtext of our words.
  • Connection: With every letter you share and every post you write in the forums, on Facebook and on Twitter, you connect us with each other. By chronicling your disease on Dear Thyroid, we read your words and feel connected to you. I am proud of you for writing — keep writing, don’t stop writing letters to your thyroids or posting about your experience of your disease — you bring us together.

Thank you for being your flawless selves. I hope that 2010 brings more voices, new and old school, writing to their thyroids and connecting with other patients. I hope that we achieve our awareness goals and continue our Dear Thyroid Local Meet ups and Phone Meet ups. I hope that we all continue being proactive, heroic, brave, sad, happy, funny, outspoken, irreverent, angry, intimate and connecting with each other.

Thank you for reminding me that I am more than my disease. Thank you for your unabashed letters, ideas and opinions. Thank you for making me feel like I belong to a community of people who get me and never make me feel like I’m alone.

Thyroid Patient Advocate and renowned Author, Mary Shomon, wrote an article on About.com called “The Top Ten Stories Affecting Thyroid Patients in the Decade from 2000-2009“. This article is a must read, for every thyroid patient, doctor, thyroid community and families of thyroid patients. While there is still work to be done, Mary reminds us how far we’ve come regarding thyroid awareness and how it’s flourished in the past decade–very inspiring. Similarly, Mary empowers patients by encouraging us to continue being proactive regarding our health and how we handle our treatment. I encourage you to read the entire article, it’s thylicious.

Additionally, Mary included Dear Thyroid as a patient advocacy site.   We are so honored and grateful to Mary for including Dear Thyroid (Thank you, Mary Shomon!).  As a community, we make up Dear Thyroid. Every single patient is the voice of this site. You are remarkable.

Whether you ,  have a thyroid condition or not, you are welcomed at Dear Thyroid. Please feel free to leave comments and share your thoughts with us. We’d love to hear from you

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14 Responses to “The Human Condition Or Is That The Human Thydition

  1. Lolly says:


    what a well written article, and Kudos to you and Liz for making this place possible for us to cuss as many bad words as the swear word dictionary will allow it’s a good way to get out all those pent up feelings out, this fucked up disease that leaves us in turmoil, as for the humour part well I find it not only heals but makes light of bad situations and can see the humour in it all.

    I wish you all the best for 2010 and all the thyrellas and thyfellas keep those letters rolling, those songs being song and what ever you do speak out as you are all the voice of this damn disease.

    thank you Mary Shoman for all the hard work you have put in over the years, and still continue to do.

    Love you guys

    Happy New year to you all.


  2. Cyndi Woodruff says:

    Dearest Katie,

    What an awesome post! I grinned, smirked, frowned, cursed and felt my eyes fill with tears….

    Tears of gratitude, tears of friendship and tears of comraderie. As you said, we’ve not met, but the love and acceptance of everyone here is so compassionate and understanding….I feel as if I DO know you all.

    Katie and Liz—-I am so thankful for the two of you. You take so much time to keep us informed, to give us ‘hugs’ and to reassure us that it’s OK to be a bit bat-shit-crazy! You make us laugh, smile and want to reach through our computer connections and give you both big-ass hugs.

    I love you both.

  3. Lori says:


    That was beautiful. I love reading everything you write.

    I too am so grateful for you and Liz, and everyone else here at Dear Thyroid. I feel like you all know me better than my own family. So many times I wish I could reach through the computer and give hugs. The freedom of being able to say whatever it is we feel: good, bad, ugly, anger, fear, shame, loneliness, is so powerfully healing. Being able to release these feelings and knowing everyone understands, is truly one of the most beautiful things I have experienced. And, the homor, WOW, love, love, love IT!!!!

    I wish y’all a Wonderful 2010. I can’t wait to see all the healing, growing and awareness that’s going to happen in the coming year. I know it’s going to be amazing.

    I still would love to “hear” the thysongs recorded.

    Peace & Love,

  4. Lolly says:


    Working on the thysongs, maybe you’ll hear it recorded Hello Lolly is still No.1 in the Thycharts beating a remix of “Anyone who had a heart” by cardiographilites.

    I wanted to say Cyndi you put it so well and you too Lori wishing you all a happy healthy 2010. Remember this when you get into the New year.

    May peace break into your home and may thieves come to steal your debts. May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $50 bills. May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips! May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy May the problems you had, forget …your home address! In simple words …. May 2010 be the best year of your life!!!

  5. Robyn says:

    I have to send Katie the rest of my thysongs so we can record a full album.

    I’m not sure I would have survived 2009 without DT. I’m not sure there is much more to say about it, and I’m not really being dramatic either.

    Each and every one of you has improved my life by being a part of this community. Good luck and best wishes to all in 2010.

  6. Lori says:

    Glad I checked back here. I don’t get updates to these posts since the change to the site? And don’t always remember to check back.

    BTW: I meant to write “humor” above not “homor”. duh!

    Lolly and Robyn you two seriously have great ideas and I think the birth of “thysongs” is pure genius. Hello Lolly and an album of thysongs, OMG. One of my dreams is raising money for research and, IMO, sales from a “thyalbum” should be at the top of the list.

    Robyn, not dramatic at all. I truly feel the same way.

    Lolly, I’ll be sure to “try” and remember, especially the part when you say “may laughter assault your lips”.

  7. amy says:

    This is a wonderful post, Katie! I love the community formed here!

  8. katie says:


    Thank you, my sweet, for everything and for being such a cursealicious dame on Dear Thyroid. Thank you for joining us last year. So glad we found each other.

    You’re right, we have a shitload to say to our glands, considering they hock us all fucking day, every day.


  9. katie says:


    What a beautiful comment, thank you for sharing your thoughts and so eloquently (as always), I might add.

    Thanks to you, I feel less alone and more connected. Like you, I feel as if we have such an intimate relationship with each other.

    Thank you for making Dear Thyroid as special and sacred as it is.


  10. katie says:


    I feel the same way. I wish I could just squeeze you (and everybody up) in my arms every single day. You are so special and dear to me/Liz/Dear Thyroid.

    Thank you for being your glorious self and for joining us last year.


  11. katie says:


    So glad you are working on more thysongs, can’t wait to hear them. I can report that I received some thysongs this morning from another thyrella… one who’s songs we love as much as Lolly’s.

    Can’t wait for your tunes, babe. Love your songs!


  12. katie says:


    We can so cut an album and we must. I will look for someone who can take your songs and lolly’s songs and burn them on a CD.

    Can you and Lolly sing them? Would you be willing to?

    PS: Got em’. Will be listening to em’ today. Can’t wait.


  13. katie says:


    Thank you for being a part of the community! You and everyone who is a part of Dear Thyroid make this community as special as it is.



  14. Lolly says:


    If I knew how to record them I would but I don’t, but I would be willing and be up for it, just sent you a quick one on request.

    So if anyone knows how to record them onto computer let me know and I will certainly sing my Hello Dolly and any others that are in the pipe line.

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