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Wednesday October 16th 2019


Punching Cancer In The Throat

Post Published: 04 February 2010
Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 12 responses. Leave a comment

Joanna Isbill, Thyroid Cancer Patient, Dear Thyroid Letter, thyroid cancer support

Written by Joanna, Thyroid Cancer Patient

Dear Thyroid Cancer,

You tried to steal my focus.   I still think about you, but I’m not consumed by you.

You entered my dreams to try to make me fear even sleep.   You lost.   Thanks to Zoloft, my dreams are now too weird to bear any truth.

You tried to make me doubt my family.  ,   They might not understand, but they are still here.

You tried to change me.   You did.   I am a different person now, but I wouldn’t go back to my old self if I could.

You tried to make me forget my purpose.   I remember.

I will not succumb to the fear that you try to drown me in.   You may still be in my body, but YOU LOSE.



I am a 25 year old daughter, sister, aunt, granddaughter, niece, and friend.   I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in October 2008 and have been a changed person ever since.   My favorite things are relaxing on the beach, being with my family, the color orange, and the Clemson tigers.   You can read more of my story on my blog, The Eye of the Storm.

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12 Responses to “Punching Cancer In The Throat”

  1. Lori A. says:

    Great letter! Thanks for sharing. Hugs to you!

  2. Jody/yodat says:

    Throat punching is always awesome! Good letter!

  3. Paula says:

    I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in August 2008. I am a different person, too, but I WOULD go back to who I was in a second if I could. I don’t like this new, moody, fearful me. I never used to dread being alone, and now I can barely stand it. Where did I go? Cancer cut my throat, and I survived…but the scars are more than skin deep.

  4. Dear Thyroid says:

    Lori, you’re so supportive!

  5. Dear Thyroid says:

    Agreed, Jody! Lovely support for Joanna

  6. Dear Thyroid says:

    Paula – What a beautiful, honest comment. Very proud of you for sharing so much of yourself with us.

    This comment resonates pretty deeply Cancer cut my throat, and I survived… but the scars are more than skin deep.

    Let me ask you something, how do you cope with your, for lack of a better phrase, new self? What have you tried to manage your moodiness and fearfulness?

    We’d love to know!


  7. quin browne says:

    i would never go back to the person i was three years ago.

    the minute i was out of treatment, i started my journey to new york–packing two bags and a westie and moving into a 5th floor walkup with someone i didn’t know.

    i gained confidence, rediscovered my love of writing, and i made dear friends via my blog (including the brilliant katie schwartz, and from her many other amazing women)

    no, i’d not go back… i wear my scar with pride–and tell people i got it when i didn’t pay the money i owed benny the fish.

    let’s be honest: people would rather laugh at that, then hear the word cancer.

    after all, the only word scarier than cancer is love..

    yay, paula!! well said, well done!

  8. Dear Thyroid says:


    I LOVE YOU. You ARE BRILLIANT. I love “I didn’t pay the money I owed Benny the Fish”. Har.

    You are amazing. I appreciate where you’re coming from.

    It’s so interesting how every individual is impacted by their disease and how it changes them or how they change as a result of having it.

    Love you for sharing as much of yourself as you did.


  9. Joanna says:

    Thanks, Lori and Jody!

    I can appreciate that sentiment, too. It’s hard for me to even crawl out of bed somedays. Fear was a HUGE issue for me for quite awhile. Once I got that under control, I became a new, better person. Keep fighting!

    You’re hilarious! I kind of like to throw the cancer card in people’s face, though. It makes them uncomfortable and that gives me a good laugh. Ha, that’s kind of evil of me.

  10. I agree with Paula. I really liked who I was before cancer. I like who I am now too but I certainly could have and would have evolved into a different me sans the fear, agony, and cost of cancer.

    Joanna, I really like your clear, straight forward writing style! I want to read more.


  11. Brooke Milander says:

    Hello Joanna! 🙂

    Your letter is very inspiring. I, too, would never change back to my old self. Cancer has taught me to be myself. Its sad that it took cancer to do that, but atleast I figured it out.

  12. Lolly says:


    Great letter, it must have been so hard coping at the time cancer seems such a threatening word, I too had the fear of it but alas it was benign but never the less it didn’t make it feel any easier waiting on results or having numerous biopsies then finally surgery. I too wear my scar with pride and am just like Quin and Benny the fish..LOL

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