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Feeling Hot In Your Absence

Post Published: 30 March 2010
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 18 responses. Leave a comment

(Written by Monica, Thyroidectomy and Lupus Patient)

Dear MT (Missing Thyroid),

It has been six months since you were suddenly taken from me. There was nothing wrong with you except some weird cells that clustered together decided to clamp onto my thyroid. What makes it worse is one path report said it was benign; a second path report from a different lab said it was cancer. So now I’m thinking, did I do the right thing by having you removed? Yes, I know, thyroid diseases of all types run in my family . . . but I thought I was taking care of not only you but everything inside of me so I wouldn’t have to worry about you, or the effects of menopause, or cancer.

Reflecting back to the Good Old Days, I miss not having to remember to take a pill every morning when I wake up, not being able to eat for at least an hour so the pill will reach its fullest potential, not having cereal and milk for breakfast anymore because of the contraindications with calcium. I wonder if the chills/hot flashes that zing through my body at the most inopportune times are a result of you being gone, or because I’m starting to go through menopause? Or why do I have to see the doctor every six weeks to have blood drawn, only to be told your levels are off, we need to change your dosage again and it’s costing me money because you’re gone? And we won’t go into the psychological effects this has had, not only on me but my family.

I am not writing to rant about you. I just want you to know that I miss you, wish you were still connected to me. But I know that when the surgeon opened me up to take you away, it also opened me up to new ways of living and looking at life. No more worries about the past or future, oh, no! The focus now is on every single waking breath that I take and I want to shout out, “I love you, wherever you are,” and to appreciate every moment right here, right now.

So from now on, before I adhere to the recommendations of “professionals” and the advice of others, I will listen to my gut and trust my inner self. And every time I look at the scar on my neck, I know that there are no regrets, only lessons learned.

from MCS (Monica Cheung Stevens)

(Bio) I am a 54-year young mother of a 13-year old son. I retired from a stressful 25-year career as a court reporter after I was diagnosed with Lupus five and a half years ago. I currently am in college, finishing up what I started back in the day. Biggest lesson thus far? We are lifelong learners, whether through an institution such as a university or life itself. My motto is Appreciate the Moment.

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18 Responses to “Feeling Hot In Your Absence”

  1. Lori says:

    Beautiful letter Monica! I love what you said about listening to your gut and trusting your inner self, and your motto “appreciate the moment”. I feel the same way. These are important lessons to learn, for sure!

  2. Joyce Ann says:

    *hug*

    Thank you for sharing Monica…and you are a role model – follow your instincts and inner self, live life to the fullest every day and remembering that we are lifelong learners!

  3. Dear Thyroid says:

    Lori; You and Monica are right ‘appreciate the moment’. I struggle so hard with this. Great lesson, indeed.

    Thanks for sending support to Monica, L.

    xo

  4. Dear Thyroid says:

    You’ve extrapolated the best points too, Joyce Ann. Reminders well worth hearing repeatedly.

    Thanks for lending support to Monica.

    xo

  5. HD inOregon says:

    Wonderful, wonderful letter! Written from the heart! – Thank you so much for sharing!

    If I had to do it over again (the thyroidectomy or, for that matter, any major surgery) I would definitely get a second opinion. I think two pairs of eyes see more than just one.

    I hope you’re daily meds are balanced soon. My endo, after 2 1/2 years, is still “fiddling” with my dosage. Grrr.

    Take care,
    HD in Oregon

  6. Dear Thyroid says:

    HD – Know what you mean re: fiddling with dosage and still not being ‘right’ after multiple years. Grr squared.

    I think two pairs of eyes see more than just one

    Indeed.

    Great show of support for Monica.

    xo

  7. Heather says:

    Thanks Monica for your letter! I love your new look on life after thyroidectomy. I feel the same way about the new way of looking at life after thyroid surgery. Good luck on your studies!

  8. Debbie Eguia says:

    Beautiful letter! Thanks for sharing! And oh the money. My thyroid is bankrupting us. I actually made an appointment with a new doctor that takes my insurance and am hoping that she works out, because I cannot afford to keep going to a doctor that does not take insurance even though his line of care is working.

    Good health!

    Deb

  9. Dear Thyroid says:

    Heather – How did you arrive at the new outlook for yourself?

    Great show of support, thank you.

    xo

  10. Dear Thyroid says:

    Deb –

    I’m really proud of you for saying My thyroid is bankrupting us because it’s so very important that we discuss the financial hardships we face. Insurance not covering certain doctors, medications, etc. and, or out of pocket expenses even with insurance.

    I am so sorry that you are enduring all of this. I want you to know that you aren’t alone, if that helps.

    I hope your new doc takes your insurance, too. Though, I hate that you have to see a new doc when the other one has been doing so well with you.

    Please keep us posted.

    xo

  11. “But I know that when the surgeon opened me up to take you away, it also opened me up to new ways of living and looking at life.”

    Monica, I could not have said it better myself! I can identify with this 100%. They way I look at life now is so very different than my pre-cancer outlook on life. Thyroid cancer is awful, but it did give me a new perspective on life, and that is good. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and emotions in this letter!

    xoxo,
    Joanna

  12. Dear Thyroid says:

    To Monica and Joanna – How did your respective diseases/cancers give you a new perspective? Specifically, was something missing that was found as a result or would you say that because of the experience itself; you discovered things about yourself you hadn’t realized, or something else entirely?

    Do you mind me asking?

    Joanna – Beautiful support, love.

  13. Monica says:

    Wow, what a feeling to know we, as a community, can be supportive and understanding in this safe environment. Thanks to all for your words of support and kindness.

    DT, it was either get a new attitude and figure out what is important in life or just hang it up. It seems that all of us learn so much more about ourselves because we have to, mostly out of need to survive. With every obstacle that comes our way, that is when discoveries are uncovered.

    The new perspective comes from trusting that no matter what we do, say or how we react, it is what it is. I know, yucky cliche but so true.

    Love you all!
    ☮ ♥

  14. Thyroid cancer opened my eyes to what’s important. When you hear your name in the same sentence as cancer it reminds you that you are so very mortal. I don’t think anything was missing pre-cancer, but I definitely discovered things about myself I didn’t know existed pre-diagnosis. This is going to sound so very lame, but through my experience with thyroid cancer I’m learning what it means to love, to view everyone around me in a new light.

  15. Elizabeth C says:

    I love your letter! You have a wonderful attitude! Thanks for sharing with us!

  16. Cyndi Woodruff says:

    Monica,
    What a beautiful letter. Brought tears to my eyes. Your gratitude and peaceful feelings towards your thyroid are admirable.
    I also appreciate your “living in the moment” kind of attitude. It is all we have and since we can never ‘re-live’ one moment, it makes sense to enjoy where we are….NOW.
    Thank you for the reminder….and please know that you are an inspiration.
    Cyndi

  17. Bee says:

    Monica-sometimes I dream about getting my thyroid cut out I have hypoT but no doc has yet been able to tell me why it swells up and makes me hoarse every night-so yeah, at times going under the knife seems like a plan—isn’t that kind of sick to actually dream about going under the knife? Love your outlook post surgery–i’ll remember your outlook if I ever find myself in your position—thanks!!!!

  18. Shirley Jacob says:

    What a letter…So true and positive. This is what we need more of. Decided to stop having milk and cereals for breakfast.Whew! I never knew this.Apart of my thyroid was removed and the rest radioactivated in Jan 1993. Thank you Monica.

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