No Longer Thankful Just to be Alive
When I first found out you had to go I was happy to be rid of you. I wanted the follicular thyroid cancer to be gone and did not think twice about the process of surgeries, low iodine diets, being hypo, RAI treatments and a life long dependence on a pill to stay alive. I just wanted to do what needed to be done to stay in this world and be a mother to my young son and a good wife and daughter. I was strong, maybe too strong, and I never complained. You could say I went into automatic pilot mode.
I really thought as long as I could make it through this then life would be a cake walk. I convinced myself of this and thought I was the lucky one because I was still here. Little by little I realized that I am not the same person without you. I told myself I was a better person but that is not true either. I’ve come to understand that you were so much a part of everything I ever was and I never gave you credit for that.
Like so many others, I thought you were just my metabolism and you did a good job with that. Well, if only that were true. You were me and when they took you they took me too. I am ashamed of myself that I took my health for granted and wish I would have taken better care of you so you could take care of me like you always did.
How foolish was I to think that a pill could replace you? It hasn’t and now I know that I’ll mourn you forever. This pill isn’t cutting it anymore and now I know that it will always be a process if I want to be even a reasonable facsimile of who we were. It’s taken me a long time to admit this, perhaps it was the brain fog, or the thankful to be alive crap I convinced myself of.
But no more my friend, you may have been my partner in crime but I’m going to have to find my way without you. I can’t just stop living and loving because you are gone. Enough is enough. I have to remember you fondly and be thankful that I had you for as long as I did and then I have to let go and find a way.
Please don’t take it personal but I can’t just sit here anymore and let life pass me by. I have too much left in me for that. Although I don’t feel that way right this moment, I know that I’ll get better because I have learned so much about my body and I won’t let it fail me again, not if I have anything to do with it. I don’t care if the doctors think I’m crazy or the office staff thinks I’m a bitch, I will get the proper care and treatment that I deserve. And I’ll hold my head high and not just be thankful to be alive any more. I have to take care of the rest of me so the same thing does not happen to me, the me without you.
If I’m not on top of this awful disease, it will take over my life and I no longer find that acceptable. And, I will help others get the care they deserve too. I hope you are proud of me, I know this is what I am meant to do. We could have done it better together for sure but that’s not going to happen, so I will have to learn to live without you. I hope you understand and you rest in peace wherever it is they sent you! I miss you more than I ever thought I would, I was so naïve.
My name is Donna and I am a 47 year old follicular thyroid cancer survivor that is not longer thankful to just be alive.
Tags: Dear Thyroid, No Longer thankful Just To Be Alive, thyroid cancer, thyroid cancer community, thyroid cancer misdiagnoses, thyroid cancer patient letters, thyroid cancer support, thyroid cancer survivors, Written by Donna Terlecki