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Forsaken

Post Published: 09 July 2010
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 11 responses. Leave a comment

Dear Thyroid,

Are you to blame for my nervous breakdown? There is certainly enough medical research out there that proves an increased rate of depression among people with thyroid problems or who have had a thyroidectomy. And I definitely met enough people in the psychiatric hospital with thyroid problems to prove this theory true.

So are you to blame? Was it the twenty months of ever-increasing Synthroid doses? Going on and off Cytomel? Two rounds of Thyrogen? The RAI treatment? How about the weight gain you caused in your absence? The lack of energy? The fatigue? The increased anxiety? Did you do all of this to me?

I certainly know enough people who said I’ve gone crazy since you left. Hell, even my ex-husband blames you. The last thing he said to me as I checked myself into the psychiatric hospital was, “Chris, you know this is not your fault. We’ve both done enough research on thyroid cancer to know that a thyroidectomy can lead to major depression.”

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I had everything going for me before you up and got sick on me. You may have left a wake of mental fog, but I still clearly remember what it was like to be happy. Why couldn’t you take that memory with you instead of torturing me with it?

Or is my weakened mental state my fault? My social worker is convinced this happened because of a lack of belief in a higher power. She believes that having a religious experience will make it all better. Isn’t that laughable, thyroid? She has no clue what living without natural T-3 and T-4 does to the body and the mind.

I’m struggling for answers, thyroid. I’m looking for a cure. I’m trying to find a path back to the happiness I had when you and I were a team. Is there life after a thyroidectomy? Thanks to you, I am forced to twelve-step my way back into the warm glow of life instead of the cold, dark rain you left me.

Why have you forsaken me, thyroid?

Chris P

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11 Responses to “Forsaken”

  1. Donna says:

    Hi Chris,

    Thank you for your beautiful letter. I wonder the same things as you do, I am for sure a different person post cancer and it took me a long time to admit it.

    I hope things are looking up for you. This is a crazy journey but I believe that increased education and awareness will help us all get the proper treatment we deserve.

    Thanks again for sharing yourself with us, I am certain plenty of us can relate. You are brave and strong! Good luck 🙂

    Donna

  2. Thyroid cancer changes us in ways we never wanted to change. It does things to our bodies and minds that are unwelcome. Thank you for being brave enough to talk about it. I, too, became depressed after my thyroidectomy and RAI treatment. I didn’t understand what was going on inside my body because I’d never felt that way before. With lots of help, I’m moving forward. We’re here to support you, too, as you find your way.

    xoxo,
    Joanna

  3. Linda says:

    Thanks Chris for your real letter. Although I have not had thyroid cancer your letter really spoke to me. It took me being committed (not by myself) to a mental health hospital to get my Hypothyroid diagnosis. I am so glad that my parents stepped in and denied the brain electric shock treatment. That my now ex-husband (who committed me) was willing to let them do. I was lucky enough to see my OBGYN and she ordered a TSH. No wonder the prozac, efexor, and other drugs didn’t help. Although I am still on the roller coaster that is thyroid disease…I know I am better off without a “husband” that would leave me because of it.

  4. Linda says:

    I am not with it today and “submitted” before I got to the most important part…OPPS!

    Chris, I hope you find your way back into the warm glow of life. Just know you are not alone and I wish you strength and energy to get back to where you need to be.

    Hugs, Linda

  5. Michelene says:

    Chris,
    Thank you for your letter. I can relate to what you are feeling and thinking. This last week I felt like I was “paranoid girl” and I was freaking out over a swollen gland in my neck. I am still “recovering” from my 3rd surgery. I had a neck dissection and this surgery really hit me.
    I was told the swollen gland, yesterday, seems normal for 3 months in the recovery process. I just need to watch it:)) ?? My neck is numb and I feel anxious and worried. I freaked out a couple of nights ago because of this “stupid” gland thing and I stated on my fbook status that I was worried and had to get something “checked” out. I felt weak and regretted posting it, but I realized it actually helped me. I had friends “watching”. They keep me laughing and acting like my goofy self. If you ever need to chat, please let me know. I have had RAI, thyrogen shots, the 3 surgeries, and had a vocal cord complication. I probably will have another RAI in August or September. The waiting is the hardest part.

  6. Bee says:

    I feel for you and all that you have gone- and -are going through. For some, believing in a higher power may help; but how dare a social worker try and force this opinion on you.Why doesn’t she do her job and help you figure a way to cope with the feelings you’re having? You obvioulsy have known joy. I hope you find the little things in life that make you happy..if you start with those little things, they may lead to bigger and better life-fulfilling moments. There’s gotta be a way for you to tap into that happy memory. I wish you the best of luck on your journey

  7. Thank you ladies. I’m in tears from the love, support and companionship expressed today. It wasn’t easy to write this piece and although I wish none of us battle this, it’s a relief to know that I am not alone.

    I love you all. Thank you.

  8. Linda says:

    Dear Chris,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I can’t understand why in this date in time professionals would just jump to the conclusion of ‘mental illness”!!!
    A blood test, for the most part would tell a lot. Dah?!@
    How can we get anyone to listen to us if “they” think we’re crazy!
    First of all if we cannot sleep that alone will jumble anyones thoughts. I could not sleep because my heart raced night and day. Not being in the deepest sleep for the right amount of Rem Sleep does wild things to ones brain. Add medicine and worry, stress to boot, guestioning family and friends = one wild cocktail!
    Hello, been there , and done that too.
    Trust your own thoughts, and make those Dr.s earn their BIG FEES!!!! {Don’t let them just give you antidepression medicine which makes the mind lazy and keeps you quiet.} Fight to be heard and make them study and help all of us. xxxxxLinda (Linny)

  9. Lolly says:

    Hi Chris,

    Even though I haven’t been through what you are going through even after having a thyroidectomy and not being stable on my poor substitute of a replacement I can certainly sympathise with you.

    Ditch that damn social worker what does she know.If you feel you need one ask for another.
    Here’s hoping that you can regain the you before surgery it may never be the same but it will be YOU.

    thank you for sharing your letter with us, it took courage to do that, it’s like the chicken and the egg what came first, is it the lack of hormone i suspect so the foggy brain I can certainly relate to and lack of sleep, but i can’t say I have gotten to the point of deep depression, well not yet anyway and hope i never do.

    I hope that you come back and come back strong kick ass and fight to regain you health back.

    This is a great Thyamily here, ready to share and care.

    Sending you some Lolly healing ((((Vibes)))

    Hugs
    Lolly

  10. Dear Thyroid says:

    Chris – This was not an easy letter to pen. I know it wasn’t. I feel it in the subtext and text. I am proud of you for writing it.

    everything you’ve been through – it’s fucked up – and it’s vile – and hideous.

    What resonated the most for me was this “I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I had everything going for me before you up and got sick on me. You may have left a wake of mental fog, but I still clearly remember what it was like to be happy. Why couldn’t you take that memory with you instead of torturing me with it?”

    Those memories of who you were still exist inside of you. Meaning, so does that vivacious, gorgeous, brilliant dame with everything going for her. Even though it sure as shit doesn’t feel like you’ll ever find her again, you will.

    The most difficult part in all of this, I think, and I could be wrong, is how we reinvent ourselves. I don’t have any answers. I do know this: The new you already has the essence of you. In time, as you keep fighting your way back to yourself, you will begin to feel like the girl replete with hope and a wonderful life ahead of her. maybe not today or tomorrow, or a week from now. One day.

    We are here to catch you now. We’ll be here to celebrate you when you get there.

    Keep writing, baby.

    xo
    K

  11. Melissa Travis says:

    This is a beautiful and painful letter.

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us. Your letter has brought me to tears. It is hard indeed to take cyborg doses of meds and feel like nothing will ever change.

    I want to join all of DT in thanking you and telling you how much we all support you. I support you in finding your self and your path. I am here to hear your story – watch you – listen to you- be here as you find more healing in your stories and words.

    I want to tell you that I too lost a husband to illness (including thyca and hashimotos) and I too have been in the loony bin for a quick stint when all else failed. What a trip that was. Thank you for writing the letter I have been YET UNABLE TO WRITE. You are braver than me.

    Many hugs. And many thanks.
    xx
    Melissa

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