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Butterfly Paragraph Submission, By Dorienne Plait

Post Published: 27 July 2010
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Category: Butterfly Paragraph Contest Submissions, dear thyroid contests
This post currently has 20 responses. Leave a comment

I was 17. I never took pleasure out of the simple things in life. I was too busy thinking about whether or not I should wear heels to graduation in case the ground decided to use its gravitational pull to humiliate me. As a result of my deliberate blindness, butterflies never grasped my attention. Sure, they were always lovely in my mind, but I did not imagine exactly how connected I would feel to them on June 1, 2006.

When I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer, my mind was just as hazy as my eyesight. Tears blinded me from seeing the doctor telling my family how “lucky” I was, my mind’s blankness numbing me from feeling my sister’s warm, comforting hand on my shoulder. I knew nothing about cancer, except the fact that it was the deadly disease that took my grandfather away from me just 9 months before my diagnosis. I really did not have any other connection to cancer before Opa’s death. I certainly was not enamoured by the fact that I had yet another connection, and this time, it was a direct one.

One night I was researching with my best buddy, Google, and I came across an organization called, “Thykidz, Inc.” I looked through their website, and found kids like me if not younger with thyroid cancer. It was amazing to read their stories, but what really caught my attention was that their logo contained a butterfly. Intrigued, I did further research on why the butterfly was connected to thyroid disease/cancer. I came to find out that the thyroid is in the shape of a butterfly, and I was even more astounded. The butterfly is so lovely, so gentle and harmless. The thyroid — my thyroid, in particular — had done a lot of harm and was not exactly lovely in my eyes.  I was very angry and overwhelmed at the time.

The butterfly then became my mascot. I used it on everything; my notebooks for college, my t-shirts for Relay for Life, and even my AOL Instant Messenger icons had butterflies! I was — and still am — a butterfly maniac.

When one sees a butterfly, one cannot help but feel calm and serene. The soft, soundless flutter of its wings and the way its colors blend and clash with its surroundings render its audience speechless. Sure, the butterfly clashes with the idea of thyroid disease; just putting the word “disease” in the same sentence as “butterfly” causes confusion and curiosity.

It is my personal belief, however, that the butterfly brings balance to the negativity of thyroid disease. There is nothing pleasant about thyroid cancer. This is a fact that I have regretfully confirmed in my everyday life. However, when I see my beautifully-preserved blue butterfly sitting on my desk, I cannot help but feel a wave of peace wash over me. I smile, because I know that I am slowly making peace with my disease. While it may take me a long time to finally look back on my final teenage years and the beginning of my young adulthood without shedding a tear, I do know that peace will come. All I need to do is let my mind take flight like the butterfly…

Dorienne Plait

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20 Responses to “Butterfly Paragraph Submission, By Dorienne Plait”

  1. Linny says:

    I like your story and it caused me to wonder if more understanding of thyroid function could be addressed by letting the
    butterfly attract the attention we need!!!
    Could this become our FLAG? I mean
    “we” who suffer know the connection, but make the butterfly have the rest of the people aware of the needs of this illness and cure and comfort and understanding.
    The “beauty” of the butterfly instead of that awful picture Dr’s have on there des, have you seen it”? The drawing of a woman, it’s horrible we need a new poster child, the butterfly of course!@!!! Thank you, Linny

  2. anthony james says:

    I found this very heart touching and even though i am not a cancer survivor i must say it was a life changing story…I no longer take my life for granted. Well written and very informational.I started to tear up while reading this. It is very inspirational.

    Thank you,

    Anthony james

  3. Anna Marie Smith says:

    You are our “butterfly angel”. Very well written and heartfelt. You openness and honesty is what gives others comfort and hope. Such a “priceless” gift. Love you sweetheart.

    Aunt Rea

  4. Donna says:

    Love every word Dorienne, very heartfelt. Good luck!

  5. Adelina says:

    Your words always bring tears to my eyes, a smile to my lips, and warmth to my heart. I love you, my courageous and beautiful daughter.

  6. Mike Ciance says:

    Dori, I’ve always admired your bravery and determination. This is a truly inspiring story, written with your own personality and charm. You’ve been an inspiration to me since even before you got cancer, and I think you know that. I saw my grandmother get sick from cancer when I was young, and although she got better, I had always feared getting cancer myself. After seeing your struggle with it, and your resilient spirit, I don’t fear it so much anymore. You’ve given me the confidence that, if I ever had this struggle, I could tackle it with a positive and courageous attitude like you have.

  7. Anne says:

    Dori,

    No matter how many times I hear your story and see your beautifully written words, it seizes to amaze me. Although I was not there with you at the very beginning of your journey with thyroid cancer, I could sense what you and your family must have felt, when receiving such news. We have been close friends throughout most of your on-going journey…I have seen you grow, inspire, motivate, and love others. Most importantly, I have you grow stronger. You grow stronger each and every day. You learn more about who you are, and you do not let something like thyroid cancer get in the way of living your life! This is what is truly inspiring. You are well underway to taking flight like a beautiful butterfly, my friend. Love You!

  8. Anne Lee says:

    Dori,

    No matter how many times I hear your story and see your beautifully written words, it seizes to amaze me. Although I was not there with you at the very beginning of your journey with thyroid cancer, I could sense what you and your family must have felt, when receiving such news. We have been close friends throughout most of your on-going journey…I have seen you grow, inspire, motivate, and love others. Most importantly, I have seen you grow stronger. You grow stronger each and every day. You learn more about who you are, and you do not let something like thyroid cancer get in the way of living your life! This is what is truly inspiring. You are well underway to taking flight like a beautiful butterfly, my friend. Love You!

  9. Aaron says:

    That’s an amazingly well written story, and it gave me a lot to think about. Well done.

  10. Julya Kachay says:

    This story touched me in so many ways. You are incredibly strong and I admire everything about you. I am so lucky to have you as one of my closest friends. I love you girl!

  11. Melissa says:

    Beautifully written by a beautiful person!

    Love you!

  12. Carley Q says:

    This is beautifully written Dori,It’s inspirational and insightful.I’m so glad that you have something that gives you hope and some peace. This shows your amazing strength that has always made me so proud to have you as a friend.

  13. Ally says:

    Dori, you amaze me! I hope you win whatever the prize is, lol. Im sooo beyond proud of you & admire how much of a strong, indepedent role model & woman you are! Go Dori! PS- Did you see Anthonys comment… how cute! 😛

  14. Chrissy says:

    Dori,

    Your amazing story of faith, hope, patience and courage to embark on such a fierce journey has deeply touched me and it has definitely helped me reflect back on pivotal moments in my personal life, whose purpose was to strengthen me NOT break me down. Thank you for sharing! I hope you win!!!

  15. Evelyn Plait says:

    My darling, Dorienne,
    As I have told you so many times, I admire your ability to put pen to paper. You express yourself beautifully. There is so much of you ,your personality, your strong emotions, your inner strengths, in whatever you write. You give so much of yourself to your readers.
    You are an amazing young woman. No longer that adorable toddler with curly black hair who danced across the stage at Opa’s retirement party.
    I love you very much.

    Cookie

  16. Judy Vandy says:

    Eloquent!

  17. Angela says:

    So strong, such a fighter and such an inspiration!!

  18. Laura says:

    Dori-
    Your story is very moving; it reminds me of my own struggle that I continue to have with my Diabetes. I know that a lot of times diabetes and hypothyroidism go hand in hand- luckily I have not had any permanent troubles myself. It is fantastic that you have been able to take the butterfly as a symbol for yourself. Maybe I need to find one for myself as well. Hang in there!

  19. Lisa says:

    Dori,

    This is beautiful!!
    Good luck; I hope you win this contest!

    With love from your cousin,
    Lisa

  20. Zoe Maclean says:

    Dori

    I have not known you for very long but in your own way you have helped and inspired me and I am very thankful for that. Thank you for sharing your story with me and so many other people. I can only begin to imagine the way in which this story and journey has changed your life. With your positive energy and desire to LIVE YOUR OWN LIFE,:) you have and always will help to change the lives of others for the better! 🙂 Don’t live with regrets those are things we cannot change – just be your fantastic self and you can change the world! 🙂 You have taught me a lot – thank you. You will always be one of my truest and most genuine friends and that means so so much to me and always will. You are an inspiration to me and so many others I LOVE you my friend always Zoe xxxxx

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