I SUPER Heart You, Thyroid Cancer
You grew the cancer I never knew I always wanted. At least that’s sort of the line I keep telling myself to make it all okay, to mean something. Because it has to mean something. There has to be a “reason,” right?
You’ve taken away a lot, the past few months. My parathyroids, for one. The ability to go for a few hours without having to pop some kind of pill (speaking of which, I forgot to do…). My disease-free oblivion. My comfort in knowing life is totally easy and “normal.” My faith that if you’re a kale crunching, flaxseed grinding, chickpea loving hippie like me, you’re safe from the bad things. The creepy crawlies. The dreaded C word.
But as much as I hate to admit it, you’ve actually given me more than you’ve taken away. You’ve allowed me to be taken care of. To say, “No.” You’ve taught me to SLOW DOWN. CHILL OUT. It’s really not that bad. That really isn’t a priority. You’ve made me understand my job is not my life. As cliche as it sounds, you’ve given me a chance to open up my eyes, my brain, my heart and mind to a hell of a lot more. There’s a lot out there.
You’ve taught me to advocate for myself in such a short time. All those years that I felt crappy and never knew why. No more. I’m the one making the decisions now. Take no bullshit, accept nothing less than satisfaction from EVERYONE. It’s my life and my body.
Most of all, you have showed me how loved I am, regardless of everything else I “think” I need to do or be or have. People hear about you, and they’re scared – but they see me, surviving without you, and they see strength. They know where a thyroid IS now, because I tell them about you. You have allowed me to see my little sister as a caregiver – to change her own view of herself through this thing. You have allowed my dad to hear the word “cancer” and not immediately think to the death of his father and of others. You’ve my mother a chance to stop being a nurse and just be a mom, a chance for her to baby her eldest child again. And you’ve showed me how absolutely right I was in picking my guy, my best friend.
I wouldn’t say I owe you, because I would have preferred that you stay out my business, but I do know you’ve changed my life. And it will be for the better, because I will make it so. You’re the gland I never knew I could feel complete without. I appreciate all that you have brought to me. Just don’t come back again.
Erin is a 27 year-old avocado loving educator. She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in November 2010 and blogs about it (as well as food, family, friends, health and counting down the days until she gets a dog) at Big Girl Feats (http://biggirlfeats.com) and @BigGirlFeats on Twitter.