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Wednesday May 22nd 2019


I Can’t Kick Cancer’s Ass Alone

Post Published: 26 April 2011
Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 4 responses. Leave a comment

I am tired of sitting around working on finding employment since I lost my job, the first “business” day, after my FIRST surgery! Actually, I was determined to go back to work, and I couldn’t wait. But, I had to recover from surgery and get my body to function properly. I did not have a thyroid gland after my FIRST surgery and I found out I had thyroid tissue floating around my thyroid “area” after waiting to have I -131 radioactive iodine treatment. So, some people know what that means. I had to wait for the Doctors to find out why my thyroid levels were not going to the range needed in order to receive the I-131 treatment. I was climbing the walls, not functioning right, felt tired, weak, you name it! I don’t even remember it all. I will wait to tell you HOW I found out I had cancer. I don’t care right now. That was 2 years ago.

I received a voicemail on my phone while recovering at my parents’ house that first “business” day, Monday, stating from my former principal that I was ”not going to have my contract renewed.”

I forgot to tell you, I am a reading specialist. I am a teacher. I have over 10 years experience in education. I enjoy or enjoyed my career. That day was the only day I remember REALLY crying. I was knocked down like a punch to the stomach that doesn’t heal and I was pissed off. I still couldn’t even talk. I was told to “look at my email.” I immediately started fighting back. I was so angry at that principal who was not much older than I, that I had a picture in my mind of cutting the tires of his car during the school day.

Also, I was NOT tenured. I was on year two. I did a good job and did other jobs for the school on top of my job as a Reading Specialist.  I fought back as much as I could while battling cancer. I got the union involved, in a way, but they were not very helpful in letting me even transfer when I was able to return to work. The date to return was not set from the doctors. I eventually went to the union headquarters for the district and it took awhile. I wanted my job. More importantly, I wanted my cancer gone.

After finding out that I had neoplasm of the thyroid bed along my laryngeal nerve, I needed a second surgery at a different hospital to get the cancer out. My thyroid levels were going to be messed up for awhile. Do people really know what that means? You cannot function without your thyroid!  Even with thyroid tissue that is cancerous, floating around somewhere in your neck, I still had things happening to make me not able to function enough to even try to work. My SECOND surgery was 3 months later. I had to recover from the FIRST surgery and find out what was going on in the meantime while I waited and climbed walls.

Written by: Mich

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4 Responses to “I Can’t Kick Cancer’s Ass Alone”

  1. HDinOregon says:

    Hello Michelene,

    I am sorry to hear that you needed a 2nd operation, and that you, due to your illness no doubt, lost your job. – I get very angry when I hear stories like yours, because I think it stinks that a sophisticated and rich country like the US, cannot bring itself to having some fair laws when it comes to illness. – In some European countries it is forbidden by law to fire someone as long as a qualified doctor certifies that they are unable to perform their job. In your case, the school may not renew your contract while you’re sick, but they would have to pay you through the end of your illness. — Sometimes I think employers in the USA treat an illness as something the employee brought onto themselves. –

    I hope you’ll soon feel better, and soon will find another position that you love (with a more enlightened employer).

    Best of Luck to you,
    HD in Oregon

  2. Melissa Travis says:

    I’ve said time and time again, “We’re all in this together.” But when we’re going through illness and unemployment and dark times – it DOES often feel alone. I’m so proud of you for writing and talking about your experiences. Those painful awful times are so big and so horrific. Writing and sharing your story is one step in letting others in and letting us hold you through it.

    Cheering you on!

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