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Monday July 15th 2019


Dear Thyroid, Thanks For Nothing, You Jerk

Post Published: 18 May 2011
Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 10 responses. Leave a comment

Dear Thyroid:

We need to talk.

This week, while perusing yet another women’s magazine full of ads about breast cancer benefits, while sifting through yet another e-mail from a friend who’s raising funds for that cause, I came to the realization that you’ve made my life difficult in ways I never imagined possible.

Yet, for the majority of a decade, as you silently plagued me with undetectable symptoms of hypothyroidism, all the way up until we knew that my “goiter” was actually a cancerous tumor that had taken over most of my neck and some of my lymph nodes, I commended you.

I commended you for showing me how much ass I can kick (as I trained my way through treatment to my 3rd marathon and several triathlons, while working multiple jobs). I commended you for familiarizing me with bizarre side effects, bloodwork, treatments, doctor visits and accusations about mood swings  (because, by the time we knew you were cancerous, I’d already accepted the life that most thyca newbies will take years, if not decades, to accept).  I commended you for finally allowing your cancerous condition to be discovered (so that the years of medicine and illness and testing I endured could finally end).

One would think, after receiving my gifts for years, despite all the undesired responsibilities with which you’ve saddled me, that you would show me a little freaking gratitude.

Instead, you showed back up in my one-year ultrasound as a mass of suspicious tissue.

I’m not mad about needing more radioactive iodine if you are, indeed, planning a guest appearance (although that would suck up all of my time off right now, and I haven’t had a real vacation in over five years). No, I’m mad that even in your virtual nonexistence, you continue to make me and my life a giant freakshow.

And let’s be real: I don’t need your help being the odd woman out.  I’ve always been quirky.   From the most basic differences (I don’t like roses, or chocolate and peanut butter together) to the most dramatic (I’m one of the few “round” multiple marathoners I know, and one of the very few happily childless women), I have always managed to think and act outside the box.

I couldn’t even get the cancer other women get.  No, my disease doesn’t come in pink, isn’t globally recognizable and supported, doesn’t have multiple multi-million-dollar fundraising organizations attached to it – even the treatments are different.  Every time someone learns I have cancer, I have to explain how I didn’t have chemo, how my hair didn’t fall out, and how I even GAINED weight.  No one understands why, now that it’s “gone,” I still can’t stay up late or get fewer than 8-9 hours of sleep without feeling ill.

I didn’t think it was even possible, but at a time when I most need that connection, you have made it even MORE difficult for other women to relate to me.

So today, Dear Thyroid, I am not singing your praises.  In fact, I’d say it’s a good thing you’re already dead.

Meggan Ann Johnson
Diagnosis 1/15/10
TT March 2010
RAI April 2010

Feisty cancer survivor, amateur triathlete/marathoner, adventurous life-lover, all-around good time.  I just trained for my 4th marathon for the benefit of The American Cancer Society and am currently aiming for my second Half Ironman triathlon (if my whole body scan and/or more radioactive iodine doesn’t stop me).  Thyroid cancer and thyroid disease continue to change my life . . .  surprisingly, for the better.  However, there are still days when I want to yank out my hair.

To Support Me and the American Cancer Society, Please Visit My ACS Webpage: http://main.acsevents.org/goto/megganann

For More Information on Cancer Research and Prevention: http://www.cancer.org

For More Information on Mary Kay visit http://www.marykay.com/megganann

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10 Responses to “Dear Thyroid, Thanks For Nothing, You Jerk”

  1. Jean Gilcher says:

    Love this one & I double that – Dear Thyroid – Thanks for nothing you JERK……..you’re trying to ruin my life – but I am going to WIN !!! GREAT post Meggan – you keep kickin’ ass :)))

  2. Lolly says:

    Great letter hope you kick ass too and I admire you having all that strength and determination to do marathones and triathalons… My biggest marathon is getting my levels in a stable place and keeping them there so I can go kick butt but for now the highest I can raise my leg is to walk one step infront the the other with joint pains..

    Healing vibes coming your way keep up the good work keep on fighting the fight.


  3. RiaTheDeer says:

    Really enjoyed this! Kick butt all across the country! Positive vibes heading your way from me, so you can do that Ironman thingy!

  4. Karen says:

    So enjoyed this post. A BIG relief to know other people have same thoughts, which you can’t always speak out because, as Meggan says, ‘my disease doesn’t come in pink, isn’t globally recognizable and supported’. Early 2011 thyca diagnosis & whole shebang since, Felt quite lonely till I found some of these sites…

  5. Meggan Ann says:

    Thanks Jean, Ria, Karen . . .

    Lolly, all we can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep it up, you will get ahead sooner than you know. I’m sending you blessings . . .

  6. Wow, Meggan – you are freaking awesome! I love this letter and as a future aspiring marathoner, you give me hope!

  7. Kevin says:

    Congrats on fighting the good fight! I’ve been dealing with this beast for 2 years now as well. Between the weight gain, the tired spells that come odd hours it has been an adventure I would have loved to have missed. Keep on keepin on Meggan and good luck in training for the thons!

  8. Anne Crawford says:

    Loved this post!! Coming up on my year anniversary for TT. About to have the 1 year scan/RAI. I’m a 53 yo female runner (half marathons) who now has to fight the 10-15 extra pounds, the brain fog and the awful tired spells. I did just complete a half last month–awful time–but I DID IT!! So, Meggan–you GO, Girl!!

    Love that I have found this site….just found it yesterday , by accident (but a happy accident!!)


  9. ksuter20 says:

    You pretty much summed up many of my own feelings and experiences in dealing with this invisible jerk. I too went to great lengths to be athletic as my body worked against me slowly chipping away at any success, especially if I started to either get too good at something or achieve any satisfaction from the activity. One by one my body would develop a new problem to cause me to back away from the activity and find a new one. My ever draining energy has been the biggest problem in these last few years till I had to stop all strenuous exercise due to my now fatigued adrenals. Thanks Thyroid for doing such a great job in sabotaging my life for more than 30 years.

  10. Ceezed says:

    Thanks for this. As a fellow multi-marathoner and currently recovering from a hemi-thyroidectomy, you give me hope that I may run at this level again. Wasnt sure how I would feel or if it was even advisable to do the strenuous kind of exercise our training requires. There just doesnt seem to be much info out there.
    Thanks, keep running… and fighting!

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