Lights, Tunnel, Action
In all honesty, I’d never heard of you or knew what you were capable of until I was 19. I’d twisted my neck one day, and my neck became swollen. The doctor checked my neck over, called in another doctor to check my neck over, and left it at that. This was when I was 15.
Four years later, my neck was still swollen and it seemed like it was getting bigger?? My mother suggested I go back to the doctors, as it may have something to do with my Thyroid (my what?). This was suggested because she said my Granddad had had problems with you in the past.
So I did… To hear, ”Oh your files say that you were supposed to be put in for a thyroid scan three times”, and this is where my concerns and numerous Google searches of you started.
First, came the ultrasound, and then came the blood tests. Then came the surgeon telling me that I needed half of you out of my neck, along with that lump or you’d just keep growing and I’d be back to him in years to come.
The plan, of course, was to have just half of you out, which he said meant I wouldn’t have to be on any medication until they would eventually have to take the other half of you out. This could be years.
So, a few months later, my little, nervous yet brave self went to hospital to have this operation. I was looking forward to a few weeks off work, recovering. Making plans because I thought two weeks would be too long and I’d be fine in one.
Getting prepared for surgery, wearing those horrible long socks, the nurse walked me to the room where I’d have ‘half’ of you taken out. I laid on the bed waiting for my first ever Anesthetic. Then I was out of it. I woke up hours later feeling terrible. The memory I seem to never forget was waking up with one of those oxygen masks over my face. I’d never even broken a bone before; you only ever see people wearing them in movies. I must say, it freaked me out!
After a while of waking up and falling back to sleep and complete confusion of where I was, I seemed to wake up a lot more. I was back in the room I’d started at. I was being fed pain killers constantly, pill and liquid form. I was given an anti sickness fluid into my drip and I was being checked on over and over again.
The surgeon then came over to my bed to talk to me, explained my surgery and how it went. Explained that they had to take all of you out of my neck because they’d found another lump on you and that I would, in fact have to be on medication for the rest of my life. At the time it was scary to hear that. But then you think about the people who have to go through a lot worse in their life, this was nothing really. Even the woman opposite me in the room, who had the same procedure was having it worse, the poor woman was throwing her guts up.
Then I left you and that hospital behind, the little lumps on you were going off to be tested and I had to go home to rest and eat mashed potatoes and spaghetti and a not so nice strawberry ice cream because my throat was so sore.
In those two weeks I got my stitches out and was left with a very red, small but noticeable scar on my neck. I got called back to the hospital to have my blood test, which is what I thought I’d just be getting on my visit there… My boyfriend and his friend took me to the hospital. I was called into a room with this doctor who had been present when I had my operation, she asked me if I wanted my friends to come in the room with me.. I, feeling confident said no. She told me my ‘lumps’ went to get tested and one had come back cancerous… It didn’t sink in… At all. I don’t think it even has now, really, that I have had cancer in my body and it’s been a year and three months since my operation. She told me that my medication would need to be a higher dosage then they had anticipated and that I would need checkups every six months and then annually for the next ten years.
Since then, only a handful of people know that I have had my cancerous lump and I have even had the hurtful comment from a ‘friend’ of ”well you didn’t have REAL cancer”, which to an extent was true, I am a very lucky person. I do not have to go through chemotherapy or radiation, as my cancer was removed during surgery. I do not have to have the massive worry of my cancer spreading or coming back as I was told it was unlikely it would have spread.
The ”REAL cancer” comment hurt, admittedly, but the thing that shocked me the most… was going to my local doctors because they want to do checkups, too, and have a young doctor who I’d never seen before look at me and say, ‘ You’ve had Thyroid Cancer.. But you’re so young”… it confused me. My friend thinks I haven’t had real cancer and my files state I’ve had Thyroid Cancer, but nevertheless I have nothing to prove. All I said to the doctor was, ”yes”.
I’ve read online how you’ve destroyed peoples life’s, they really hate you. – You’ve made mine better!
I now take two little tablets every morning, I’ve become confident, outrageous and most of the time happy. I’m motivated; I turned down a promotion because I no longer want to be work dedicated. I want to save up the money and travel! I’ve skydived for charity! I helped raise money for Cancer charities. I treat people with the respect they deserve and I’ve made time for my real friends. I get down every now and then. I’m human after all, but I think about the poor people who’ve had their life taken and ruined and how brave they seem. I have no reason to not be happy 24/7. I’m lucky and young.
Written by, “D”
(Bio) I am a 21 year old female. Living with whatever life throws at me.
Tags: 21-years-old with cancer since 19, cancer in young adults, Dear Thyroid Cancer patient letters, thyroid cancer, thyroid cancer blog, thyroid cancer forum, thyroid cancer literary support, thyroid cancer support, young adults with cancer, Young Adults with Thyroid Cancer