So I’ve got Thyroid Cancer. More specifically, I have multi-follicular papillary carcinoma. You too?! CONGRATS! You’ve got the “BEST CANCER”! If by some miracle I am the first person to tell you this, don’t worry; you’ll hear it about 1,000 more times over the next few months.
Why? Because thyroid cancer has an excellent survival rate (I’ve heard numbers from 90-95%), the most common surgery has a 1-3 week recovery time, and the continued treatment is relatively short. There is also a pretty small chance of reoccurrence if it’s treated properly.
So…are you jumping for joy yet? Of course not! It’s still Cancer and it STILL SUCKS!!! But everyone can’t stop telling you how lucky you are to have it!
“If you have to have Cancer, this is the one to have,” they say smiling and cheerful.
I actually had a doctor tell me “If I had to pass out Cancer to my family for Christmas, this is the one I’d give them.” How F-ed up is that?! I immediately imagined the next year going something like this –
A: “Hey is Tom coming for Christmas this year?”
B: “God, I hope not! You remember what he gave us all for Christmas last year?… CANCER! Yeah, the nerve of that guy. Friggin’ Cancer!”
A: “Oh yeah, he tried to play it off, all like, ‘This is the BEST Cancer, you guys! You’ll love it. Only the BEST for my family.'”
Don’t get me wrong. I’m grateful to hear that this probably won’t kill me. I’m thrilled that I won’t have to suffer the long, devastating chemotherapies I’ve witnessed friends and family endure. But it still STINKS of SHIT!
As person after person reminded me how “lucky” I was to “only” have Thyroid Cancer, it started to get tougher to share my thoughts and feelings during the tough times.
I was scared to go under the knife for surgery = “Oh, It’s like the easiest surgery, with the least risks.” Oh, good. I’ll just shut my mouth now then (rolling my eyes in my mind but not on my face).
Feeling anxiety about the Radioactive Iodine Treatments = “At least you don’t have to do months and months of Chemo.” You’re right. I’ll just keep these feelings all to myself as I put a dangerous amount of radiation into my body on purpose.
I don’t encourage anyone to ride a downward spiral into the world of constant negativity. On the contrary, I generally opt for sarcasm, laughter and inappropriate humor. Through all of this I have been upbeat – smiling, laughing, and teasing with my docs and medical staff 90% of the time. But when that 10% comes around that I’m feeling down, scared, sad or upset..I JUST WANT TO FEEL THOSE THINGS WITHOUT JUDGEMENT. I just want to be heard. I don’t want to be “talked out of” being scared or sad. Just give me a few minutes to complain or cry or bitch, then I’ll be done. During those times please, please, please don’t tell me how LUCKY I am to have cancer. Because it still sucks for me. And that’s OK.
Sidebar: I do like to imagine going to a Cancer support group and being lumped in with the COOL Cancer chicks (Mean Girls style) for having the BEST Cancer. Maybe I’d even be voted Cancer Queen. One can dream!
Thanks for reading my first ever blog post!
- How Nachos Helped Me Find My Thyroid Nodule
- Tests Leading to my Diagnosis – Ultrasound & Fine Needle Aspiration
- Getting the call that I got the Big C
- My Surgery – Why 12 People got to see my Cooter
- My Hospital Stay & the Active Shooter – A True Story
- The RAI Prep Diet – DIE with a T
- and much more!!!