What a ride my life has been these past couple of weeks. My hormone levels have been all over the place. One day I'm feeling great and energized, the next I worry I might burst into tears for no reason or struggle to make it out of bed. I was wondering if it was just me, but after connecting with a lot of other thyroid cancer survivors on the thyca survivors' message boards, as well as talking with one of my own patients who has had a total thyroidectomy, I learned that this is what happens. It has to do with the way your body metabolizes your meds, and it seems that everyone I've communicated with has the same problem. The solution is only to make the very best of every moment that we can. As I try to do every day.
Our family was stunned by some shocking news last week. My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. After a year full of bad enough news, you begin to think that nothing else could possibly go wrong. Indeed, this was the very last thing I expected to hear. But cancer doesn't care how old you are, or who you are, or if your family has had more than it's share of devastation for one year.
While it hurts and burns to know that someone I love dearly has to go through what I've experienced, it is also in some way like I've got someone who understands my journey more clearly than any non cancer survivor could. The fear & shock with the initial diagnosis. The feeling of knowledge of a poison living inside your body. The want to get it out, to make it go away. The impression of complete loss of control over your life.
And I know what he'll be feeling as his journey continues. The longing for your pre-cancer life back. The fear at every sniffle or bump...is it cancer? Soon everything will look like poison. Did that toothpaste cause my cancer? My coffee? Lotion? The utter yet indescribable appreciation for every moment spent surrounded by the ones you love, or for life's small but overwhelmingly beautiful moments. Not that people without cancer can't experience those emotions. But cancer gives you a new perspective no matter who you were before.
If you take anything from this post, please let it be to live your life according to your beliefs. Live passionately and with joy. Give yourself the best chance at a full life as you can: eat organic, exercise, and be healthy. And make the choice to truly live.