I never imagined I would have to watch from the sidelines. It's hard to imagine that my mother would have to fight cancer after me, let alone the same exact type. On December 11, 2009, my mother was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer. In 9 days, she will have her thyroid removed and probably several lymph nodes as well. I still can hardly fathom this whole ordeal.
Mom told me over the phone when she found out. I was at my school decorating for a charity ball when I received the call. She sounded so relieved, so...normal. I was amazed and nauseated at the same time. Right away, I started sobbing. I could hardly believe my ears. It felt like a dream. My friends gathered around me and placed their hands on my shoulders, arms, back. Their touch was the only thing reminding me of the reality I was facing.
Earlier tonight I was reading a chapter from Kairol Rosenthal's book, Everything Changes: The Insider's Guide to Cancer in Your 20s and 30s, when I stumbled across a passage from one of her interviews. The girl said, "Who suffers more, the people with cancer or the people around them watching them go through it and they can't do anything?"
To be completely honest, I hardly know the answer to that question now. It is one thing to say you've been through cancer, but to watch someone else go through the same thing and have absolutely no power is a whole new perspective. To be selfish for one moment, it will be the worst thing I will have to do. I can't sugarcoat it. I can only tell her the honest truth. I can tell her she will be fine, which she will. She will get through this. It will take a lot of strength on her part and my family's part, but she will make it. It will not defeat her. We're both part of two very stubborn, strong, and crazy families; there is no way that yet another round of cancer will break us apart.
Like Daughter, Like Mother: Our Thyroid Cancer Journey
Behind the Blog
Adelina is a full-time wife, mother, practice manager, and medical transcriptionist. After receiving an ultrasound and countless biopsies, she was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer on December 11, 2009. She successfully underwent surgery on December 29, 2009, and had her first radioactive iodine treatment in February 2010. Following treatment, Adelina now sees her doctor once a year for follow-up. She has been doing well, and refuses to let cancer slow her down.
Dori is 26 years old. She was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer at the age of 17 on June 1, 2006, just three days prior to her high school graduation. Dori endured two radioactive iodine treatments and two surgeries to remove her complete thyroid and 39 total lymph nodes from her neck. She is now under close watch by her doctors, and only time will tell if the cancer stays at bay.