Mom is worried about her follow up with her endocrinologist about her scan. I don't blame her. I hated waiting for my own results. I had four nuclear scans in less than a year, and I can tell you right now, I despised the waiting game.
I think that's a lot of what cancer is. Waiting. Waiting for results. Waiting for something bad, or good, to happen. Waiting for a miracle. Waiting for prayers to be answered. That stupid "W" word. We have lives to live, you know.
I remember when my endocrinologist gave me every result from every scan. I remember going to her office and giving me the news. You feel so helpless, like the rest of your life is determined by an inanimate object. You have no idea what to expect, and in no way are you prepared for what will happen. Sure, you try to prepare, but in all honesty, how ready are you for results that could potentially change your life?
I know my cancer wouldn't, and won't, kill me. However, I never thought past a few months in my head. I tried not to plan so far in advance. I still don't, for fear that something could change. It has been almost four years, and I'm still not able to say, "See you in a year, Doc!" No, sirree. Still stuck in the six month mode.
Right now, my life is a whirlwind outside of the cancer world. I am lucky in that aspect; I am still able to live my life. I am about to graduate from college and finally really live.
This was a really tough journey for me. As soon as I graduated from high school, I was not only a cancer fighter, but a freshman in college. I had a whole new road ahead of me to try to walk on. The only things that were stable in my life at the time were my faith (as much as it could have been), family, close friends, and my then-boyfriend.
I remember sitting in that patient room, waiting for him to come in and tell me what my future would hold. I knew that morning something was wrong. I could feel it. Janina knew; I had told her my feelings that day, but she still tried to keep me busy when I was with her at her work. Sudoku was the only thing keeping me sane in that room. It's funny; I had braced myself for the news, but honestly, I still wasn't ready. It's one of those things that you just don't fully prepare for. You just can't. "You have cancer" is not exactly something you're ever ready for.
It amazes me that it took me almost 3 and a half years to finally get over it and grieve. I was always on the go; I never had a real break. I shrug my diagnosis off all the time with people; I never really reveal how hard it has been. I say, "It's whatever," when I really mean, "This has been fucking insane. You have no clue."
I know I didn't go through chemo, lose my hair, get hospitalized for days/weeks on end... But you people need to understand something. On the Stupid Cancer Show, put on by the I'm Too Young For This! Cancer Foundation, something huge was finally brought to light: thyroid cancer is still a complicated cancer. A lot of people shrug it off and say it's the "best cancer to get." Shut up. It's cancer. Plain and simple. I don't shrug off my battle anymore. Hell, people, I'm still fighting it. It's not over for me! Sure, I'm not going to die, but folks, it's still in my body. It. Won't. Leave. Do you know how obnoxious and freaky that is? My cancer is as stubborn as I am! I'd rather it be passive and just...go away.
Don't dumb down any kind of cancer. Cancer = cancer. No matter which way you spin it.
As always, my dears, many blessings of love, happiness, and most important of all -- good health.
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.