Saturday, July 7, 2012

1 Year Later

I know there have been a lot of mushy posts lately.  But I am not really going to apologize.  It has been a challenging year and after hearing you have cancer (even if it is just thyroid cancer), things just aren't the same.  And that's partially because my hormones are now toyed with every three months and partially because cancer just changes things.

I rarely post on Saturday (mostly because not many people read my blog on the weekends).  But today is different.

Today marks the 1 year anniversary of when my nodules (Ned and Noami) were discovered.

I'm not sure I will ever forget exactly when the nurse felt them and the fear and anxiety that rushed through my body.  She told me that most likely they would be benign, but we needed to get them checked out.  And she's right... about 95% of all thyroid nodules are benign.  And I didn't even have the most common kind of thyroid cancer.  I'm just lucky I guess.  :)

Every step of that process was scary.  And it didn't help that there were days between appointments and very little answers for months.  Heck, it took from the beginning of July to the end of November to even find out it was cancer, something I am not pleased about in the least.

If you had asked me a year ago what I thought my life would be like in a year, I would have said I would be pregnant or have a baby.  I would have guessed that my husband and I would have navigated our way through infertility and stressfully made it through.  And that's what I hoped.  But that's not how things turned out at all. 

I have a baby now, but he is hairy and bites a lot.



And my husband and I are so much closer and it was stressful at times, but it isn't because of infertility.  Having him by my side as I cried anxiously before surgery, trying to make me laugh through the times and the fear.  Telling me everything would be alright even though he told me later he was very scared.  Having him wake up every 4 hours while sleeping next on the couch to make sure I ate and got my pain meds after both of my surgeries.  And watching as he made me meal after meal of low-iodine food.  We are so much closer now and I love him so much more than I did before.  He's the kind of man I want my future son(s) to be and my future daughter(s) to marry.  I got me a winner.

While I really wish I hadn't had to go through the last year and have cancer, I think it has changed me for the better.  And I am starting to see the blessings from things that used to seem like burdens I had to bear:

-  Along with a goiter and thyroid cancer, I was found to have Hashimoto's Disease.  It is an auto-immune disease that causes the body to attack the thyroid.  It causes swings in thyroid hormones which can make managing it difficult.  And auto-immune diseases run in my dad's side of the family.  Premature greying of the hair, pernicious anemia, rhumatoid arthritis, vitiligo... several of my family members are afflicted with these conditions.  In my case, my Hashimoto's could help keep my thyroid cancer from coming back since my body will attack any thyroid cells that could possibly show up in my body.  Sucks for my relatives... Awesome for me.

-  If it hadn't been for the infertility, I don't know if my thyroid nodules would have been found.  I had had an enlarged thyroid for over 10 years and it wasn't until I mentioned the fertility issues that someone carefully examined it.  If the fertility issues weren't there, my tumor could have grown, broke out of the capsule and spread to my other organs.  In an ironic twist of fate, infertility may have saved my life.  It's just one example of our alike Guiliana Rancic and I are.

-  I am very afriad that my cancer will come back or I will get another type of cancer.  But since I have already had cancer, I will be getting regular check-ups to make sure everything is ok.  In a lot of ways, I am better off than most people.

There are so many more, but this is getting a little long.

Thinking back, I get a little emotional.  I'm pretty sure I will burst into tears during my annual exam next week.  But that's ok.  I'm ok being that weirdo.

Phil and I may bust out some sparkling wine tonight to toast the anniversary of finding my nodules.  It was an important day on the road to getting healthy and making sure I get to be with him for many years to come.

3 comments:

  1. I read your blog on Saturday :) or on Sunday..or whenever you post! I am so glad cancer is behind you! Here is to all the good things that will come your way!

    Loves! Rikkie

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  2. So happy you kicked that cancer's ass.

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  3. I just found your blog and this was a tough post to start with. But just happy that you made it through and absolutely admiring you about your honesty. Good luck with your annual exam, I'll be thinking about you!

    And following your blog now too :-)

    love from Belgium,

    Cindy

    ReplyDelete

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