Why thyroid cancer gave me a heart of gratitude
This is Kelly's story
Full confession: it feels a little weird saying I’m a cancer survivor. My thyroid cancer story was the least traumatic type a patient could ever hope for. In fact, it didn’t last long - 2 months from the initial biopsy results showing I had papillary thyroid cancer to the final post-op biopsy report showing that the tumor was contained and my partial thyroidectomy was successful in removing all of the cancer. That being said, I still feel compelled to share my story, and here’s why.
While it’s easy to look back at what I went through with a heart full of gratitude and relief, in the heat of the moment - I was utterly and completely petrified (and an emotional wreck). 🤪 The fear that crippled my mental psyche was intense. Despite the prognosis being very good - I still had doubts that perhaps my 1.4 cm nodule had spread and ultrasounds weren’t detecting further cancer growth. And, that’s the thing about most cancer types (even the “good kind of cancer”) - you truly don’t know how bad it is until you’re cut open. So, for the weeks leading up to my PT - I was quite literally on pins and needles.
It’s precisely why my empathy for cancer patients is sky-high these days. My heart breaks for all of them. 💔 Because no matter how big or small the diagnosis is - being told you have cancer sucks. Literally - it sucks the air right out of you. I liken it to a bad dream (the kind you wake up from in a pool of a sweat) - except it’s reality - not a dream.
I also feel compelled to share my story because as good as doctors can be, they do make mistakes and they can miss things. An integrative medicine doctor caught my nodule nearly 5 years ago. But, all endos and other healthcare practitioners I consulted with for years told me not to worry about it because nodules are so common and most are benign. While there is a lot of truth to that, if you still feel like something is off in your body - do something about it. Find a doctor who will listen to you. You are your own best advocate. 🦋
Shoutout to @thycansurvivors for being such a wonderful resource of hope and support for those facing their own thyroid cancer battles. Thank you for all that you do! 💙💕