June 12th marked two years since I had my thyroidectomy and neck dissection to treat thyroid cancer. I was planning to write a special blog post with references and guides for thyroid cancer patients. When I started researching the condition, it was hard to find credible sources and information, and I thought it would be nice to have a source guide with all the valuable links to the information I have found and used over the past two years.
I still plan to write that, but it will have to wait. On June 14th, I received the results from a biopsy. It showed a moderate abnormal growth of cells, which I was told if left untreated, develops into cancer. The condition is rare- my doctor said less than 1% of women ever develop this, and he didn’t even have that much information he could share with me, since his practice rarely has a patient with this. He said they don’t know what causes it, but a weakened immune system is suspected.
It felt like déjà vu, and it was upsetting. There wasn’t a lot of information on the Internet. But what I was able to find, was pretty much the same information my doctor had told me. As I talked to my family and friends, the reality of what I need to do, became clear.
I had a few hours where I realized and accepted, like it or not, my immune system is weakened because of my prior cancer. When I was recovering two years ago, I was really careful with not over doing it, resting, eliminating unnecessary stresses, and not “sweating the small stuff.” I realized I’ve not been doing a great job of that lately. As I discovered, when I don’t do these things, my health suffers.
I decided to ask my doctor if he knew of any other doctors who specialize in this condition, and who were familiar with the more advanced treatment options. He was able to refer me to specialist and I have an appointment with her next week.
After doing more research I believe I will be fine. I think this was caught early enough and it is treatable. I can liken it to when you find a suspicious mole and they tell you it needs to be removed because it could develop into melanoma if it is left untreated.
Receiving news like this again- puts it in perspective. There are very few things in life that are so important, it is worth the stress. At times, the little things seem big. Some of these things I can control, some of them I can’t. It is hard to admit I can’t do it all. But trying to, and neglecting my health, isn’t an option for me anymore.
The past few weeks, I’ve reevaluated ways I can cut down on my stress levels, and started working on building up my immune system. I don’t have the specialist’s diagnosis yet, but I feel like I have already started to fight this with these changes.
I think health conditions can be a manifestation of stress. One of the best books I’ve ever read on this topic is When the Body Says No, by Gabor Mate. When things in your life aren’t working; your body gives you clues. What we chose to do with the clues-what we choose to change, can make all the difference.