It has been just over four years since I received the phone call from the Doctor that I had Papillary Thyroid Cancer.
That also means that I am four years Cancer-Free and I couldn't be more grateful.
Just like you, I have lost a lot of people to cancer. (Not to mention a very special Uncle who died from Papillary Thyroid Cancer.)
The hash tags #FuckCancer and #CancerSucks couldn't be more appropriate. None of it is easy and none of it is fun.
And, just like you, I know cancer Survivors who are true-life badass warriors of the best kind.
Recently, a friend asked me for all of my Blog Posts I wrote during my short stint with cancer so he can share them with a friend. It took me a minute to not only dig them up, but read them as I dug.
(THEY ARE ALL LISTED BELOW.)
I mentioned the word GRATITUDE a ton in the posts. I don't want to mis-represent the gratitude in alluding that I was glad I had cancer. I had gratitude for finding the cancer in it's earlier but still considered Stage 4 phase. I had gratitude for the support. I had gratitude for the wake-up call.
That wake-up call took a couple additional years to finish waking me up. While I was going through the most intense and challenging moments in my life, people showed up I never expected to be there for me. People I had always thought would be there totally bailed. People showed up so they can tell others "I was there for that person during CANCER." And others showed up because we had that beautiful history of friendship and love for many years. And I got so caught up in the gratitude for all the support that I forgot the biggest relationship I had to work on: the relationship with myself.
I kept touching on it during my tumultuous 2013 and follow up of crazy 2014. I kept getting glimpses of that relationship and how I had let the dying weeds in that garden completely overtake the flowers. I retracted into a safe cocoon state, trying to sort out what's what and who's who.
I even gave birth to the light of my life--my sweet Daughter, who was born in 2016!
I can say there are more flowers in my garden, now. Life isn't perfect. It's messy and insane and stressful and so damn amazing and wonderful. It is everything. It is a ride, a journey and we get to enjoy it to the best of our ability. Life is fleeting, days are long, suffering is a true nightmare that feels like a saga and joy is too sweet and short a bliss that takes flight very quickly.
Yet, here we are, in this thing called life, together. What I say to someone at a coffee shop might impact their day and what they say to someone later as a result might impact THEIR day. And so it goes, the cycle of affecting and impacting each other. We wield major power with our thoughts, words and actions towards others and most importantly: To OURSELVES.
All I can promise is that I will continue to try to be better tomorrow than I am today.
If you are dealing with Papillary Thyroid Cancer, (Or any cancer!) feel free to reach out!
I bet if you scroll through your phone, you'll find someone out there who can relate to your journey, someone who makes you laugh and someone who makes you feel like the most special-ist person in the whole wide world.
Find your people and enjoy a smoother ride.
The list of Blog Posts below are in order from beginning to end of my Papillary Thyroid Cancer journey. I hope you find them helpful, feel free to share and share alike.
Much Love to all of You.