I found out I have Thyroid Cancer. The doctor used another word too, when telling me my diagnosis, but I was still concentrating on the word cancer.
Cancer is a terrifying word.
This cancer, living in my throat, is a rather gentle cancer. It has a very high survival rate – nearly 100 percent. It’s treatment regimen includes surgery and a radioactive iodine pill a month or so after the surgery, and then follow up screenings to make sure everything’s balanced. There aren’t bracelets, walk-a-thons, tee-shirts, etc., because of how often people survive this cancer.
So, for right now, I’m in the letting people know stage.
Telling your parents that you have cancer is an interesting conversation. Telling your husband you have cancer is a completely different conversation. And, since you are the one who was with the doctor, your job is to comfort and console the people you just scared out of their minds.
Sometimes the words feel very repetitious.
“I’ll be okay. This is an easy cancer to beat.”
“No, there’s nothing to do right now. The surgery is scheduled.”
“My husband’s been able to get the week off of work. We’ll see if we need help after that.”
It’s kind of a weird place to be… trying to organize life, care for little ones, care for self, and previous obligations… all while not really knowing what will happen next.
I remember one of my church leaders talking about faith. He explained that faith is walking to the edge of the darkness and then walking a step into the darkness. I have faith that this is all going to work out. I also don’t have much I can really do to fix this problem either. All I can do right now is take care of my family, and obligations, and be positive.
There’s so much more to life than my diagnosis.
I can’t spend all day thinking about this organ in my throat, or the cancer that’s living on it. I have to walk forward, take care of my family, and myself, and trust that God has a plan for me.
I’m sure as the date of my surgery approaches, I’ll have more thoughts. But for now, I just need to think about tomorrow and what needs to get done for tomorrow. I need to be part of each moment, and present in my family’s experiences.
So, my thought for tonight is simple. It comes from the New Testament. Christ was teaching his newly called Apostles about how God would take care of them in their ministries. He finishes with this admonition: “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:34).
As a brief post script, my apologies to everyone finding out about my diagnosis this way, specifically friends and neighbors. Sometimes it’s easier just to tell everyone all at once, rather than everyone one at a time.