Wednesday, June 11, 2014

my tribute to Esther Grace Earl- the real thyroid cancer hero ( in my opinion)

the movie, " the fault in our stars" is very popular now. the book, by john green, is a wonderful book i have heard. the ending is different than the book( i have also heard that). i debated on if i should read this book and/or see the movie. i am a 4 year thyroid cancer survivor, which those of you who read my blog know, but i am still going back to my endo every six months for re-checks. in other words, this seemed a little bit too close to home for me. esther grace earl's cancer was the same as mine: papillary with follicular variant, which is fairly common i believe. i was stage three; unfortunately for this lovely young woman, hers was stage four and she had metastatic disease- it had gone to her lungs.

after much debate, i decided to read esther's book, "this star won't go out" first. i know it is heart breaking, but it is true. this young woman had more courage than just about anyone i have ever heard of. she was an inspiration to us all, and intentionally or not, she  has gotten the word out  about thyroid cancer. how anyone could say now  that thyroid cancer " is the good cancer" after reading the books or seeing the movie is beyond me. one thing i did hear about the movie is that the character did not mention thyroid cancer directly, nor did she have a scar on her neck. nonetheless, there have been several articles- on facebook and magazines- that focus on the real person behind this movie/book.

esther ended her brave journey with thyroid cancer the same year as  i began mine- in 2010. i can not imagine being a parent and losing a child ( i still think 16 is a child). her parents have bravely continued to honor her memory with a foundation called, like the book, this star won't go out. esther was forthcoming with her disease and challenges with videos on youtube. it seems that her parents continue the practice of openness ,and by doing so, have helped many others.

one thing that i have learned, and continue to learn,is  that no matter how sick you are, there is always someone who has more serious issues to deal with than you do. when my hair was thinning and falling out in clumps, i just had to take a look at the brave, yet bald, women who came in my pharmacy. that put things in perspective for me.

esther might not have thought that she was a hero, but she is to me. and i am certain that she is to many others. she is the face of " thyroid cancer is not the good cancer". she has fought the good fight with grace, bravery and a sense of humor. having traveled down the thyroid  cancer road, i have learned to be thankful for every good that comes my way  on this journey. i am thankful for esther.