Sunday, October 5, 2014

"we're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of oz. ...if ever there was a wizard of oz, the wizard of oz is one because, because, because,because.... oh, who knows?" sort of from the wizard of oz

well, it is almost that time again! my big six month check up is coming up in a couple of weeks. it can make my stomach hurt just thinking about it. despite the best intentions of my endocrinologist- and i really do appreciate her care and concern- i get very anxious this time of year. ( april being my other high anxiety month). with about a 35% recurrence rate on my cancer, this is pretty significant. to put this in perspective, my chances of having thyroid cancer were  only 5-10% so the doctors said, and look where that got me. at any rate, i want to be mid way on the scale where one extreme is neurotic and the other end is unconcerned. i might just lean a little towards neurotic at times, but i spent five  years listening to my former doctor tell me that i was just stressed out and had nothing to worry about. so i guess it is understandable to worry about that knot here, or lump there, a cough, or back pain ( even when i have been lifting my almost 3 year old grandson) occasionally.

instead of complaining today, i am going to pretend that i am Oprah, and tell you some things" i know for sure " about having had cancer. they are in no particular order, but all are important to me.

1).  in my early blogs, i mentioned " going to see the wizard" a lot, and likened my disease/ treatment to a walk down the yellow brick road- being  in a strange place, and searching for a way back home. well, those days are pretty much over, in that while i am home, i am in a different home. some call this the " new normal". i like to call it an attitude adjustment. i have recognized that i am headed in a new direction, with new rules, but it is not all bad. i have learned that you have to choose happiness, and take charge of your own good health. ( the wizard does not have anything for you in that bag of his- one last reference, sorry :)

2.) stop and take care of yourself. eat good food, rest when you are tired, sleep more, be with the people you love and do the things that you love. ok. that is a lot, but it all falls under the topic of taking good care of yourself. after i got sick, i was amazed at the way i had  pretty much ignored myself. i did not make good food choices, i did not exercise, i did not make time for happiness. i do not think that this was the reason i got sick, but it sure did not help me get well.

3.) realize just what is important to you. be grateful for all the little things that make you happy. receive them with an open and grateful heart. focus on the good around you- this is why i stopped watching television for a while. i just read good books, listened to good music , and enjoyed the company of my family and friends. give negative energy the boot!

4.) embrace your spiritual self. pray, meditate, whatever you want to do, but your spirit needs tender care,too. i think that by nurturing this, we can all experience a little peace.

5.) be your own best  patient advocate. i tell this to my patients a lot- read, educate yourself on your health, and make informed decisions. this is your body, so you need to be the one who flies the plane.

i would like to take a minute to mention a person that i have been following on facebook. i am not going to mention her name, in respect of her privacy, but i call her the " thyroid cancer warrior princess." this person is an amazing young woman who has been dealing with a very difficult case of thyroid cancer, not responsive to the RAI treatment. she has had thyroid cancer for several years and is now undergoing some very difficult treatment. she has a brave heart and a brave spirit, and is an inspiration to everyone dealing with cancer of any kind. she has been a great patient advocate for herself and her treatment- an example for us all. my prayers and good wishes go out to her, and i wish her much success in her treatment.

well, i have learned a lot on my journey so far. i hope that i can stay strong and positive, and that i am able to face whatever might come my way with dignity and grace. oh, and zumba- gotta have my zumba.

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