Thursday, May 19, 2016

Today is my six year "cancerversary" with thyroid cancer........some things i have learned.

i almost forgot what today is. i always worry when my six months checkups for thyroid cancer roll around, but i sometimes forget my "cancerversary". i wish i could say that they have been six good years- but with my one year "cancerversary" from breast cancer coming up in just three days, that  is not exactly true. i still think, as now some others do, that the two cancers are somehow  related. looking back, i guess it was inevitable that i would have breast cancer,too, but i might have done one thing different- stopped my hormone replacement therapy earlier. yes, it made me feel good- it stops the night sweats, makes your skin more elastic, improves mood( my husband liked this one), helps protect you from colon cancer( this one runs in my family), and also is helpful  in preventing osteoporosis. my sister, who has never taken estrogen/progesterone therapy, has osteoporosis. i do not have osteoporosis. in fact, my endocrinologist says that my bone density tests have actually improved some over the past few years. of course, my sister does not have breast cancer, thank goodness. this is a case of weighing the risks versus the benefits of prescription medicine. i always tell my patients that they should always  weigh the benefits versus the risks of any medication. talk to your doctor, weigh your options, but i suppose it comes down to luck in the end.

my husband did not forget what today is! he picked a beautiful bouquet of flowers from our flower garden for me. he planted a lot of what we have growing in our garden  now, six years ago. he wanted to give me a "healing garden" to enjoy while i was recovering from thyroid cancer. little did he know that i would need the beauty and serenity of those flowers last year,too.

i have learned a lot of things over the past six years. i have seen things from the patient's point of view. i am used to being in control at work- i like to jokingly call it "flying the plane". it was not easy for me to understand and accept the fact that i was no longer in control of things. other people were taking care of me, which was sometimes hard to accept. i have said in the past that my daddy raised me to take care of myself and others. while that is true, it is also my personality to feel like i have to be in control of everything. at times, that has gotten me into trouble. i am better about accepting help from others, but far from perfect at doing so. i am a work in progress, as the saying goes.

i have learned to appreciate every day and the beauty in the world around me. my husband and i live out in the country. way, way out in the country! we do have some neighbors, but some of our closest neighbors are deer, bear, and other wildlife. i think that the peace and quiet of this environment has really helped me to begin to recover from my cancers. i have made some major life decisions lately, and am excited to begin the new chapter in my life. one important thing that i have learned is not to take life for granted. make the most of your life, appreciate every good thing, be grateful and actively seek out joy. there you have it- some important things that i have learned.

i would like to thank everyone who has read or hopefully still reads my blog(s). i appreciate your kind comments and your support more than you could know.