Just A Tiny Bit Of Cancer

Overview of the thyroid system (See Wikipedia:...

Overview of the thyroid system (See Wikipedia:Thyroid). To discuss image, please see Talk:Human body diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Demi, one of my oldest best friends has just been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. “The good kind of cancer” as she was told. “If you are going to get cancer, have thyroid because it is contained.” It’s not like breast cancer or bone cancer or ovarian cancer and it’s not pancreatic so be thankful for what you have. But, it’s one weird way of thinking even though I guess I can understand it. From what these doctors have said she has the “good” kind of cancer but she’s not feeling so happy.

She had waited a good two and a half weeks for the results from her thyroid biopsies. They weren’t unclear, they were short-staffed and it was around Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Try not to be sick around the Holidays, please.  I did research for her especially from my neighbor across the street, who had gone through the same, exact process six years ago.  She said and I quote:”If I can give any advice, I would tell her not to take the chance that I did and only have half the thyroid removed. If there is suspicion of cancer, let them take the whole thing out. You don’t really need your thyroid anyway.” I totally agreed, because if it was cancerous, why have two separate surgeries?

Coming from my family where three out of three of us are on Synthroid (brand name only which is like a Bible to us) I talked to my friend daily. She had slide after slide of her thyroid tested without surgery, all results came back “inconclusive.” What the hell is “inconclusive” anyway? Who likes “inconclusive?” You sure can’t celebrate but there’s no reason for weeping. Inconclusive is just that, to me, basically a shrug of the shoulders signifying “we have no idea,  could go either way “60 percent chance there is no cancer, 40 percent chance there is” quoted top specialists at both Memorial Sloan Kettering and St. Francis Hospital in New York according to my friend.

Finally, on New Year’s Eve she gets the call from her surgeon and it IS cancer. I stop breathing, I am in shock and so is she. I remember saying to her “Wait, what?” She tells me again. We are both in shock. So now she waits, until the puffiness around her scar from her first surgery goes down before she goes in again for the rest of her thyroid to be removed and a nodule to be removed as well. More surgery, more anesthesia, more pain. It was the first time that she and I, usually pessimistic, chose to be positive and optimistic and spiritual. The one time. As soon as I heard the news, I looked at my husband and said “see what happens when I am optimistic?” He replied dryly: “I was waiting for that….”

I knew my best friend, stubborn, beyond stubborn,would not heed my neighbor’s advice or mine. If it didn’t NEED to come out it was staying inside her body. I can understand that (well, I cannot) but I knew she felt this way. This dear woman will not even take an aspirin or any type of medicine unless she absolutely is forced too. Compared to her I am a junkie waiting for Methadone. Having Fibromyalgia I know pain, all too well and even with prescribed medicine it does nothing for the pain.

When she told me that she did, indeed, take the pain medicine in the hospital and stayed overnight I was in surprised but happy she was open-minded. Now, post surgery, her surgeon is getting annoyed at her repetitive questioning. You know that tone: “AS I SAID BEFORE…” not good. But, good for my friend that she keeps asking until she gets her answers. Way to go, girlfriend.

She has another three weeks to go until the next thyroid surgery. This time, I’m wearing black, I’m feeling negative, doomed and totally pessimistic. Bad news all around. We both are. We deserve it. That’s what best friends are for.

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Plinky Prompt: When was the last time you felt truly lonely?

  • Storm Sandy
  • Uprooted tree from Storm Sandy

    Uprooted tree from Storm Sandy (Photo credit: Arlington County)

    Day 1 NaBloPoMo

    Full rain storm

    The lights went out, there was no electricity, there was only a deep chill in the air that piles of blankets couldn’t help. Storm Sandy was visiting New York and I felt lonely and confused and in shock at what was happening. How could this happen here? I felt disappointed in a way that New York could let me down like this, I felt cheated. I couldn’t call anyone or take a walk, I looked out the window clutching my flashlight and there was nothing to see. Just darkness, lonely, cold darkness everywhere I could see. I thought I heard mumbling outside but I was too frightened to venture out and I wasn’t sure if it was real or my imagination. The wind was howling and reaching for the darkened windows with passion like two young lovers.
    It was right after dinner when the lights went from on to off, no flickering as a warning, and I hate surprises of any kind. So, when I stood with two sharp knives near the dishwasher in the total darkness, I screamed as if I had been stabbed. My husband was also in the kitchen and he too, screamed, startled by the quick switch from light to dark. We were alone, together, in the sudden darkness of our neighborhood that I used to describe as “cozy.” Nothing felt cozy tonight.
    Disbelief described our feelings as well. How could this happen, here? Nothing made sense, we were trying to make sense out of something that seemed impossible until now. Everything I knew before was gone;I felt sorry for the children who, once again, could not Trick or Treat. This was the new normal and it was sad.