As I welcome my second thyroid-versary, which not only happens to be today, but is met with a follow-up appointment to see my surgeon in New York City, I am reminded of how far I’ve come in the last two years. I may have lost my thyroid, been put on Synthroid, and now have the pleasure of adding regular visits to see my endocrinologist into my busy schedule, but I’ve learned some critical life lessons along the way. I hope I can offer other newly diagnosed thyroid patients strength and perhaps wisdom as they embark on this next chapter.
I remember all too well those feelings of confusion, loneliness, and worries after being diagnosed. I wish I could say they passed quickly, but all I can say is that it gets easier. You can read some of my earlier posts here, here, and here about my diagnosis and treatment. There were so many emotions after hearing that I had papillary thyroid carcinoma that I do not know where to begin. Some days all I could do was scour the internet for information, while other days I found it easier to consume myself with plans and pretend everything was fine. Those were the days when denial took over. They had their high’s and low’s as well.
I don’t need to recap the last two years for you because if you’ve been following along you’ve likely seen the updates and milestones. I’ve gained a lot of perspective through this experience and it has changed me as a person. It has led me down a path that has shaped my career in ways I would have never imagined. It made me a more open person who is willing to share my story and step outside my comfort zone. And it has made me a stronger person because I have been left with an invisible illness and I know what it is to not have your health.
Today, as I embark on the anniversary of my second year as a thyroid cancer survivor, I am doing something fun to celebrate…something that I haven’t done since my freshman year of college. I am visiting The Metropolitan Museum of Art before I see my surgeon. If I’ve learned anything from this experience it’s that life is short and you shouldn’t be afraid to try new things or do what makes you happy. I want today to be a celebration of the last two years and I’m looking forward to seeing what the next year brings!