September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. As an advocate, it is important to me to spread awareness for thyroid disease and cancer in any way that I can, so that people know where to turn for resources. But it’s also valuable to talk about how my cancer diagnosis affected my career—and led me down a whole new career path.
Recently, Swirled, a millennial newsletter and website, featured my story in their series on side hustles and wrote about how my cancer diagnosis turned into a career direction. I was grateful that they shared my story—and I have to say, reading my own words from a fresh perspective moved me. If I’ve ever doubted my accomplishments, this article set me straight. You can read the feature, here.
I am now a five-year cancer survivor. It makes me proud to write those words. I remember when I was a newly diagnosed patient and I was absolutely terrified by my diagnosis. I was paralyzed with fear just by the thought of imagining what my life would be like after my thyroidectomy—let alone think about my career. Even though my diagnosis showed me how strong I am, I have struggled over the years to see my value. Starting this site has helped me find my voice, but trying to explain all of the twists and turns my story has taken, can feel overwhelming (because saying I’m a political science major, turned former higher education professional, turned lifestyle and wellness blogger, turned marketer, turned PR professional, just doesn’t quite roll off the tongue).
When Swirled reached out to me and asked to feature my story, I was ecstatic, but also nervous. What would I say about myself? How would my story resonate with other millennials? While I have accomplished a lot both personally and professionally, seeing it on paper made me realize just how much I’ve taken on—and created.
Starting a blog taught me two things: the hardest part of anything is just getting started and that you should start before you’re ready. I’ve learned a lot of important skills that I’ve been able to utilize in my career, like how to network, what makes a good pitch, and that not everything that comes along will be the right fit. Blogging has also taught me that I should be more outgoing, worry less, live more, and most importantly, not be afraid to fail (trust me, there have been plenty of #bloggerfail moments over the years).
I started this site as a hobby and as a way to find my voice after a difficult time in my life. But what it turned into was so much more than I could have ever imagined. From the community I became a part of on social media to the reader friendships I’ve made along the way, this site has given me a sense of purpose and direction. I’m grateful that I made the decision one Valentine’s Day evening to step way out of my comfort zone, write my first post and put my story out there into the universe. Had I not done that, who knows where I would be today.
Thank you for your continued support over the years, my dear readers. I hope you will head over to Swirled and read my feature!