Yesterday marked six years since I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Now, 32-years-old, I can still remember the call from my endocrinologist’s office requesting that I come in on the afternoon of April 2, 2013. I was supposed to meet a friend for coffee, but, instead, I received a cancer diagnosis at the age of 26.
I didn’t feel at all how I thought I would yesterday. Instead of feeling celebratory, I woke up out of sorts, and spent the rest of the day alternating between fighting back tears and looking for a quiet place to be alone with my thoughts in the office. Internally, I was beyond grateful and elated to know that I survived my cancer diagnosis, but you would have never known it from the emotionless expression on my face.
What seemed to bother me most was feeling like I was sharing this milestone with all new people in my life—and not the ones who were with me when we set off on the initial journey. While some passed away and left my life for good, others had wandered off in different directions, leaving me to continue the trip on my own. It was sad to a degree, but the new people in my life embraced my journey as if it were their own.
By the time the day came to a close, I was in much better spirits. A close friend of mine, who had been with me from the beginning, gifted me a beautiful Willow Tree figure that seeks to heal, comfort, protect, and inspire. It was such a sweet gesture and something that I will treasure forever.
Six years later, I can still remember the day I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. But I am learning to make new memories with each passing year to be grateful for, and strive to inspire other newly diagnosed thyroid cancer patients every day.
Thank you for being on this journey with me—whether this is the first post of mine you’ve ever read or you have been reading this blog from the beginning. Your support means everything to me!
Susan Schwenzfeger says
Just keep going strong!❤️
Vanessa Steil says
Thank you, Sue. So glad you are on this journey with me!
Kathrine Eldridge says
So happy that you share this on your blog. I remember the day that my late husband got diagnosed with cancer. It was St. Patrick’s Day. I will never forget it. So glad you have a happy ending and are such an inspiration to many. XO
Vanessa Steil says
Thank you, Kathrine! You never forget those dates–as a survivor or a survivors’ loved one–for that day changes your life in one way or another forever.