I realize, I’m not so fantastic at this whole blog thing. I get a vibe going and then I fall off. Which isn’t right. Not only does this blog exist to represent a plethora of thyroid cancer knowledge and awareness, it also touches on my experience to all my fellow survivors and recently diagnosed. My intentions are always to engage, inspire, make you laugh, create a blanket of comfort, and to let you know – You are going to be just fine.
This week, I am currently undergoing my yearly cancer screening. This involves thyrogen shots, blood work, a neck ultrasound, a tiny dose of RAI, and of course a full body scan this Friday. I will make sure to write about the whole process. I do have a few really great subjects to touch on next week pertaining to the cost of having a “good kind of cancer” as well as all the pills that have come into my life since being diagnosed.
Stay tuned, Darlings – Keep fighting the good fight!
The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 64,300 new cases of thyroid cancer in the U.S. in 2016. Of these new cases, roughly 49,350 will occur in women and 14,950 in men. In fact, it is the most rapidly increasing cancer diagnosis in the United States, tripling it’s past numbers. And no matter how one may view the survival statistics, each story is different, each experience is hard and I urge you to never consider it a “good cancer.” There are no good cancers.
CHECK YOUR NECK.
What Thyroid? has become my mantra and also the face of my fight against Thyroid Cancer. Brutal honesty, a twist of wit, and paired with the good, the bad, and the ugly, is the way I roll.
With September dedicated to Thyroid Cancer Awareness (are you sick of my posts yet?), I decided to express my personal experience, trauma, positivity, inspiration, and need to feed this creative soul, the best I know how; awareness through design. By this I mean pouring my guts into writing, complimented by these sweet little thyroid lapel pins.
Who says survivors need to rock ribbons or butterflies all the time?!?
SHOW ME YOUR THYROID!
25% of all sales will give back to someone in need of financial help via medical bills, because lovers, this disease is NOT cheap. And with so many outlets donating to research and we have yet to hear of a cure – I’m taking an alternative route for the cause.Here’s to all the fighters and the survivors. The incredibly strong humans who have made it through this long haul. To the doctors and the nurses who have given their best. And here’s to our friends and family, who have supported and loved us endlessly!
Wear this pin with pride.
I realize, I’m not so fantastic at this whole blog thing. I get a vibe going and then I fall off. Which isn’t right. Because not only does this blog exist to represent a plethora of thyroid cancer awareness knowledge, experience, and reach to all my fellows who are lacking a thyroid; my intention is always, to engage, inspire, question, and provoke hope and insight that the days to come will be brighter for all of us. Whoa. Run on sentence. You get the gist of it.
This past week’s whirlwind of a surprise trip to Minneapolis, surrounded Julian and I with so much love and family. The energy was intoxicating and the conversations were thick. The perfect recipe for times that are meant to be and never forgotten. We crashed and celebrated a party in leu of a beautiful young woman named Carmela, who has climbed to the top of her nest and is about to hit Chicago this fall only to find herself yet again. Even more than she anticipates. She is amazing.
I rested my head softly those two swift nights; in the land of rolling thunderstorms and lush filled days. I couldn’t be happier. The fresh smell of plentiful greens, complimented by my urban instinct of a city dweller; I am home. Surrounded by family, swirling with chatter and positive emotions – It makes one feel whole again. All those voids that have been waiting to be filled are now complete. And as the rain pounded on the roof our last night home, thunder rolling, flashes of natural energy filling the sky; I felt so alive.
Your life and what you put into it, with time, creates a the perfect personal portrait. The need and willingness to grasp and appreciate it all is crucial. My life, with all the good, the bad, and the ugly, is a beautiful dream that I wish to live over and over again.
Speeding things up, back to four years ago, roughly. I was living in Minneapolis off Loring Park in a stunning little apartment that happened to be an old 1920’s renovated hotel building. I loved that place. It was winter time, nearing that supposed “one month until Spring” phase. Julian (aka now husbandcake) was around and I remember I was struggling with a horrible sore throat for almost three weeks. I thought I was sick, and treated myself as such. Growing up, you didn’t go to the doctor for the flu or for colds, you muscled through that shit and rested, drank lots of fluids, and you were fine. That’s what I was doing. It got to a point though, where it was pretty much unbearable, and Julian took me to an urgent care.
The wait at urgent care was forever long. I went through all the check-in paperwork, which I had never had to fill out anything like it, yet in my life. Now, I know it comes standard everywhere you are a new patient. Duh. Ok. Got that done, just to hurry up and wait some more. Finally they took me back! I don’t remember how long I was there, at Park Nicollet.
Typical vitals were taken first. I had a minor ear infection. My throat looked red, but my tonsils were fine. They had me swallow some nasty, thick, lidocaine gel to see, if when it reached down into my throat, if the pain would go away. It did not. Strep was ruled out as well. Then came blood work (I fucking hate needles), a chest x-ray, a shot in my bum, that HURT LIKE HELL, and lastly an ultrasound where I met my thyroid for the first time.
Looking back at it now, they did a bang up job. Very thorough. I’ve never witnessed a place, since then, go through so many tests in the matter of hours at one location. Most scenarios, they initially check you out, get you comfortable as best they can, then send you along to follow up with scheduled appointments, complimented by days worth of nail biting referrals. I don’t really know why, that day, everything went one by one like it did. I should have taken that as a sign. But no. I was 23 and still taking life for granted. I walked out that day, headed to Walgreens, with a prescription to cure Thyroiditis.