An Open Letter to my Thyroid Cancer

Oh Julia Ann - Thyroid Cancer Removal Scar

Dear Thyroid Cancer,

What the fuck were you doing there?

When did you creep into a body part I rarely thought of, and why the hell did you think you were welcome? How long were you living there? What were your intentions? Who gave you a key?

Explain yourself.

It all started eerily close to the episode of New Girl where Nick has to visit a gynecologist. (The big difference is I was actually at the gynecologist because, ya know… vagina and all.) The doctor decided to feel my throat and the stupid lump was noticed. Six appointments, two ultrasounds, and one shockingly painful biopsy later, I was diagnosed with you: stupid, terrible thyroid cancer. Nick Miller got the fairy tale ending and I got a handful of growths, a new itchy scar, and three little bottles of pills. In a weird twist of fate, I tried to cheer up with the show the day I got the diagnosis, and that’s the episode that popped on. Feel free to send your apologies for poor timing in the form of food, Fox/Netflix/fictional television characters; an Edible Arrangement sounds pretty tasty right about now.

In the grand scheme of terrible shit, thyroid cancer isn’t the worst thing to get. Remove the thyroid, check out the areas around it, and have some follow-up treatment depending on the results. Start taking medicine, see doctors to check various levels from said medicine, and monitor this, that, and the other. Get some stitches, remove the stitches, and deal with this huge lump in the throat during recovery. Things could be so much worse; I’m very aware.

But I’m going to be a bit self-centered and say things could also be better, and this whole experience seems like a bunch of bullshit.

You know what sucks about being sick? Everything that normally sucks, plus a bunch of new shit. The mortgage still needs to be paid and the laundry still needs to be done. Nothing sounds good to eat and you have to pay the stupid copay at every stupid doctor’s appointment. You want to work on your to-do list but your body is more tired than your brain. You have to swallow all these fucking pills on a raw and swollen throat. You’re supposed to look like some beautiful blushing bride while you’re broken out and bruised and covered with stitches.

A lot of that is small enough, but the combination of the sleepiness and soreness makes everything seem much… bigger. New zits? Cry. Lose the hair and makeup artist for the wedding and fail to find a backup? Cry. Cancel the honeymoon? Cry. See a sad commercial? Cry. See the bank statement? Cry. It’s all a big dramatic blur topped with the cancer bow.

Why don’t you care what I was doing this year, thyroid cancer? Don’t you know I’ve spent all this time working on my job and my blog? Did you see I spent an entire year planning my perfect wedding, just to have you come derail me a month from the finish line? Aren’t you aware we’re new homeowners with a myriad of bills? Did you have to come for a visit now?

Being healthy is the most important thing, but I’d be a liar if I said everything was fine just because the surgery was a success.

You’ve been evicted, cancer, and I’ve got the neck-slash to prove it. I’m working on my scar stories because your name makes people act weird. So far I have it narrowed down to “Vampire attack,” or “I brought a gun to a knife fight and still lost,” or “I challenged Edward Scissorhands to a tickle war.” But even though you’re gone (and you stole my perfectly functional body part, you bastard) you’re still some lingering presence that’s screwing up my schedule. The work has continued piling up and the wedding planning is overwhelmingly off-track and the bills are still coming in. And I’m mad.

That was a real dick move, cancer. Come back to Dodge and there’ll be hell to pay. In the meantime, I’ll work on my intimidating catch phrases. I’ll catch up at the office and I’ll regrow the savings and I’ll have my dream wedding. I worked long hours before, and I’ll work longer ones to fix this. You won’t take anything else from me.

Sincerely,

Julia motherfucking Christensen, and don’t you forget it.

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5 Comments

  1. February 9, 2016 / 6:13 pm

    You are a beautiful badass. I’m sorry this is happening, but you are fearless and you will continue kicking thyroid cancer in the balls.

  2. February 9, 2016 / 6:48 pm

    Sending many, strong, sparkly good vibes your way. I’m glad to hear about the eviction! Your attitude is what I would hope to aspire to if I were faced with something similar. Crossing my fingers for a speedy recovery!!

  3. February 9, 2016 / 7:22 pm

    I’m with you….except I’m supposed to be enjoying my son and working, and running my house, and taking part in all of the volunteer stuff I like to do, and trying to have a social life……except I can’t….because they’ve thus far been unable to get rid of my cancer, even post-thyroidectomy. I have to have a second surgery to get rid of more lymph nodes….but I have to wait a few months, because the growths need to get larger.
    THIS SUCKS. 🙂 Thanks for writing this. I’ve been way too polite in my blogging about it.

  4. M Lather
    February 16, 2016 / 12:20 am

    You made me laugh in a blog about cancer. Twice.

    Thank you for the glimpse into your life. There can never be too many reminders to live every day to the fullest and be grateful for each breath. (I’m just sorry Edward wanted to tickle you to remind us all.)

    Lots of extra hands will help you with that wedding stuff (two from me, at least, although I’m certain many more). Now get better so you can get MARRIED!

    xoxoxoxo

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