I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
6 months ago today my life changed forever. I lost a two glands, a vein, the ability to sweat on half my face, the ability to control my eye lid on one eye, the ability to breathe correctly, the ability to swallow correctly, and last but not nearly least my voice. I also lost a huge lump on my neck, that was the good part.
It’s been 6 months of ups, downs, and curves. Both the expected and unexpected happened that day and I continue to battle with these challenges that have been laid before me. Eventually with time some things will become better, others I’ll have to accept that they’ll never be the same.
I’ve come find that one of the biggest challenges is the mental aspect. One cannot help but think, “why me?”, “what if…?”, “does it matter?”, “would I better off if I…?”.
I’ve found that the last 6 months have taught me to be more compassionate and understanding of people that might be “different”. You never know what they’ve been through or are going through, in a way they’re just like me.
I’ve come to realize how important a support group can be. You’re able to share your experiences, while at the same time hear the experiences of others that have gone through a similar situation. I’m glad I took that step, and look forward to those once a month meetings. I’m thinking about seeking out others just to gain more knowledge and maybe share some.
I’ve come to realize how important it is to have a personal support team. You need to know friends are there if you just need to talk, or are able to go to an appointment with you just in case you might forget to ask certain questions. I want to be able to share more, but I always feel like I’m whining or complaining. I feel like ice always got to keep that strong public face, but when I’m home and alone I feel the complete opposite.
Last week has been especially challenging. I received the results from my CT Scans and Ultrasound before my doctor could give me his thoughts. I immediately thought the worst. Even when he sent me a message that said he was encouraged by the results, I was still convinced that the cancer has moved to my lungs. That is still a possibility, but won’t know until several specialists from different areas of medicine go over my case again at their monthly ThyCa conference next Friday. As hard as I try it’s tough to maintain a positive outlook.
The same day I got the results, I found out that my employer is switching health insurance providers on June 1st. As you can imagine this is not ideal for someone in the middle of their first year of cancer treatment. I thought well maybe I can continue seeing my current team but pay more as they would be “out of network”. Found out today that that is not an option. I’ve got to find new doctors and possibly go through more tests and hope that I’ll be able to get equal or better treatment. This is not something I’m prepared to deal with. I’ve got to figure out how I can get the Medialization Thyroplasty procedure done that was originally scheduled for August. This is the procedure that will help my swallowing and give me a resemblance of my voice. The one thing I’ve been looking forward to since I was told it’s an option back in January. Not to mention the monthly cost of insurance is doubling…
Went to a couple cemeteries this weekend with my Dad and my 96 year-old Grandfather to drop flowers off for the family members, most I’ve never heard of before. It was an emotional experience trying to locate them and looking at the various other headstones. People of all ages buried. 15 year-old girl, 22 year-old soldier, 90 year-old man along with his wife. Seeing all the flags there for all the service men and women. Sad, beautiful and touching. I thought about dying from cancer and what would happen to me. Would I be buried or put on a shelf? If I was buried, what would my headstone say? What would it look like? Where would I be buried? How does one go about deciding this sort of thing? Why should I even be concerned about it? Aren’t I too young to be considering these things?
Time and chance. This too shall pass. Someday.