Sunday, January 17, 2010

This is not your neighbor's cousin's mom's friend's cancer

I hear a lot of stories about other people who have experienced thyroid cancer.  They go something like this:

"Oh, you have thyroid cancer?  Well my aunt had that about thirty years ago and she is doing just fine."

"You know, my brother's girlfriend had thyroid cancer several years ago and she hasn't had any other problems."

"My grandmother had thyroid cancer a looooong time ago.  She's dead now, but it wasn't the cancer that killed her.  You are going to be just fine."

OK, so the stories may not go exactly like that, but that's pretty much the gist.  Let me say that I truly truly appreciate the encouragement.  However, I need you to understand that this is my thyroid cancer.  And I don't mean that in a jealous, possessive way.  I mean that everyone experiences cancer differently.  No two people deal with cancer exactly the same.  And while it is encouraging to hear the stories of so many people who have overcome thyroid cancer after a single surgery or one dose of radiation, don't assume that my experience is going to go so smoothly.

7 comments:

Suzanne said...

joanna, just wanted to let you know that we are praying for you! please let us know if you need a vacay to charleston! you always have a place to stay with us! love ya! Suzanne and Scott K.

Health is Wealth MonaVie Road Warriors said...

You are such an amazingly strong person and are always in my prayers. I know that we haven't been in touch, but just know that EVERY TIME I look in the mirror, I check my neck for you. I wish you only the best. xoxo Stef

Hua said...

I understand where you are coming from. I just came across your blog and I think you are an amazing and strong person. I'm wishing you the best!

Stay Strong,
Hua
Director of Bloggers
wellsphere.com

Kauline said...

I couldn't agree more on this post. I am so sick of hearing about other peoples associations who had it. I knowthey mean well but it makes me feel worse because I am not a cookie cutter who follows a typical thyca path. I also keep hearing about how lucky I am to have the good kind of cancer. Thanks for this post, Now I don't feel alone....

rlfite said...

Well said! We (thyroid cancer patients) still have the right to grieve the loss of our thyroid and to slowly adjust using daily pharmacological interventions to stay alive.

Hopeful Dreamer said...

I hear this all the time and it drives me nuts! I can pretty much guarantee that if you talk to this said aunt or friend they would open up to another thycanian about their struggles with thyca. Its hard to open up to someone without thyca. They simply don't understand. I tell people all the time that I am doing fine. I didn't realize that by doing that I am totally invalidating someone else with thyca somewhere that is being told but someone I spoke to "oh this girl I know had her thyroid removed 3 months ago and she is doing just fine" yet sometimes things are too personal to talk to with random people so saying "I'm fine" is much easier. Hm..yea it does get annoying though when people compare you to others.

Sarah Young said...

I just found your blog and I love it...especially this post! I was diagnosed with papillary last year...fighting along side you!