After sharing my cancer diagnosis in my last post, and getting such a positive reaction from it, I just wanted to do a little update on where I’m at and what’s happening so far.
So yes, I have cancer. It’s in my thyroid and possibly in my lymph nodes but hopefully no where else and although they said it’s still “suspicious”, I’m thinking the worse as, in my mind, it’s better to do that and be prepared then shocked when they tell you something you don’t want to hear.
Something that I didn’t realise about being ill is just how much waiting you have to do. I feel like at the moment I am constantly waiting for letters through from the hospital to tell me where to go and what to do. Once I had the phone call with my biopsy results, I actually got to meet with the surgeon that week as luckily he had a cancellation. However now, it’s been about two weeks and nothing much is happening.
On Monday I have to go in for a pre-surgery assessment, I cannot have the surgery until this is completed. They cannot even offer me a surgery date until this is done. The day after, I have to go back to have a CT scan on my chest. I’ve never had to have a scan before but apparently, it’s fairly quick and will give them a better idea of where the cancer is. However, I think it’s so they check if it’s spread.
At the moment I’m still a bit in limbo, I feel like it’s not really happening as nothing much is really happening yet. Although when I think about the surgery I feel very hot and almost shaky, it’s like this wave of unease that comes over me. I’m sure this is because I know it’s coming. I have no idea how I’m going to feel once the actual surgery date is confirmed.
I also feel unsure of how much to share still. I have a vlog up which everyone seemed to like. I think “like” is the wrong word here but everyone is basically telling me how brave I am when I don’t feel brave at all.
I want to find a balance of how much to share and what to share. I have cancer, and I want to talk about it on my terms and share what’s happening to me because I know it would help me if someone else did it. Apparently, only about 3,400 people get diagnosed with thyroid cancer a year.
However I also don’t want it to define me, I still want to post every day on Instagram chatting shit about make up, I want to go to the cinema and trips for coffee and chat with friends and do normal life stuff without cancer being the focus of everything I do. And I know that’s easy for me to say now, as I haven’t actually begun treatment, I’m in the very early stages of having it. Once I have the operation and don’t feel like getting out of bed and feel like shit and tired every day without a thyroid, I’m sure that will change.
If I think about it too much, if I really deeply think about it, it reduces me to tears. I’m scared. This diagnosis has been going on for two months and I just feel like the cancer could have gotten worse in that time. I think that although it’s not getting bigger now, the swelling came up so fast that it must be aggressive. I also have this horrible thought that it’s spread, to my bones or breast. I also cannot stop myself from thinking about dying. The thought of leaving my family and loved ones behind is scary. It’s when these thoughts creep into my brain that I feel like I cannot breathe.
I just don’t want to feel judged for my actions. I’m not saying anyone else will judge me, you’re all so lovely and have shown me so much support already. I think that judgment is mainly going to be coming from myself.
I don’t want to be judged for talking about cancer, but I also don’t want to be judged if I don’t talk about it. If I just want to post about some make up that I’ve been wearing and enjoying recently, then that’s fine, that’s obviously what I need/want at that time. Whether it’s a distraction from the stuff that’s been happening or it could just be because I’ve just really been liking the make up.
Yes, I have cancer. But I won’t have this forever. It’s an incredibly scary thing to go through. But I’m 22 and I will bounce back from this. I just don’t want the cancer to consume me. I don’t want it to be the defining thing about me. I’m going to have a reminder of it for the rest of my life (a visible scar across my neck) but I cannot wait for the surgery and tests and procedures to be a distance memory. Something that made me stronger in the long run but that I remember suddenly when I’m 32 and just think, yeah I went through that.