It can never hurt to get a second opinion.  Especially when it comes to our health.  After my thyroidectomy in 2009, I realized an Endocrinologist was going part of my life as long as we both shall live.  Having my thyroid levels checked has become routine.  The last few times I’ve gone, I felt like it might be time to do some research and see what another Endo had to say.  One of the lessons I have learned through this journey is that I am the biggest advocate for my health.  It is my responsibility to make sure I am receiving the best healthcare available.

I found another Endo and they had a 3 month wait.  That was fine because I still had an upcoming appointment with my current Endo.  The question was whether I should tell him I was going to see another Endo or not say anything.  How uncomfortable.  I went and decided not to say anything.  Then I found myself being really nice to him because I felt bad.  What is up with that?!  I also started questioning why I had made the other appointment because my current Endo is very good.

I went to the other Endo today.  I really liked her.  She listened and took notes.  I felt heard and she made a good first impression.  But this was our first appointment.  Was she just putting on a good first appointment impression?  Would she seem to care as much the second time?

I was proud of myself for taking action and going to get a secENDO opinion.  I need to follow up and send her my latest scans and lab results.  Regardless if I go back to her again or not, she told me I was welcome to send her results for review.

Hope and Light

“Some days you will be the light for others,…”

Going through the experience of surviving cancer has been a journey.  I had courage and strength come to me during the times I needed it most.  I remember friends and family telling me I was brave.  I didn’t question it.  I felt a connection to a power greater than myself and I knew I would be alright.  It gave others strength to push through whatever struggle they were confronted with as well.

“And some days you will need some light from them.”

It’s give and take.  I certainly had my fair share of days where I felt overcome by fear.  The negative thoughts about what if this and that danced around in my mind.  And that is when I leaned on my friends and family to help me stay in reality.  I

“As long as there is light, there is hope, and there is a way.”

No matter what, I always have hope.  The light might only be a flicker at times, but it’s always there.  All of us can get through it.  The goal is to brighten the light.  Feed it more hope, gratitude, and love.  There is a way!

<3

life is a journey

Oh what a journey it has been!  With just a few days left in 2014, I have been reminiscing as most of us do.  I didn’t post on my blog all year!  It isn’t because I’m cured and never think about surviving cancer.  I still go for my follow up visits to the doctor every six months and get blood work and scans. Earlier this year, my scan showed a tiny dot the size of a pinpoint that will need further testing.  It’s too small to biopsy.  I had a choice to focus on the fearful thoughts of “OH NO!! How can this be?! Has the cancer come back? Why oh why?”  Or I could put it in perspective.  If the spot is too small to test, why worry?  Why give such a tiny little spot SOOOO much energy and power?  Nah!  I’ve been down that road on this journey called life before.  That is an old chapter and I’m moving forward.

The new chapter is 2015 and it’s going to be a good one!  No matter what, I will be alright.  This year, I am going to give power to what brings me joy like writing, meditating and hiking!  I’m going to spend more time with family and friends.  I’m going to let go and enjoy the journey!!

How about you?  What would you like your journey in 2015 to look like?  What will you continue doing?  What will you let go of?  What are you ready to change?

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Over the years I’ve shared about my journey from being diagnosed with cancer, the surgery, medical visits, treatment, follow-up visits, remission and more.  It is a battle that I feel blessed to have won.  I’ve been in remission a few years now.  I haven’t blogged nearly as much as I used to.  But another big event has taken place in my life and it only seems right to share about it here with my readers!

We all know life’s a beach.  We can ride the wave or wipe out.  Build a sand castle or fall into a whole in the sand.  But you’ve got to get back up, shake the sand off and press on.  Alright, you get the point.  Back to one of the most amazing experiences of my life…

In early July, I went on our annual vacation to the beach with my family, fiance and step-daughter.  While on vacation, we decided to scrap the idea of having a traditional wedding.  Why spend months and months planning out details for a wedding?  It was stressful, time-consuming and far from enjoyable.  Instead we decided to get married during our vacation at the beach!  Say what?  Yep, that’s right.  And in three days it all came together.  We got the marriage license, flowers, officiant, photographer, rings and all!  Everything seemed to fall into place.  I even found my wedding dress 4 hours before I walked down the aisle.  That in itself is a small miracle.

After surviving cancer, I know that life can change in an instant.  In a way, the dark times in life seemed to make my wedding day brighter.  It gave me the courage to embrace my fears, appreciate love and open my heart.

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Our beach wedding was magical.  When I think about it, I smile. <3

 

 

thyroidcancersurvivor:

It has been way too long since i updated this blog. So here it goes…I went to another follow up appointment to go over the results of my blood work with my doctor. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve done this routine over the years. Staying on top of these appointments is part of the process to make sure those cancer cells remain undetectable.

I’m still in the clear! I will never get tired of hearing that news. But this time there was an added nugget of hope. Instead of going back in 6 months, my doc said I come back in 12 months. Another milestone which warrants a brief happy dance. Woohoo!!! See you next year doc!

Originally posted on Thyroid Cancer SURVIVOR - The Journey:

As soon as I read “What Cancer Cannot Do” I felt my inner cancer SURVIVOR come out.  We tend to give cancer a lot of power.  It is part of the process to start blaming changes in our lives, relationships, outlook, attitude and choices on cancer.  The real deal is that each one of us has the power and inner-strength to focus on what we CAN do and what cancer CANNOT do.  It is a powerful exercise. 

I started thinking about what else could be added to the list.  I’m sharing it with all of my blog readers and asking you to add to the list as well.  Here is my version:

Cancer is so limited…

It cannot turn my world to darkness.

It cannot make the beauty of nature disappear.

It cannot take over my being.

It cannot drain my creativity.

It cannot silence my voice.

It cannot prevent me…

View original 48 more words

“Cancer is not a battle that we win or lose. It is not our fault or a sign of weakness. We are not responsible for our cancer outcomes. The crapshoot of cancer and recurrence can NOT be controlled. Celebrate yourself for each time you, despite all the trauma of cancer, treatment, and the mindfuck of “survivorship”, choose to love, live, lust, laugh… We are not a success story based on our cancer progression or not. We succeed when we are courageous enough to keep walking forward even with missing parts, severe pain, addled brains, and broken hearts.”  ~Dr. Erica D. Bernstein

These profound words by Erica Bernstein really hit home with me.  I’ve been in remission for over three years.  The more time that goes by, the less I think about cancer.  But I will never forget what the journey was like.  Whether it’s a cancer survivor’s story on the news or hearing about a friend newly diagnosed, I seem to be reminded quite often of what it was like.  Yesterday, I was with a friend who just found out that she had cancer.  She was so scared and cried as she talked about her fears.  I got chills as she shared about it.  Her battle is just beginning.  She will know more about it tomorrow.  I have been keeping her in my prayers.

Listening to her took me back to that initial fear and racing thoughts I had when the doctor told me that my tumor was malignant.  I didn’t know how to process the words.  I couldn’t believe it.  But deep down, I had a sense of serenity and I knew that I would survive.  I connected with that power.  I re-discovered my courage and strength.  I kept walking forward.  There were times when I wanted to wave the white flag and give up, but I kept walking forward.  Through the doctors appointments, treatment, medicine, tears, nausea, depression, physical weakness, and more, I got to the other side. 

Cancer changed the direction of my life.  I am grateful for the experience because it led me to where I am today.  It made me aware of how strong of a woman I am.  It gave me a chance to get in touch once again with what matters in life.  And I hope that my friend finds the gifts that I found.  I pray that she connects with her strength and is courageous enough to keep walking forward.

As a cancer survivor, it would be nice to hear people wish one another a “Healthy” New Year instead of the common “Happy” New Year.  Think about it.  Happiness is a choice.  I can wake up each day and set my intension on being happy and attracting positivity into my life. 

When it comes to being healthy, I don’t have the power to be healthy.  Don’t get me wrong, I can focus on being healthy.  I can do things like watch what I eat, not smoke, exercise and more to stay healthy.  But I could not control getting cancer.  It was not a choice.  What was a choice was my attitude towards it all.  I made a choice to be a cancer survivor.  I decided to fight the fight.  I did what I had to do to beat it!  You can to!!

May 2012 bring you HEALTH and HAPPINESS!

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