“The results came back and it’s papillary thyroid cancer…” was all I heard. My doctor kept talking on the phone, but I got stuck in the moment. My mind was frozen in time. I tried not to move, breathe or think because then it would become real. I heard him say cancer and just sat there in disbelief. I was blown away. And then a calmness came over me. It came from deep within. And I knew that this was another gift that I was given to learn or teach another lesson. For I did not come this far and beat all of the odds to have it all end at age 35. This was part of the beginning of the rest of my “living” life on earth. My Higher Power only gives me as much as I can handle at one time, so I was ready to accept the experience.

Then reality set in and I felt the fear rush over me.  “It’s papillary thyroid cancer!  What? I have cancer?”  I felt scared, confused, angry and sad all at the same time. I knew that I had to pull myself back together. I was at work and sitting in the atrium outside of the office praying to get through the day. I did not want to be there. I wanted to drive home, jump into bed and hide for several days. I did not want to deal with this.  I did not want to have cancer! 

I didn’t know how to deal with almost anything just a few years ago. I ran from my feelings for most of my life.  I used to be the eternal victim.  All of the bad things happend to me.  It was always the end of the world regardless of how small or big the actual life event seemed to be.   Things were different now.  I had changed for the better.  I realized that I had a choice of how to handle this diagnosis.  To my surprise, I began to accept it.

Focusing on the fear got me no where. There is no benefit in thinking negative – ever. It only causes me to lose focus, breathe shallow, get a tight chest, feel anxious and overwhelmed. So I decided to focus on faith and think positive to the best of my ability. I started with gratitiude. It was easy to look back and see how blessed I was to have even gotten the diagnosis. I had no side effects from the thyroid cancer. The nodule has been in my neck for years. My blood work always came back normal. But as a precaution, my doctor had me get a scan every few years, just to be safe. The last test came back questionable and I followed up with a biopsy. I am so grateful that it was found and treated. The past few months, I have been focusing on gratitude and in turn it has helped me so much. There is so much to be grateful for in all of our lives.

What are you grateful for today?