If possible, I’d like to keep my “thyroid cancer survivor” status for the rest of my life. That’s what I was yesterday and again today and hopefully tomorrow as well. But to stay on top of those sneaky thyroid cancer cells, my Endo Dr. recommended a thyroid ultrasound and blood work tests twice a year for a very long time to come. Oh Joy…NOT!
I just made my “thyroid-less” ultrasound appointment for next week. (Since I had a total thyroidectomy last January, I now refer to it as a “thyroid-less” ultrasound.) This will be my second time doing the six month check of my neck routine. The first time (post-cancer) I had the ultrasound done, the technician seemed to hover over the upper left side of my neck. She smoothly glided the ultrasound wand around the gel over my neck without any cause for suspicion. Then she got to that one spot on the left and I felt my stomach start to form imaginary knots. It’s one of the worst feelings in the world…overwhelming fear!
The results did show some swollen lymph nodes which usually happen if you’re getting sick. Normally there is no cause for concern, but since I had cancer, my Endo Dr. wants to see what the results show next time. I guess that is supposed to make me feel better? So almost six months have gone by and I have only thought about the thyroid ultrasound a handful of times. But the occurence in the number of thoughts dramatically increased after I made that ultrasound appointment for next week. The overwhelming flood of thoughts and feelings are back!
At times, being a cancer survivor is like being a passenger (or hostage) on a ship sailing along the sea of the unknown. I’m not in control of where it will go. At times, there are lots of storms out at sea. Then without warning, the ship sails into peaceful, calm waters. I found myself starting to feel a little sea-sick thinking about the upcoming ultrasound.
It starts with the fear-based thoughts. “Is there going to be a swollen lymph node on the left side of my neck again?” “I don’t want to go through this again.” “What if they find another nodule in my neck?” “I’m gonna have to have surgery again.” “I feel so anxious.” “I can’t stop thinking about it.” “I know the cancer is back.” “I’m going to have to miss more time from work.” “People are probably so tired of hearing me talk about it.”
Then come the faith-based thoughts. “Everything is fine in this moment.” “My Higher Power is right here with me.” “I am taking care of myself by getting the ultrasound.” “Everything is fine.” “I’m a survivor!” “I’m going to keep things in perspective.” “What’s the point of worrying?” “I am focusing on the good thoughts and allow the negative ones to melt away.” “I have so many friends and family that love and support me.” “I am so grateful to be alive today.” “I’m going to live each moment to the fullest!”
So back and forth my thoughts go over the course of the day. And as I write about it, I feel a calmness coming over me. There’s a quiet voice that let’s me know once again that it will work out the way it works out. Besides, it will all be done by this time next week. Well, at least done until the next six months go by. 🙂