It’s been a couple months since I had to go to any kind of medical office for a visit, biopsy, scan or procedure.  Today, I had a follow up thyroid ultrasound done.  I don’t mind going.  It’s for my health and I’ve gone through too much to stop now. 

(Side Note:  Each time I go and lay down for a check up or procedure, I look up at the ceiling and wonder why they don’t put pictures or cool designs up there.  I mean most of the patients look up that way.  I know when I look at those white ceiling tiles, it would be really refreshing to have some kind of inspirational message or joke to lift the spirit.)

During the thyroid ultrasound, the woman doing the ultrasound took several pictures and was sliding along the warm gel from the right side of my neck to the middle and then the left. When she got to the left side of my neck she hovered over one area longer than the rest.  Then she made a mark over the spot.  I asked what it was and she said a lymph node.  She could not tell me more, but that was enough to get my mind going with thoughts of  “Oh no! What if…? I wonder when…? It’s going to be fine.”   Once she was done, I wiped that yucky gel off my neck and headed to work.  This is not going to get me down.

I got to work a little earlier than I had anticipated and had an overwhelming urge to write for a few minutes.  That helps me to get more centered.  So I pulled into a parking spot in an area that I never park in.  When I looked up I could not believe what I saw in front of the exact spot that I parked in…

                                                Purple Ribbon

The purple ribbon is the one for thyroid cancer!  What are the odds of a random purple ribbon being tied around a tree in that spot on that day that I just came back from the thyroid ultrasound?  What a powerful moment that was for me.  On my way to work I had started to worry about that lymph node area and felt the fear take over along with the obsessive negative thoughts.  This is what creates and feeds cancer.  Those thoughts do not serve me.  So when I saw that purple ribbon, I knew that I was going to make it through whatever whatever comes my way once again.  Power to the purple ribbon and all of the thyroid cancer survivors!

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“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?

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