Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ok. Here's The Deal.

I have continually put off writing this post. For several reasons.
1. I don't want pity.
2. I don't want everybody knowing everything before I know anything.
3. I don't want to deal with it.

But. Here I am. Because as I was thinking about what I was thankful for today for my "30 days of Thanksgiving", I realized it was this blog. Because I have gotten so many kind words from others in response to my writing. Encouragement. Support. From people I know, and people I don't know. Just an amazing outpouring of love for everything I have talked about here. People have come forward with their own stories, which have given me hope, strength, and laughs. This blog has been amazing.

Lately, I have not been. I have been shutting people out. Declining invites. Not being present in the moment when I actually DO see people. Not leaving my house. Sitting and stewing in worry and anxiety, by myself, day in and day out. A few friends have knocked down the walls temporarily, and have been able to get me out of my head for an hour or two. But I always return back to the same place. And when I'm in that place, I don't want to talk to anybody, see anybody. I just want to be left alone. Just me and my little man, and sometimes Jeremy. Not all the time Jeremy, sometimes I'm even that rude, and I don't want him either.

I put on my happy face for people who don't know what's going on. Say I'm good, things are great, so excited for the holidays. And most of the time, even for those who do, I put on my brave face, make a joke. I don't let anybody see what's really going on inside. The raw fear. The pure terror. The "what if's" that are on a constant stream through my mind. My parents and Jeremy hear the every day fear, and I'm generally met with wisdom like, "You're getting ahead of yourself", "Stop doing this to yourself", "You are going to make yourself sick over this", "Stop. Everything is fine". But here's the thing: I'm not getting ahead of myself, I'm trying to prepare myself. I can't stop doing "this" to myself, because I am freaking out, every second of every day. I feel sick over this, and nobody can tell me with ANY certainty that everything is fine. Nobody. Or even that it's all going to be fine in the end. Nobody knows any of that. So none of these people can understand how this is feeling to me right now.

So what is all this dramatic talk all about, anyway?

So my hair was falling out, yes? And I finally decided to go see my endocrinologist about it. He agreed I had a lot of symptoms that were consistent with hyperthyroidism, which I had during my pregnancy. Ran all my blood, and because he could feel some enlargement during the physical exam, ordered a thyroid ultrasound. This is where all the panic started. Why could he feel something? He never felt anything before, during all the times I saw him. So began the first week of panic and waiting. Had the ultrasound done, and the tech wasn't too reassuring. Finally got those results back, and as it turns out, I have several small cysts, and some more sizable nodules. But all my levels were perfectly fine, so the nodules were weird. By this point, I had started having trouble swallowing, and when he did the physical exam again, it was tender to the touch. So he ordered a biopsy. Yes, a biopsy. Which, if you're like me, as soon as you hear that word, you know what it means. There is a chance for cancer. My world was suddenly crashing down around me. And it is the scariest damn thing in the world.

I'm 26. I have an 18 month old son. I can't have cancer. I can't die. I have a kid to raise. To be here to watch grow. I still have a lot of life left to live.

Had the biopsy on Thursday, which was a somewhat traumatic experience in and of itself. But it's over now, and now we're just sitting and doing more waiting. With any luck, we'll have answers sometime early this week. Although, no answer is really a final answer. If it IS cancer, then what's next? Surgery, of course. But then what? How far has it gone? Where else is it? Do I even stand a chance? If it's NOT cancer, what is it? Why is there a huge lump? Will they still take it out? Because at this point, that's where I'm at. I want it out, whatever it is. The whole thyroid. Gone. I don't want to live the rest of my life wondering if it's turning into something, or if it's come back. I don't want to live the rest of my life the way I have been living this last month. I don't want it to be cancer, because I have a kid that I need to be here for. And as long as this thing is in me, I'm not fully here for him. I'm not living in the moment, I'm not present. I'm just continually worrying and wondering.

Cue all the people telling me I don't want to live without a thyroid if I don't have to. Here's what I say to you: I don't want to can't live the rest of my life like this. This is pure torture. Miserable. Everybody is suffering. Me and my sanity. My kid who only has a shell of a mom. My husband who is at the receiving end of all my anger, anxiety and sadness. My parents, who don't know what to say to me. The friends who do or don't know what's going on, who I have shut out. It's not worth it. I will take a pill every day. I will struggle with my weight and fatigue until we get the dosage figured out. Maybe it won't ever be perfect, but I will be ALIVE. And I won't constantly be worrying about the demon gland in my neck that wants to kill me.

Even sitting here writing this, I have no idea if I'm going to hit publish. I can't decide. Do I want to open myself up this much? Do I want to spill the beans and let it out about all of this chaos? Really, no. I don't. But I also know that the times in the past that I was unsure of hitting that button, and then I did, it was completely worth it. I got more out of it then I ever imagined. But what am I expecting this time? For someone to step up and say the same exact thing happened to them, and they were fine? Unlikely. That they had stage 938679276 thyroid cancer, and look! They're a miracle! They're fine! Not happening. I don't know what I'm looking for. Maybe just to get it out of me. Just to scream it out of me until it's all gone. Because right now it's eating me. From the inside out. Except it's showing on the outside too. And I don't know what else to do or what else to think. So maybe I just need to yell it out. Just hit publish and get it out.

Then again maybe I need to wait until I know what is happening. So I can come back with amazing news, or with the doomsday news. I honestly have no idea. I don't have a clue about much right now. But I do know that this blog is the best therapy session I could get right now. And anybody willing to read this and listen to me, must be ok. And I said from the beginning this would be all me, all real. And right now, this is me, this is my real.

So there it is. My current freak out. My life. To those of you who didn't know what was happening, but knew I wasn't being myself, there you go. To those of you who DID know, and have checked in on me, have asked what you could do to help, have called, texted, or emailed the day before, the day of, and the day after the biopsy, to make sure I was ok. You are all amazing. You are my rocks. I love each and every one of you more than you know. And I am SO thankful for each of you. For my doctor friends who have given me their advice. For my nurse friends who have listened and offered their knowledge. For all the other friends, who might not have a medical background, but you have a heart, and you have offered your heart and your love unconditionally. Thank you to all of you. I can't say that enough. And to everybody who has read through this, thank you to you, too. For letting me get it out of me. If you have an experience, of course, share it with me, you know that means the world to me. Just whatever you do, don't feel sorry for me. Don't pity me. Just support me. And remind me that I'll get through it. That's all I really need. Honestly.

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