Two weeks ago I went for a routine exam with my endocrinologist. I have been doing this about once a year for the past 5 years. It has become routine to me. I go in, talk about all the things that I should change and how my weight is seriously affecting my health and the longevity of my life. At the end of each of these visits the doctor sends me for a sonogram of my thyroid, and usually for a biopsy of the 3 nodules that I have been living there for several years.
This visit was different. Having lost 83 pounds to date my doctor was extremely impressed! He raved about what a great life change I had made, how wonderful it was that I am no longer pre-diabetic. In his words “You have literally just added 5 years to your life.” When I asked if he felt I needed to have the thyroid removed, or what we would do for treatment he replied simply, “you have treated it, with your weight loss. You are not having any symptoms of thyroid disease and your numbers look better than they have in years. Just keep up with the weight loss and I don’t think we will need to do anything. Just to be on the safe side I want you to go for your sonogram today and we will revisit after.” I scheduled the test for later that day. Being a medical professional can sometimes not be to your own benefit. Especially when you can talk a sono-tech into letting you see the screen while they work. As she scanned my Thyroid I knew something was different. There were two new black nodules showing on the screen and the largest of them was dark, dense and had grown nearly 1.5 inches since my last sonogram. <insert the ominous music here>
A week later I received the phone call from my Doctors nurse. As she read the doctors findings back to me I felt my heart drop into my stomach and I couldn’t breathe. “Your thyroid and the nodules have enlarged at an alarming rate. The largest nodule as well as the two new nodules appears to be malignant, and we want you to go for a full body scan as soon as possible.” I felt my entire world falling apart. I was reeling, and spinning. I almost felt like I was drowning. I have felt this way nearly every minute since this phone call.
I have spent the last year of my life at the peak of health, I have lost the weight I was told I would never lose, I have had more energy, had two horrible diagnosis wiped off my problem list and have conquered some major demons in my life! I have pushed and pulled and worked so hard to gain my health. Only to hear the C word, to have someone tell me I have Cancer. Just one little word with a huge scary meaning that made me feel as if all of my progress, all of my hard work was for nothing. Frankly I was mad. I haven’t given in to comfort eating or stress eating for 10 months! I have been dedicated to my health and well-being… and yet CANCER! With the anger came an overwhelming sense that I was being ridiculous. As I began to tell those closest to me about this diagnosis, I began to hear all of the concern and love they have for me. They have given so much support , and so much hope. I can hear them with my ears, and process it with my mind, and part of me could believe it yet I still felt myself falling, drowning, falling further and further from the health I felt I had just a week earlier. Hadn’t my doctor just told me that I had added years to my life… But CANCER?! What about my son? What will happen to him how will this news affect my sweet innocent child? How do I explain this to him?
I have not handled this news very well, in fact I have pretty much been an absolute wreck. I wish I could say like many have that I have been unafraid, that I have known every minute that all would be well and that this was no big deal. Well I can’t say that… I haven’t been able to get to that point yet. There is part of me that believes that to my core, I know that it WILL be ok. I know that I have a huge support network, and loving family and friends that will see me through this. Above all else I know I have a beautiful savior who took 30 lashes so that I would be healed from this… But guess what? My flesh has been winning this fight so far. I have even reached out for the old comfort I used to feel in food, my former idol my comfort. I have eaten so poorly in the last 4 days, Mexican food, funnel cake, Oreos, hoping to find the comfort I used to feel when I ate this type of food… Only to find myself so sick I could barely walk. I haven’t really been honest with anyone so far. When they ask how I am doing I shrug and say “I’m doing OK” when really I have been doing the opposite of OK… I text messaged my sister this morning, not having been honest with anyone about how bad I have been feeling. I was honest with her, she lovingly reminded me that God gave me this plan, Trim Healthy Mama. He sent this to me to experience food freedom and health. She reminded me that I can’t allow this circumstance to steal of that away from me, I can’t be a victim.
I have debated on writing this post, being so transparent to those who don’t know me and especially to those who do. I have gone back and forth, because I don’t like to show the vulnerable, weak side of me to anyone. Showing this side of me makes me look weak, and well no one wants to look like that. Right? WRONG! I need to admit that I can’t handle this on my own; I can’t just suck it up and keep going. I need to dig in to my support system, and allow those who love me to be there. Most of all I need to open myself up to my Lord. He has a plan for my life, a plan of hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) so today I build my house on the solid rock for my foundation. I chose to believe in Romans 8:28 All things work together for the GOOD of those who believe.
While my life is about more than the way I eat, the Trim Healthy lifestyle has become a huge part of my life. It has given me so much, and helped me to overcome so much. Now more than ever I believe that in order to conquer this battle to win the fight with thyroid cancer I need to be even more dedicated to the Trim Healthy Lifestyle. There is healing in the recipes, and there is healthy in this way of eating. I will conquer this epic battle. I will survive.