Jan 24, 2014

It Can Happen To Anyone...

Would you like to know your future?
If your answer is yes, think again.  Not knowing is the greatest life motivator.
So enjoy, endure, survive each moment as it comes to you in its proper sequence
-- a surprise --

January 14th will always be a day that will remain forever memorable in my memory.
It was the day the doctor said to me, "your biopsy showed that you have malignant cells.  
You have Thyroid Cancer."  Hearing the word Cancer is devastating.  At least initially. 
 I absorbed the news and was quiet for a while.  Nothing else to do but move on is how I
 saw it. The second thing the doctor said was,"don't worry if you were to have Cancer then
this is the one you would choose.  Best case scenario."  Made me feel better already.

 I think the doctor thought I was going to take the news badly.  I did not, even though it was
 not what I expected to hear.  I mean a simple physical led to the discovery of swollen thyroid
glands, that led to a visit with the endocrinologist that led to a biopsy that to Cancer.

After the initial shock, I calmly asked the doctor, "so what do we do next?"  
Very calmly he said the next step would of course be surgery.  Easier said than done.
As soon as I got the go ahead, I started calling up all the recommended specialists.
Well low and behold!  Just about all were booked until March.  Not such a good start
to fighting this, but not one to give up I called and called until I actually found THE
doctor in this field who opened up a spot for me in his busy schedule.

Our first visit with him was on January 20.  On that day he gave us instructions to follow
and a day for surgery.  I was just happy.  Happy that finally we were doing something.

In all of this, I see how affected my parents are, my sisters and Arvid's family.
This makes me very sad because I feel that in someway I am causing them to hurt
unnecessarily.  But what really breaks my heart is seeing Arvid.  The way he looks at me.
The sadness in his eyes and just the fact that I know he was hurting too much.  He said to me,
 "I want it to be me instead of you."  This was the second time I almost lost it.

I almost fell to pieces when I saw my parents after telling them the news.  My mom
was just crying and crying.  Holding her made me realize how fragile she is right now.
Wish I could take away their pain, but I don't know how.  All I keep telling them
is "everything is going to be OK."  They of course did not believe me.  It took Arvid
 to tell them it was going to be OK before they started to feel better and much calmer.

After the initial news on the 14th, we had an appointment with the surgeon for a consultation 
on January 20th.  There he calmly explained to us how very common this procedure was and
 how very good the outcome is. He also did additional tests where Arvid was able to actually
see the pictures of my Thyroid as the doctors explained what was going on and what we were
 seeing.  After seeing this Arvid was so much more relieved and for the first time after 
hearing the diagnosis, I can actually say he relaxed a bit.  He was smiling again and 
feeling optimistic.  The thing is in all of this I was and I am optimistic.  I have never lost 
a moment of sleep over my diagnosis.  Just thought it was a little annoying to have 
to deal with this now.

Many years ago I underwent another very dramatic surgery.  At that time I was
younger and not sure I was that scared.  I just remember that when I was in
surgery I woke up and all I thought of was how sad I was because if something
happened I would never see the ones I love again, and then I guess I fell asleep.

After that surgery was over the doctors told me I am a lucky girl.  They said that many
of my organs collapsed during surgery and it was touch and go for a while.  Well
here I am 20+ years after and still doing good, so whatever it is that I will be facing in the 
coming weeks could not be any worse.   I know I have a guardian angel.  There have been
many times in my life that I came close to dying.  I'm still here.  Thank you PMR.!!!!

Right now I feel good.  Arvid is with me.  Mom and dad are with me,
and the ones who are not are be thinking of me and sending good vibes..
 Both of our families have been very supportive and very concerned.
My sisters I know are going through a very stressful time. I keep telling everyone
it's a piece of cake and nothing to worry about, but as Arvid said, "you have no idea the thoughts
 that have crossed my mind"  Hearing him say this made me realize just how scared he was.

The doctor explained to us how terrifying the word "CANCER" is, at the
same time he explained the different types of cancer.  All I can say is that in
all of this I am still the lucky one.  Many have it much more difficult than me.  As always
I am grateful for the life I have, grateful for the people in my life and for the kindness and love
I have from the ones I love.  Both friends and family have been extremely kind.

There is a special person I would like to thank.  I don't know her personally, but
she is a doctor in Puerto Rico and a very good friend of my sister Nirvana.  Together
it seemed they were working to find answers for me and to help ease everyone's mind.
They succeeded.  Thank you Nirvana and thank you Bettina.  One day I will meet you
and lunch will be on me.  Thanks for putting all of my family a little more at ease.  Appreciated.

The word cancer is sometimes scarier than the reality.
To all when confronted with a life changing circumstance, do not panic,
do not let it get the best of you.  Educate yourself first.  For me talking is
the best remedy.  One finds out that in every one's life, either they have been touched
by it or someone they know or love has been affected by Cancer.  Bad word!, but not the end!!

Wishing you all a good day and remember there is a rainbow of hope at the
end of every storm.  Just look for it!    You won't be disappointed!

You were given this life because you are strong enough to live it...