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Five Years Ago Today...

Monday, December 31, 2012

I have been struggling with some emotions lately and it has been from the story that I am about to tell in this blog. I am throwing it out there in an attempt to "get it off my chest" and calm the emotions so that I can move on. It is very strange that I am having these emotions because the story obviously has a happy ending but here I am dealing with them anyway. This blog is really for me to put it out there and get over it and to turn the emotions into celebration instead of negative thoughts and overeating. So here it goes...

Five years ago today, I was notified that I had Thyroid cancer. Not exactly the way I wanted to end the year and definitely not the way I wanted to begin a new year.

That notification actually started with a surgery on Dec. 21st to remove the right side of my Thyroid. I had a few nodules growing on my Thyroid that we getting bigger and seemed to be growing in a place that could eventually cause some problems. At first the decision was made to just keep an eye on them but when I began having problems with a "catch" when I swallowed, the surgen decided that the best thing would be to take out the side that we causing the issue.

I had previously had needle biopsies to check for cancer but nothing was found. It was determined that this would be a "routine" surgery. So on Dec. 21st, 2007 the right side was removed. The Dr. told me that as a part of the "routine" they would test the removed side. I didn't expect anything bad since I had the biopsies in October.

I was in the hospital 2 days and then went home to recover. I then was back to work after the holiday. On the 31st, I decided to call in to see what the pathology report said. The nurse said something like ...blah blah blah carcinoma. I said "did you just say what I think you said?" She apologized and said that she didn't know that I hadn't heard from the Dr. about the report. I was stunned, not because the wrong person was breaking the news to me but because I heard that they found CANCER!!!

That rocked me to the core! It was already a difficult time for me personally and then to find this out. I was devastated. After notifying my boss and going to the break room, I began calling my family to tell them. My husband came to get me at work to take me home. After I got home, I got a call from the Dr. and the plan of attack was put into place.

The Dr. said that the cancer was found along the incision so they couldn't be sure if all the cancer was in the side that was removed so I would have to undergo another surgery to have the left side of the Thyroid removed. So, on January 10, 2008 I had the second surgery.

I have had the radioactive iodine and also had a test to make sure that there wasn't cancer in the lymph nodes. All is clear! Praise the Lord!

I am a 5 year survivor! Any of you that have had cancer know that the 5 year mark is a great one.

A few years ago, my niece was studying about cancer in school and when she came home, she had some questions for me. She asked me if the scar I had on my neck was from having cancer and I told her yes. Then after a while she came back and said.."Tia Soozee, When you had cancer, did you survive?" After laughing for what seemed like an extremely long time, I told her that yes I survived!

I am a survivor! I have walked in the survivor walk for the Relay for Life (and cried the whole way around the track). I never thought it would happen to me but I am sure no one thinks it will happen to them.

As this day had approached I have had several days of what I can only describe as mourning. I have done a lot of pity eating and emotional eating to comfort myself. Not everyday has been that way but there have been several. Yesterday was a good example of one of those days. I moped around, didn't want to go anywhere. I just wanted to be left alone. It was almost like I was dreading today. I should have been celebrating the fact that I have survived and 5 years later, I am working on getting other areas of my health in shape so that I am even more healthy!

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new year, my CHAMPIONSHIP YEAR! I have already begun to build on my fundamentals and I have been feeling better and more motivated. So...those days of feeling down about my past with cancer, with the weight gains, emotional eating, and any other misstep or trip up that I have had is all in the past! I am moving forward!

If I can look cancer in the face and keep fighting, then I can look this weight in the face and keep fighting! I can look Diabetes in the face and keep fighting! I can look sleep apnea in the face and keep fighting! I can look my whole list of illnesses in the face and keep fighting and take each and everyone of them down! Dealing with cancer wasn't a one day thing. There were steps to take, some were easy and some were really difficult. Some things took time and some were just tests that had to be run. I need to remember that while I am trying to take down all these illnesses and lose this weight that some things that I have to do will be easy but there will be lots of things that won't be easy. Some things will be a process and some will be quick things.

This is NOT an overnight deal. This is a lifetime deal as I am making a healthy lifestyle. I have had a long life of unhealthy days and have built up many unhealthy habits that need to be broken so it is going to take time. Maybe I am still eating things that others would tell me that I need to cut out but right now, I am going to work on cutting down and then when I can cut them down, I can work them out. I am not the same as everyone else. I have said this time and time again. I have got to do what is right for me. I have a long journey and I plan to work my way through it.

Okay enough of that....Let's celebrate my 5 year anniversary of surviving cancer!!!

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  • no profile photo CD5707126
    This will be my Third year of survival! emoticon on your emoticon Anniversary!
    2847 days ago
    emoticon on 5 years.
    Celebrate your life
    2848 days ago
    emoticon emoticon on 5 years....

    I know it's still mentally there that it was there hun. It will sometimes get you down. Call me and we'll slap that devil next time he tries to visit ya....... love ya g/f and emoticon
    2848 days ago
    Susan, you're an AMAZING individual, and such an inspiration to so many! I will keep you and your family in my prayers, and just know that "You Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens You." Together we will make this a Championship Year. Congratulations on your incredible milestone.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2849 days ago
    CONGRATULATIONS. I too am a thyroid cancer survivor - 32 years this summer and life is still sweet. I do understand how you felt though - I had my times of mourning about this - and it is still wonderful. God Bless you through out this year!!
    2849 days ago
  • CARMEL_466
    2849 days ago
    Great blog -- Your writing and sensitivity is incredible. You can do this! Get it all underwraps one step at a time. You've overcome the biggest obstacle of all and weight loss will help all the other areas of your life. While this is easier said than done, I hope you can love who you are right now . . . so that when you make healthy improvements and reach the goals you so desire, you'll still love who you are and stay the course. Congratulations on this wonderful 5-yr anniversary and the great stamina you have to make your future goals a reality. Happy New Year! Hug, hug -- Evelyn
    2850 days ago
    2850 days ago
    Great blog Susan! You have shared some very emotional and personal events and feelings. I hope you know that I am just one of many spark friends lining the track to cheer you on to victory this year!
    2850 days ago
  • _MOBII_
    As I read your blog last night, there were so many emotions that went through me, I decided to wait until today to post a comment, thinking that I would be able to put everything into cohesive words. I was mistaken on that last part.

    I am so thankful that you are here! I don't know how else to put it.

    2850 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5993697
    Thank you for sharing your story Susan. You are certainly a strong woman! Congratulations! emoticon
    2850 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your story. Congratulations on reaching this incredible milestone and having faced the demons and stepping off smartly into the next five and beyond! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2850 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    Thanks so much for sharing your cancer history. You managed to keep it brief, but I know the details lurk behind the conciseness of the telling. And I'm soooo glad you're here to do the telling!!

    It's amazing how many survivors are out there. But isn't it grand that so many turn their lives inside out to be healthier than ever before?!? Following the 'shocked to the core' feeling and a lot of in-between things comes the Gift of Cancer: you received it! Sorta makes a gal just love every minutes she's been given, doesn't it?!?
    2851 days ago
    Thank you for sharing your story. You don't know how many people you have encouraged and inspired. emoticon emoticon
    2851 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    I'm sending you a great big hug! Congratulations on reaching your five year anniversary! You can keep on going. We've got your back. You can do this.
    2851 days ago
    emoticon You did that you can do anything.
    2851 days ago
    Congrats on your five year milestone! As I read your story, I started to get teary-eyed thinking about how strong you had to be in those moments of darkness. You are an inspiration to me and I think it's wonderful how you've made it through this with such optimism. You've come so far. Cheers to you!
    2851 days ago
  • no profile photo CD2357972
    emoticon and emoticon !

    I hope this exorcises your demons!

    2851 days ago
    Oh Susan, Hugs! Congratulations on hitting the 5-year milestone!
    2851 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4509749
    This absolutely is a lifetime deal! I remind myself of that anytime things get difficult. We are only human, and are bound to have bad days. But, you have such a great attitude, and I firmly believe that the way you view things has a huge impact on your happiness.

    2851 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon Oh wow Susan I had NO idea!! First congratulations of being a five year survivor - that is SOOOO awesome!! I totally hear where you are coming from - I've participated in Relay for Life the past two years (was captain of my church's team last year) and I cried too during the survivor walk. Its no small thing and I am always amazed at the sheer NUMBER of survivors!!

    Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us. It helps so much to understand some of your struggles. I didn't know you have diabetes - it runs in my family so I know a little about that particular challenge. And I know how very much losing weight and getting more fit will help you in the struggle with it!!

    God BLESS you - stay strong!! emoticon
    2851 days ago
  • JUDY106
    Congrats on the 5 years victory. So happy you have a good ending and still able to fight your other illnesses. You can do it. We are all fighting many illnesses. We are ready to look them in the eye and fight our way through them in 2013 together. We are there for you just as you are there for us. Thanks for sharing with us today. We are all with you. have a wonderful day a good new year. emoticon emoticon
    2851 days ago

    Comment edited on: 1/1/2013 9:35:43 AM
    This is a wonderful survivor story and a great time to share it. You have inspired me to be thankful for the good health I have had, but, to do even better in 2013 because there are several ways I can do better. Wishing you the best in your healthier endeavors this year! emoticon
    2851 days ago
    Congratulations on being 5 years cancer free. You are such an inspiration. Happy New year and new you.
    2851 days ago
    Hang in there, Toots, you can do it. You have what it takes.
    2852 days ago
  • KIPPER15
    Thank you for sharing your story and congrats on your victory. You are heading into yoru Championship year already a champion for your achievments! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2852 days ago
    Happy anniversary of your survival. YOu're doing great! Happy new year!
    2852 days ago
    Happy New Year!
    Life is complicated. Everyone has their battles. You've shared one of yours with us, and it just proves what I thought: YOU are couragous and strong! Is it going to be easy? Nuh-uh...not at all. Will it be worth it? You betcha!! Ten thousand-fold. And when you have a bad day, all you have to do is to let one of us know and we'll be there to help in any way we can, even if it's just to listen or to give a hug, cause that's what friends do for each other.
    2852 days ago

    !! W O W !!



    ! ! HALLELUJAH ! !

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    2852 days ago
    Tears of congratulation & an upcoming CHAMPION year! You are a survivor & fighter & you do these upcoming challenges on your terms, in your time. YOU GOT THIS!!!! emoticon
    2852 days ago
    I think you are dealing with the emotional part of the anniversary incredibly well! I can not even begin to imagine the range of emotions that news triggered. The most important thing is that you are indeed a survivor and strong enough to look it in the face, Congratulations and I wish you a new year of health and happiness!
    2852 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4534565
    Way to go Susan! It took a lot for you to tell your story but you did. You are a SURVIVOR! You overcame it. You won! One championship down! Now its time to move on to the next championship game. And you know what? You'll win that one too. Will it be easy? You said yourself no. But you're not afraid of the challenge. You WILL conquer it. Of that I have no doubt. I have faith in you as do many others. We are on the sidelines cheering you on! SO let's make 2013 a spectacular year! emoticon
    2852 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3409143
    Congratulations for being a survivor!!!! I can certainly understand and sympathize with how stressful this was and how tough it was to put to paper so to speak.
    Good luck in 2013.
    2852 days ago
    That is a wonderful thing to celebrate emoticon
    2852 days ago
    emoticon for sharing this with us. I know that it had to be hard to share all this with everyone! but you know that emoticon
    2852 days ago
    Fantastic! Congrats on 5 Years!
    2852 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12121677
    You are going to have an awesome Championship Year because you are a champion!

    Happy new year to you!!

    2852 days ago
    emoticon on your 5 year anniversary! emoticon I'm sure this day will always cause the memories of that day 5 years ago to resurface. Just look how far you've come and the changes you are making for a healthier you :-) Happy New Year!
    2852 days ago
    I am so proud of you for sharing that story and all the emotions that come along with it! As I mentioned to you, I can't even pretend to know the wide range of emotions that you are feeling. I also think that it is good that you are aware of the emotions and that you are dealing with them the best you can. And if it resulted in a few days of eating more than you should have, I really feel that is totally understandable. Maybe I lost my can opener, but the truth of it is that is something very REAL that you are dealing with and I am so proud of you for working through it.

    I knew you were a strong woman that can face anything when I met you, and knowing what I know about you now, I see that the cancer never had a chance. It chose the wrong woman to mess with and you showed it who is boss. I know that you can conquer the weight, and kick the diabetes butt, I know you can accomplish anything you want because you are just that amazing! I am so excited for us to kick off 2013 together, we are in this together and I know we will both be on Spark, this time next year, posting about how great our years were! There will be struggles, obstacles, there will be days we "lose" against the junk food team, but I know we are going to fight to make it the best year yet! I heart you lots! emoticon emoticon emoticon & emoticon
    2852 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/31/2012 9:06:17 PM
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