This is going to be an intimate post, my friends. Intimate being defined as “a warm pronouncement of a personal nature uttered free from fear.” You see, today I found out that I had thyroid cancer. Loyal Nappy followers may have noticed I’ve been on hiatus for over a week. I was having a little ambulatory surgery and gave up 18 grams of thyroid about a week ago. Along with the little organ was a gnarly nodule or 2 — please note my surgeon is professional enough to point out that “gnarly” is not a precise medical term, but in a bit of literary license it will be allowed here.
There is a subset of folks who will tell you that thyroid cancer is the BEST cancer it have. I won’t debate anybody who’s a member of the cancer survivors’ club — I just count myself as the luckiest woman on the planet right now, because “Who knew?” Credit goes to the wise and warm Dr. D., the nicest endocrine surgeon in all the land (I hear he also does a mean hernia). I’ll also give a shout-out to Dr. Lone Ranger — the anesthesiologist who found a primo vein via the Ray Charles method and left no bruises on my delicate flower arms. More importantly, I woke up after the procedure not remembering a thing (but hoping I didn’t embarrass myself before I went under).
Now here’s the weird part…. When I was a child of maybe 9 -11 years of age I had a severe case of hypochondria centered around my throat. I was abnormally afraid of choking and worried about throat cancer — to an almost morbid degree. I’m sure I drove my parents absolutely nuts with my behavior during this time. I don’t know what happened to snap me out of it, but just recently I remembered this weirdness. Could it have been some sort of foreshadowing? Or just coincidence? What made me go to the doctor last January with just a vague feeling that there was something “odd and thick” about my neck?
The best news of all is that it looks like the cancer was confined to just a nodule within the thyroid. And I’m feeling pretty good…. back to work and my family is on to the fact that I should be able to lift 10 pounds by now. And who could miss the most obvious cliché(s) that time is fleeting, so you’d better wake up and pay attention or you’ll miss something. Or, don’t squander time — yours or anyone else’s. Or my new personal favorite: stop piddlin’ around and start writin’ that book.
So raise a glass my faithful friends and say l’chaim! Kiss your loved ones tenderly and watch your neck from time to time.