Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Why I Run...September Edition

I know this is a subject I have brought up numerous times and I've gone all shiny, happy Suz with my reasons.  But I've neglected to mention one of the most important reasons why I run.  Seeing as September is a significant month to me, I figured this would be as good a time as any to bring it up.

Why is September near and dear to my heart?  It's Thyroid Cancer Awareness month.  Why is that important?  Because I am a Thyroid Cancer Survivor.  Over six years ago, my primary care physician notice a lump/nodule on my Thyroid.  That led to a series of ultrasounds and and more blood draws than I care to count as well as several fine needle biopsies on my thyroid for several years.  Four years ago the fine needle biopsy came back inconclusive, that biopsy led to a full/complete thyroidectomy.  A few short days later I was officially diagnosed with Papillary Carcinoma.  The "good thing" about Thyroid Cancer is that it is supposedly "the best kind of cancer to have" as in it's easily treatable (in theory). Though I'm not sure any kind of cancer can or should be dubbed "good" regardless of "ease of treatment".  But I digress.  After two rounds of Radioactive Iodine Treatments over the course of two years, every six month a trip to my endocrinologist for blood work and more adjustments to my Synthroid dosage, I finally have been advised that my thyroglobulin  levels are at an all time low (which is good) and I've graduated to yearly appointments.

So neat.  I'm a survivor, what does this have to do with running?  Easy, the loss of my thyroid = the loss of my metabolism.  After struggling for years not being at my "happy weight", struggling with constant weight gain and being the heaviest I had been (while not pregnant) I started Couch to 5k.  It could be purely coincidental that shortly after I started running that I finally started to see a downward trend to the scale, rather than the upward turn.  Running kick started my metabolism or whatever the equivalent is now that I'm missing my thyroid.

 Thyroid cancer took a lot from me, I kind of lost myself and some of my spark for awhile.  I allowed myself to be the victim, I allowed myself to wallow.  Running brought me back, running replaced what I thought was gone and amplified it more ways than I could ever imagine.  Running made me the victor of my circumstances, not the victim.  That, my friends is the true magic to running for me.

So in honor of this being Thyroid Cancer Awareness month, I wanted to share my story a bit more.  I also want to encourage you to "check your neck" often.  Be proactive, early detection is key.  For more information on Thyroid Cancer please check out thyca.org for some facts about Thyroid Cancer.