Saturday, June 14, 2014

Always Remember

Six years ago, my world was turned on end.  After having a second fine needle biopsy on my thyroid(on my fourth anniversary no less) and having the results come back inconclusive I was faced with a total thyroidectomy. 

Funny at the time, I was more concerned about how it would look.  Vanity was more important than the reason I was having the thyroidectomy.   I was concerned how L who was barely 2.5 years old would react.  I was worried about E.  She was only six months at the time and I had orders that I would not pick her up for at least two weeks.   Never once did I consider that it would be cancer. 

A day or so after I had my thyroidectomy I got the phone call from my surgeon.   The pathology reports were back.  I had three spots on my thyroid that came back as cancerous.   Papillary Carcinoma.   Yes, it was "just" Thyroid Cancer.  Yes, it is the best variation of cancer to have.   But it's still cancer.  Helpful hint...Please NEVER tell a thyroid cancer survivor that it's the best kind to have.   I know it seems helpful but really it's not.  Truthfully it's not always the easiest kind to treat.

That diagnosis started two years of medical yuck.  I will spare you the details, but for the cliffs not version it involved two radioactive iodine treatments, three rounds of chemo, two other cancer scares and three surgeries.

But, I digress for several years i had been talking about getting a tattoo to remember my diagnosis and the road that lead me here.  Cause ya know the scar that mostly looks like a glorified neck wrinkle just wasn't a good enough reminder for me ;)

But it couldn't be any tattoo,  if I was going  to have one it had to have some meaning behind it. I finally found this just a few months ago and knew it was the one I wanted.  

That was everything I was looking for.  The colors are the colors associated with Thyroid Cancer.  The butterfly also is tied to thyroid issues since the thyroid itself is butterfly shaped.  The wings also had meaning to me on a different level as well. . With that image, I went off with Lisa and got my first tattoo.  I felt tough, I felt empowered. Yes, I realize it's silly to say it that way, but it is what it is.  I have had absolutely no remorse in getting it done.  I maybe should have waited until after we got back from our trip but I wanted to do it before I lost my nerve  But this is my tribute to the first time I was stronger than I realized.  

Two and a half hours later,  I left with this beauty.  

No matter what the day may bring you are always braver and stronger than you realize.

Have you done anything out of character to remember an important event or circumstance in your life?   For those of you with tattoos how long did you debate getting one?  Am I the only one that took forever to commit to one?