I thought I would pass along my latest update for you.
As many of you already know my thyroid cancer has returned and decided to take residence in my lungs. I have a small tumor that needs to be taken care of. I am working on getting things in place to try a treatment fairly new. I’ve heard back a second time from insurance on getting my medication needed to start and again they won’t cover it.
This has made my kids mad…me, not so much. This is why. Mayo Clinic contacted me and said there is a way to get the medicine for free through the company. If it’s widely known the company that makes the meds gives it freely to people with a lower income (like me), why should the insurance company cover it? Regardless the paperwork has been filled out and things are slowly getting figured out.
This is all just a hurtle and I’m sure it will get figured out. I’m not going to fret about it.
I started collecting groceries for the diet part of this all…
These are some no salt added products. It takes a little finagling to get it all. I was to Walmart and to our regular grocery store. It’s hard to find items.
One thing I discovered last time while on the diet was these. They come from Dollar Tree. They are $1 a bag and were a lifesaver. They are Freeze-Dried fruits. Last time they had strawberry and apple. This time I could only find Mango and Banana but bananas are not recommended food so…I picked up five packs of Mango. I asked the lady stocking the shelves if… they get others in and she said they get what they get and they never know. So…I put a call out to my kids to check the Dollar Tree stores and see if they can find strawberry or apple.
These saved me when I was traveling. They taste like candy. I really like them.
I ended up in town the other day and stopped again at Dollar Tree hoping they might have stocked another flavor but sadly, there were none…not even more Mango.
I know I could likely get freeze-dried fruit somewhere else but we live so rural, there is no place around here with it. That’s a frustration I’ve had a lot. I joined a group for Low Iodine Diet on Facebook and so often they list something as being “legal” to eat…but I know there is nowhere to find that in our area.
Now the hardest thing for me is more mentally. In public, people I know have started looking at me differently. The news is out that my cancer has returned. Conversations have started to be awkward. People ask my kids all the time, “How is your mom d-o-i-n-g?”. Cancer has again become the big elephant in the room. Everyone wants to ask about it, but no one asks…or they ask really awkwardly.
I feel like people look at me to see if I’m losing hair if I look more tired if I look healthy. It makes being in public really awkward. I don’t get treated like my regular old self anymore.
People are so awkward. They just don’t know what to say.
I’ve learned through all of this, and Kramer’s ordeal with cancer is that there are two kinds of people. People who truly care, and people who are just nosey and want the dirt so they can share it at the coffee shop. I don’t care to be the coffee shop topic and that’s one of the reasons I’m so open here. Everyone gets the same information…thus no reason to chit-chat about it all.
We, my kids and me, know people care…we know they mean well, but we just want to be normal. We don’t want the out from having to make brownies for the potluck. We don’t want the out from having to do our part of volunteering. We really just want to be normal. We want to laugh, joke, play games, drink a beer, do our hobbies, and love on each other like we always do. We want to live life without a cloud over our heads. YES, we know I have cancer and there will be days that the cancer will be the focus, but there are so many days and opportunities in between those cancer moments for some real fun. We want to focus on the fun.
Even going to my appointments, Kalissa and I make having fun a high priority.
One of the nicest things people say is “I was thinking of you and hope you’re doing well”. This lets me talk about cancer if I want to. It lets me not talk about it if I don’t want to. I appreciate that and it’s a sign that the person is a real friend.
I’ve gotten cards from many of you…They are “I’m thinking of you cards” or cards of hope. I’ve really appreciated them and I thank you for them. A couple of people have sent money to be used towards gas and travel once I get to that point. I really appreciate that. It’s such a blessing to know that you all are cheering me on.
Right now the tumor in my lungs is 1 1/2 cm in size. I am bound and determined that it is only going to take up 1 1/2 cm of my life. For those of you wondering 1 1/2 cm is about the size of the end section of your pinky finger. That’s not very big. I’m only going to let cancer at this point, take up that much of my life. I am not cancer. I am me. I am so much more than cancer.
So…if you see me on the street…if you see my kiddos around town. Remember we are all so much more than the 1 1/2 cms of cancer. We laugh, we love, we participate, we live just like we always have. Cancer is just a blip in our lives.