Thankful Thursday: Knowns and Unknowns

I’ve started working on having Thankful Thursday posts…it’s just a random post of things that happened during my week that I am thankful for. It started after I’ve been reading The Frugal Girl blog and she has a feature called Thankful Thursday. This week I am thankful for how far I’ve come on my cancer journey

On Saturday I start my oral chemo and that begins the next couple of months of unknowns. Will I get sick? How will I feel? Will I get those terrible sores in my mouth? There are so many unknowns…but there are a lot of knowns too. I’m working really hard to be thankful for those knowns and appreciate them rather than focus on the unknowns.

Here is an example…
I follow a Radioactive iodine-resistant Thyroid Cancer group on Facebook. Today someone posted this picture.

She is claustrophobic and doing scans is hard for her. She was celebrating a new machine. The one you see in the picture above.

This is the old kind in the picture below.

For someone with the claustrophobia, the first machine is much better.

For me, I’ve been there and done this so many times, I don’t think a lot about the machine and the scans anymore (unless it’s an over one-hour MRI).

The full-body machines don’t bother me. I’ve learned to just do it. Typically I sing church hymns in my head when the 40-minute scans are happening. The first time and the unknown of it all was scary especially when they asked if I wanted lorazapan to get through it. I didn’t use it and made it through just fine even though the machine is only about 2″ from my face.

I’m so thankful IVs don’t bother me…I can stitch right through them and rather than think about the IV, I think about how much I can accomplish on my cross-stitch piece while I’m waiting…and I’ve learned to drink lots of water before I go in so I’m an easier stick.

Parking and the logistics of getting my appointments are not worrisome. If one ramp is full, I can easily go to another.

It wasn’t that way at first. Now, easy-peasy.

I know my doctor. I know my nurse. I know what to expect…and what not to expect from them. That makes it all easier.

I know my local doctor will stand by me and advocate for me if she needs to. She’s awesome. That is something wonderful I know.

I’ve been through my diet before. There is a Facebook group for people going through the low-iodine diet. There are so many people on there asking questions and second-guessing the foods they can eat. I’ve done it long enough to know that it’s easier to crack fresh eggs and throw away the yolks than it is to try to find egg whites in a carton that don’t contain iodized salt. I’ve already been through this…I know now and there aren’t as many unknowns.

I am so thankful for all the things I already know about this treatment. There is great comfort in the known…yes there are still some unknowns but nothing I can’t figure out or navigate through. I have some experience under my belt. After all, I’ve been doing this for eight years…eight years of turning unknowns into knowns. There is some real comfort in that.

Today I’m thankful for my experience in this cancer journey…I’m thankful I’m still here turning uncomfortable unknowns into comfortable knowns. I hope I can keep doing that for a long time. There is some real comfort in being a veteran in dealing with cancer.

Many thanks to everyone who has sent cards and well wishes my way. It is so appreciated. It’s great having you all along on this journey with me.

30 thoughts on “Thankful Thursday: Knowns and Unknowns”

  1. Do you have a handicapped plaquard? If not, run to get it. Not that you HAVE to use it — better to have and not use than want/need and not have. Voice of experience……………..

  2. I too have had many MRI’s since my kidney cancer, and removal of my right kidney, back in Sept 2020. I guess you just get used to it.

    Wishing you all the best. You got this Jo!!

  3. It is so good you have some knowns now about the treatments and that will help you. You have a super attitude which is a big help. When I recently had an MRI, I was asked what kind of music I like to listen to and they played it throughout the process. I chose hymns and so comforting to me. You continue to be in my prayers.

    1. Meredith in Cincinnati

      When my son had an MRI, they asked him about music, too. He said he liked anything but country music. They misunderstood, and played country music the whole time!

  4. Thanks for today’s blog. You’ve got confidence in your medical team and you know what’s on or could possibly be on the horizon during your treatment. I remember those terrible mouth sores you had and I pray that you don’t have to go through that again. Jo, you are

  5. Jo, I am thankful for you. You are an inspiration to me. I am praying for you while I sew for LWR. You have changed many lives. I count you a friend.

  6. I remember your issues with the mouth sores, and hope your treatment side effects are minimal this time! Your positive attitude is awesome.

  7. You got this, and knowing more than the unknown is a real comfort, I’m sure. I hope you stay healthy while going through this and no mouth sores, they sounded awful the last time. You are in my continued prayers. Travel safe.

  8. I agree that knowledge is a blessing. You’ve been through this before, you are a veteran now. So many people will be with you sending prayers and good wishes.

  9. Cheryl in St. Paul

    Sending prayers for a successful treatment, patience, strength and encouragement along the way. You are a real heroine, Jo.

  10. Thanks Jo for sharing your experiences. I asked awhile back about a PET scan. You answered and I was so much calmer going into this cancer experience. I have finished the chemo and the surgery. I m starting 6 weeks of radiation. Wishing you the best in your cancer journey.
    Cindy Berns

  11. God is with Jo and I believe there are thousands of us praying for you. I cannot imagine the people you are helping by sharing your journey.

  12. Thinking of you and I know you will face each step with strength and dignity. I’m glad that your family is such a strong support system to you. Please know that your many readers are praying for you and supporting you on the sidelines.

  13. Hi Jo, I don’t usually don’t comment, but I was going to order from Amazon and looked for your link, it was on your side bar, but I haven’t been able to find it lately. Are you still an affiliate for Amazon? Thanks, Martha

  14. Beryl in Owatonna

    Thanks for todays update!! I remembered you were to start this weekend but wasn’t sure of all the happenings. You are strong and encouragement to many. You will be in my prayers for sure. I am thankful for your wonderful, supportive family…they are the best.

    Sending HUGS n LOVE and prayers.


  15. Such a thought provoking article you have put together here. I am sure it will give any unfortunate souls who may be just starting out on a journey like you own something to think about. You really are an inspiration. Thoughts are with you. Xx

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