My blog has been pretty consistent with my life with Crohn’s disease along with the complications and obstacles us Crohnies endure. I haven’t posted much lately but I’ve been doing a lot of thinking. Turning in a different direction, I’ve been thinking about how our struggles can relate to others and also how worse life could really be. Even though I have been sick majority if not my whole life, I couldn’t be more thankful for the live I live and the people in it. I was standing in line at the physical therapist with one person in front of me. He was rambling on about how this is a big year for him and his family, his daughters were turning 13, 18, and 21 and graduations and college and so on. But then he started talking about himself and his biggest accomplishment this year was his five year mark of being cancer free. I stood there and beyond my control a smile came on my face. I got the chills, he was so happy and I was silently so happy for him. It kind of hits close to home.
My mom was diagnosed with thyroid cancer almost four years ago. You usually hear of people her age being diagnosed with breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and awful sounding things like that. This wasn’t something you heard of everyday… Or at least we hadn’t, up until then. She broke the news to my brother, my dad, and me first of course. I was standing in my kitchen just me and her because my brother was away at college at the time. I could see on her face something was wrong. Every horrible thought raced through my mind before she even said a word. Her eyes welded up and I didn’t hear anything other than the word “cancer”. I got the biggest pit in my stomach. You never think anything like this is going to happen to you, or even worse the ones you love the most.
The reaction from most people was “Well, if you have to have cancer that’s the best kind of cancer to have”. The disgusting thing about this statement is these people weren’t making a joke, they were serious. I don’t care what kind of cancer you have, NONE of it is good, and unbeknownst to them we soon later met someone who was fighting the same thing and is now losing her battle. It’s scary thing to think about. Thankfully having my experiences of treatment in Boston, my mom decided to go that route as well. This could have been the factor that has now allowed her to be cancer free. She had her thyroid along with a whole ton of lymph nodes out. She barely has a scar. Her surgeon was great. As the next few years go by and she undergoes radioactive treatment we looked to the good of it all. We dealt with it and moved on. Although she is “cancer free”, cancer is never really “gone”. It’s still an everyday worry.
Having experienced this gave me a new light on life. Although her battle with thyroid cancer was pretty quick, it’s still an everyday struggle. She now lives with the complications of living without a thyroid. Gaining weight, hot flashes, calcium problems, and many other side affects. Constantly switching medications and visiting many different doctors she now has to deal medically with herself along with two sick kids (my brother has Crohn’s too). I don’t know how she does it. She is an amazing mom and can juggle a million things at once. She hasn’t had an easy run her life and you’d never know it. Many people now a days, I hate to say it, but are so selfish, she is the most selfless person I know and I couldn’t be more proud to have her as my mom. I hope I can be even a little bit like her when I’m older.
These past four years has made me realize how much life we have to live.. Or how much we potentially don’t have to live. Overall, I have little worries and try to live each day to the fullest. Being sick, this is tough. But you might not be alive to see tomorrow. Money is money and it’s here to spend. I’m not saying I’m not careful or irresponsible but my point is our bodies are unpredictable and do crazy things and living life is why we’re here. We’re here to do amazing things, love each other, argue, be support systems, and just be crazy! I challenge you, go out this week and do something you’ve never done before. I don’t care if you’re sick, if you have cancer, if you’re completely healthy, or if you have a broken leg. You can do it, and it’ll be worth it. Go embarrass yourself, and have a good time doing it. Be carefree for once. These are the kind of things that have kept me sane. Laughing and being crazy from time to time which my mom has been trying to teach me all my life.. it does wonders because as sick as you are, having a healthy spirit and mind is the most important thing. Laughter is the best medicine.
Listening to that man in the physical therapist office ramble on and talk about his kids and how excited he was, is really amazing. It’s exactly what I’m talking about here. I could tell he just had that zest for life. He was a cancer survivor and there’s nothing more rewarding than that. I might be sick, and there might not be a cure so yeah it’ll be a life long battle. But I’m here to live the crap out of this life, pun intended 😉 And you should too!
p.s. I was nominated for a blogging award my a fellow IBD blogger and my next post tomorrow will tell you more about that and show my appreciation! Thank you thank you thank you!!! ❤