I’m going to share mine. It was November 2005 and I was at the peak of life. My daughters were growing older and needed me less. I had just finished my B.S. in Legal Studies the year before and had a promising career in a corporate legal office. I was driven and knew I had so much more to offer so I decided I would take the LSAT (law school entrance exam) and go to law school. I had it all mapped out. And I did it. I sat for the test, received my scores and by February of 2006, I decided to apply to a local law school. Then came 10 pounds.
In March of 2006, I noticed I was overly tired for no reason. My usual anal retentive self started to be less organized and driven. Housework and chores started to slip. I just wanted to sleep. Then came 10 more pounds. In April I had my yearly gyn appointment and my doctor suggested I see a specialist about my ever growing thyroid. In my mind I was like “here we go again.” I had blood work done repeatedly and it always came back the same – normal. I told her I would think about.
In May, I received a new opportunity at another company with a 50% salary increase so I took it. While shopping for new clothes for my prestigious new role, another 10 pounds came. Wait…what is going on here???? Then I thought back to my conversation with my doctor and decided to move on her suggestion. I set up an appointment at a world-class teaching hospital but had to wait months to be seen. “No big deal” I thought. It’s nothing serious.
Fast forward to September – first visit with the endocrinologist. First the student examined me. Then the real professional came in. “Swallow” he said. “Hmph”, was his reply. Then he said he needed me to go for an ultrasound right away. He explained that he felt four nodules throughout my thyroid and that he needed to rule out something serious.
Now, I am a “cup half full” kind of girl so I sashayed my way to the radiology department to set up the appointment. A week later, I was laid flat on a table with a technician and radiologist looking at the pictures on the screen, making funny noises and talking about my nodules. It was all but confirmed that I had thyroid cancer but I would need to come back for a biopsy. Wait, what???
I won’t belabor the rest of the details but a week later I found out I had malignant papillary thyroid carcinoma and two weeks after that I had my thyroid removed. During the course of that ordeal, I had to stop and ask myself how I got to that point in my life. I reflected on all the things I may miss in my kids lives if it I couldn’t be treated. It was then that I slowly started to realize my why. Accepting it has been a struggle but I am finally at a place of sharing it and working with it. So here is my why:
Because I know what it feels like to waste precious moments not knowing if you will get any more chances to make memories and to leave a lasting impact on this world. My ability to help others feel good about themselves starts with me feeling good about myself.
So there you have it…that’s my why. It’s not flashy or over complicated but is meaningful to me. What’s yours?
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