The “After” Life

3 Oct

This weekend I saw 50/50, a new movie about a 27 year-old cancer patient. I couldn’t relate to most of it, except the scene before his surgery. It was so right-on that it was scary. I almost forgot that I had been through it all myself. It’s been seven weeks since my surgery. 53 days, to be exact. I started a new job, and I have been so busy that I dont really know how to measure how I feel. I guess I feel normal…some days I have boundless energy and on all the others I depend on an afternoon coffee to get me through. I have gained two pounds, which is better than many other people in my situation. My TSH is suppressed, and I probably won’t have my scan until 2012. Is the war over? It has certainly slowed down.

Once in awhile, I still have to fight. I picked up my Synthroid prescription last week, and glanced at the bottle before the pharmacist put it in the bag. Oval pills. Not the perfect circle ones that I’ve been taking. My face got hot when she asked me if I’d like anything else.

“I’d LIKE the drug that my doctor prescribed for me. But YOU switched it out with a generic.”

She apologized and gave me my Synthroid, and I walked out feeling a little embarrassed by my overreaction. After everything I’ve been though on this journey, I should just accept medical errors and continue to watch my own back. But I still get angry. I am still having the imaginary tell-off to Dr. P in my head, where I point at my scar and say, “Who was the one who didn’t know where my thyroid was again?” Or maybe, “How are your other cancer patients doing on the Zoloft that you gave them?” Will I ever get to say my peace? Will it even make a difference?

At the end if the day, I am a survivor. But I don’t feel much like a cancer survivor. As I sit in the U of M Cancer Center waiting room, I am humbled. I am so grateful that this happened to me and not to one of my children. As much as I would like to fit into my old jeans, I am grateful I am not sick from chemotherapy. If not for my scar, you would never know that I belong to this club. Most days, I feel GOOD. I am happy in my life. I can still run 3 miles (a little slower now), and I keep up in TurboKick and Zumba. I am loving the new challenges in my job, and meeting brilliant people from all over the world. I am present in every moment…savoring every hug from my girls and every laugh with my husband. I made it to “after.” Still alive. Still working. Still running. Still singing. Still eating ice cream and watching TV in my recliner. Still me.

7 weeks post-thyroidectomy…my scar fading into a crease.
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One Response to “The “After” Life”

  1. macka2al October 21, 2011 at 4:09 am #

    You look great Sarah!

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