A few days ago, I was looking over my dashboard, and noticed someone had found my blog after searching “Is thyrodi cancer traumatic?” I chuckled when I saw this, but it’s a very good question.
Is thyroid cancer traumatic?
In a way, I don’t really have a good answer for that question. I think the best way to answer that question is, “Sometimes.”
I think, in a way, one thing that makes thyroid cancer difficult is that, compared to most other cancers, it is not traumatic. I had surgery, and I will have radioactive iodine treatment on Thursday, but I don’t face chemotherapy, and I certainly don’t face death from this cancer. This makes it difficult, in an odd way, since I find myself unsure how to cope with this.
For example, I saw a poster for a charity walk for “cancer survivors” and I thought, “Can I even call myself a ‘cancer survivor?’ I mean, my life was never really in any mortal danger.” This is frustrating, especially as I go between the extremes of comforting others and wallowing in my own self-pity, which is easy to do in these kinds of extreme situations.
On the other hand, at times I feel like Royal Tennenbaum, from the movie The Royal Tennenbaums. For those who don’t know, Royal fakes stomach cancer in order to be invited back into the home of his estranged wife and grown children. When the ruse is discovered, he is thrown out of the house. As he leaves, he talks to his closest son, Richie, and tells him,
Royal: Richie, this closeness to death has had a profound impact on me. I feel like a new person!
Richie: Dad, you were never dying.
Royal: But I’m gonna live!