SWEET TEA

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

my SPECIAL day

This is a very special day for me.
I am officially a 30 year
thyroid cancer SURVIVOR as of today!

I really do not like to think back to this painful
time in my life yet I feel it is good to remember
and give thanks for how far I've come.

My story is not one of bravery and unwavering
faith in God.  This was the most frightened
I have ever been in my entire life.

I was young.
I/we had 3 small children.
I was busy.
I had plans.
Cancer was most certainly
not on my "to do" list.

I went into surgery for what I thought
was a benign thyroid nodule.  I knew
there was a very small chance that
this thyroid "thing" might
be malignant, but I also knew the
odds were very good that it
was not.
After the surgery I was told
everything had tested fine - no cancer
was found.

Three days later a pathologist came into
my room and quite bluntly told me there
was some "question" about the test
results and it would take a few more
days to be certain, but it was very
likely I did have cancer.

I was so shocked that I could not speak.
My husband was with me.
He held me.
He talked to me.
I had no words.
It was literally several minutes
before I could find my voice to speak.
I'd never had that experience before
and have never had it since.
I suppose it was the shock.

4 days later I had surgery again.
This was considered "preventative surgery".
The prognosis was fantastic,
but I was not.

I fell into a deep, dark, pit of depression.
It was a dark place,
a place I hope I never see again.
It lasted for many months.
I could tell you stories - but not now.

My husband was steadfast and refused
to let me sink alone.  My parents, my sister,
and a few close friends kept me afloat.
They prayed for me.
They loved me.
They helped with the children.
They hung with me when I had no interest
in anything.  When the tears came
often and uncontrollably they remained steadfast.
It was a long, slow, path back to
feeling whole again.

I am blessed in that I required no
chemo or radiation.  I am certainly
no cancer expert and I certainly have
no  great Christian testimony.
Actually, if this was a spiritual test,
I'd honestly say I deserve an "F".
There were times I was angry.
There were times I felt far from God's love.
There were times I questioned the "why"?
I had no great strength and I certainly
could find no happiness or peace
during this stormy season of life.
I have heard people talk about far greater
loss, suffering and pain and how the
peace and promise of God "kept
them" during their trial.
I am not one of them.

If anything I felt like the weakest,
most helpless creature in all
of God's creation.

If I learned anything from this experience
it is simply the fact that by myself
I AM weak and totally dependent
upon God. The good news is God is strong!
He is stronger than anger, doubt, despair,
and pain.  And he places wonderful
people in our lives to be
his "hands-on" love.

Fast Forward to now - I am happy beyond
measure.  My life is better than I could have
ever imagined.  I am healthy.
Our 3 small children are now grown and
we have even added another daughter
to our clan; she is 17.  We have
3 beautiful granddolls and hope
to have even more someday.

* * * * * * * * * * *
I'm not really sure why I decided to share
all of this, after all it is an "old" story.
I think I just wanted you to know
that I have a thankful heart, and perhaps
if there is even one of you, my readers,
who feels weak and ill-prepared
for the situation you are in,
"be encouraged". 

~SWEET TEA

*If you made it through this l-o-n-g
post, thanks for sticking with me.  ;-)


41 comments:

Madi and Mom said...

God is good and he most certainly had plans for your life. Thank you for sharing this post as I feel it will serve as encouragement for someone who may or may not be known to you.
I know a a young Mom who had this same diagnosis about 2 years ago.

Happy 30th year!
Hugs C

Say What? said...

Oh Sweetie. Thank you for sharing. This touched my heart so much. I praise God with you. I appreciate you being so honest and sharing your heart. God is so good, even when we are weak. Have a beautiful Anniversary Day!

Susie said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I have gone thru it with my daughter.Her's was a node, then partial surgery, then taking the whole thyroid out....then 1 1/2 years later she got breast cancer...had radiation and chemo after the lumpectomy.She's doing well now. her hair is about 2 inches long, she's happy about that. :):) Cancer does test our faith, strengths. It effects the whole family. So happy to read that you are cacer free for 30 years. Wonderful !! xoxo, Susie

Susie said...

I mean cancer free...I didn't proof read sorry. Susie

Carol Pirozek said...

I am so happy for you and wish you nothing but more Blessings from God as you grow older...You are and will be an inspiration to many others...God Bless

Janie Fox said...

This was wonderful. Thanks for sharing your story.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

God is amazing and without him I would be lost
So happy you are here celebrating this anniversary because I love having you as a friend.
Been wanting to send you my email but have not.
It is grandmayellowhair@gmail.com
Thanks honey for sharing this awesome story with us. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes
Love ya
Maggie

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

30 years. Well worth celebrating. Very special indeed.Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt post. Tears for the young you, smiles for the now you.

marejohn said...

WONDERFUL! and...you shared it for ME!
My 35 year old daughter was diagnosed with stage 3/4 colon cancer in August. 3 big tumors and inches of colon removed. She has 2 daughters at home and a busy life...Round 8 out of 12 chemo tx's just finished. Moving ahead..continuing to work...trying to slow down and let her body heal is hard for her.
I praise God for your health as I ask him to bestow that same favor on my daughter..
blessings..
Mare

laurie said...

oh my gosh what a strong, tear inducing post.You wonderful strong beautiful woman,, BRAVO for you.Your post today will help so many, thankyou so much for sharing, its good to share.This must have been so frightening, with small children as well.I'm so glad you shared today.

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Yay! This is truly a cause for celebration! Thanks for sharing this. Have a great day!

Linda Chapman said...

We have a lot in common!

I use to have bruises around my neck where I kept feeling for more cancer. It really doesn't work that way but we do crazy things.

Sometimes I forget I am cancer survivor. I join you in gratitude for LIFE!!

Great post.....

Just Stuff From a Boomer said...

Thanks for telling your story. I learned long ago that I am not very good at managing my life and that things go much better when I remember to let God take the lead. He did lead you into a wonderful future. I'm so glad you are till here to brighten my world.

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

Congratulations! And you most certainly do not deserve an F for failing in faith. You did exactly what was required; you called out to God (and yelled and screamed and stamped your foot -- just like David did). But you called out to God and you held on tight; and you thank him for getting you through.

I think you deserve an A+ ..... and something chocolate for later!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Praise God Sweetie...
We are all thankful as well, because you bring such joy to our lives when you visit us. I love seeing that little glass of tea pop up, makes my day. My heart is always happy and full when you have paid a visit.

Thank you for sharing. I am sure your heart needed to share and that is why you opened up about your story. You gave me happy tears this morning.

Have a glorious day sweet friend. Many hugs and much love, Sherry

Melanie said...

Thank you for sharing your story! Happy 30th anniversary!

Sush said...

YOU are totally amazing. You survived a very horrible disease at a time when you were young and unsure. You had family and friends who 'loved you through it' and even though you didn't know it at the time you had God there all the time...giving you the people you needed when you needed.
It's amazing to me the stories behind the people we think we know but have no complete awareness of. I'm so grateful you shared and so very happy your outcome has been so successful.
Blessings Deb and isn't 30 such a wonderful number!
Hugs~

Debbiedoo's said...

WOW How happy I am for you! Gosh, that is quite a story, and I felt your pain and shock for the moment as you told it all so well. Congratulations. You have some celebrating to do girl!!!!~ XO

yaya said...

Your story is the kind of story that should be told and retold. You say you weren't brave? I disagree. We take on things in life and move forward in the best way we can. You did that, moved on and you're here to tell the happy ending...thank goodness! We should never forget the past, just learn from it and embrace the good things that seem much sweeter after going through trials. Bravo!!

Jeanie said...

A special day indeed! I have a close friend who is having her cancerous thyroid removed on Friday. She had a lobe of her lung removed in early January due to a carcinoid. Your story is inspiring and I will share it with her.

MommaMindy said...

I LOVED that you told your story today and I loved your honesty.

I thought of this verse.
Proverbs 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again.

All Christians fall, it's the getting up that counts. You might have fallen in a lack of faith, but you rose in faith. You bring the Lord much glory and honor with your testimony.

I had my first surgery for thyroid cancer in 2005, but mine keeps coming back. Still fighting that battle, rising and falling in faith. Thanks for the encouragement today!

Nezzy said...

I'm sure there is someone who needed to hear this story today.

We just never know the lives we may tough through bloggin'.

God bless you girl for you honest survivor story. We serve a mighty God. Bigger than any stinkin' Cancer.

Have a beautiful evenin' sweetie!!! :o)

Kelli said...

This post makes causes a range of emotions, the main one being HAPPY. Because I am SO HAPPY you are a SURVIVOR! :) Then there's SAD. Because you had to go through this at all. Then there is EMPATHY. Because I have had my own battle with the 'C' word.

Happy anniversary, you survivor you! :)

Robin said...

Tank you so much for sharing! I am so thankful that you have been cancer free for 30 years! THAT IS FANTASTIC! Yes, God is good, all the time!

karen said...

I think when we're presented with a personal crisis like that, most of us will run the gamut of emotions. The happy part is that you've survived, and your emotions now are full of healthy gratitude. Yay, you!

Jill said...

What a blessing it was found in time! So happy to hear all turned out well. My cousin is 37 and was diagnosed last year, she has a 3 year old son. They removed all of it (they think) but she continues to get scans done. Such a scary thing. We must give thanks every day God gives us new... I'm sure you just inspired many that may be battling this too. Blessings to you!

Jill

Chatty Crone said...

You are welcome for staying until the end of the story. What a story of truth and inspiration. I can't imagine what I would be like. That had to be so scary. I am sure glad you are okay today - 30 years later. sandie

Mom Walds Place said...

Wow, what a post to "meet" you with. You are awesome for sharing! Hey, congrats on staying alive ;)

BTW, I'm not totally flippant. We have a chronically ill daughter with a shortened life expectancy. You laugh or go crazy.

blessedmoms simple home said...

This was so incredibly encouraging. You never know who might need to hear just what you had to say today. I was so inspired by your honesty. I'm very much like you. I feel very weak in the midst of trials, but in our weakness, His strength gets us through. Thank you for sharing.
Blessings,
Marcia

bj said...

Well, sweetheart...the good news is that HE never left your side, even when you were so down. HE was always there with you.
What a brave soul you are to have come thru all this and be such a strong Christian. Your story has helped someone, somewhere, to face things that might come in her path. Thank you for that. I thank you for sharing your story.

Congratulations on the 30 year CANCER FREE. Mr. Sweet also faced life threatening cancer....4 times, in fact.
GOD IS GOOD.
xo bj

Bobbi said...

Wow! I can't begin to tell you how much this post touched my heart. I've been that weak person before... I think we all have. Thanks for sharing this.. I so love happy endings!!

Shannon@Cozy Home Scenes said...

I am so happy that God did get you through your ordeal. Your story reminded me of the song about Him being the footprints in the sand. When the person thought they were alone He was walking behind them every step of the way. Congratulations to you and thanks be to God for helping you survive to enjoy this wonderful life.------- Shannon

puttermuch said...

What a touching story told so beautifully....I often wonder how I would deal with a devastating illness, I am sure God would be there for me, but it is a scary thought. Thank you for being so honest, I wish for you a VERY happy anniversary :)

STILLMAGNOLIA said...

Awesome story and I am so glad things turned out like they did.

Shirley Sue said...

We all have a history. I enjoyed hearing some of yours. Even though, it was 30 years ago, I still wanted to hug you and tell you it will all be alright. Different things bring people to their knees and they just have to get through it. Sounds like you have a wonderful family to be there for you. You are so blessed that this is history and you got through it with courage, faith, and family.

Anonymous said...

Oh,my sweet Deb. It's so wonderful when we live long enough to be able to see God's work in our lives. So many testiments need to be made of how we actually felt during our bad times and how the strenght finally comes. I look at you 3o years later and think how lucky I am to have such a friend who knows how to pray for her friends through their turmoils, how to hold hands and give comfort even if we're miles away. You built up enough strength through your trials to help those of us who've needed strenght 30 years later. Isn't God just about he best engineer out there! That's how it works. If I live long enough, I hope and pray that I can do the same 30 years from now. Love you so much....Pam

joanne said...

I came by from Maggie's place and then saw this post. I am a 1year thyroid survivor and pray for many, many more. I did have radiation but have finally gotten to a place where I feel like me again. I can relate to your story more than you know. Anyway, nice to meet you and I'll be stopping by again soon. ;j

Lisalulu said...

just found you through Grandmayellowhair, and you are such a funny/catchy writer! I had ovarian cancer 15 years ago. Alive and stil kicking, and I my feelings mirrored your so much... I'm your newest follower!

Annesphamily said...

Your story needed to be told! I think we all feel the same, scared, anger, despairing! I had a lot of neuro surgery long ago and today I still think I would never have survived if the Lord had not held me up along with my incredible hubby!
I work for an ENT. His friend and neighbor is an Ortho dr. He came in several years ago for a routine thyroid nodule. Cancer! But he is fine today, thank goodness. H is an excellent doctor but I remember how shocked my own doctor was because he did not think anything was seriously wrong! And that my friend is why God is ultimately in charge! We are all just imperfect beings. He is the real deal and the one with all the right answers!
You never know when you will touch someone else with your own story. It is good you shared. Blessings to you today!

Joyce said...

Definitely something to celebrate : ) Thanks for sharing!

Mary said...

I, for 1, appreciate your honesty. I'm afraid I would feel the same way. Congratulations on being a survivor! :)

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