Friday, August 22, 2014

Tiffany's Experience with Thyroid Cancer

Our incredible, brave, awesome sister Tiffany posted this to her Facebook page today. She gave me permission to re-post it here.

"Today, a year ago, I found out I had thyroid cancer. It’s been a difficult, painful, but altogether, a growing year.

I’ve had a lot of new, interesting, painful, embarrassing and joyful experiences with my initiation into the cancer club. I’ve experienced the overwhelming fear of going to the next doctor’s exam – praying that the last treatment went well, I’ve learned the value of having close family and friends and how precious that strength can be, and I’ve found needed support and advice from unexpected sources. 

I’ve found that tears are healing and the ability to cry is a gift (right after I had my thyroid removed, I couldn’t cry or swallow very well because it was too painful on my throat). I’ve observed that there are people who may seem to be worse off and people that may appear to have better, but that doesn’t lessen the potency of my experience or the fact that everyone, at any given time, is struggling with something and patience with others brings us closer to how our Heavenly Father views his precious children. 

I’ve learned that education via the Internet has its value, but can also be a dangerous opponent from uneducated sources. I’ve learned to truly appreciate life and that cancer is not a life-stopping event (hopefully!), but is always a life-altering one.

Most importantly, I’ve reaffirmed that God is in control. I still don’t have all of the answers for why this happened to me, but the circumstances of discovery; scraping my chin on the bottom of a pool a week before I was supposed to leave the country, putting Neosporin on my injury, developing a rash because of an unknown allergy to the medicine and going to the doctor only for him to point out a lump on my neck; these help reaffirm to me that my Heavenly Father knows us and our lives and the things we need more than, I suspect, we could ever know to the fullest ourselves.

On a side note, as a person who ignored the symptoms I had long before I found out I had cancer, I recommend regular self-assessments and doctor checkups – it could save a life!"

 - by Tiffany Gale

Right after waking up from my thyroidectomy



Sitting on top of Masada Fortress in Israel - my boss at BYU added the quote