No such thing as "good" cancer, but I've got it.

There's an old cliche' that says God never gives us more than we can handle. Mother Theresa was once quoted as saying "God never gives us more than we can handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much." A month ago, and for the last seven years, I thought I understood how she felt. Now, I know I understand how she felt.  A week ago I was diagnosed with cancer. It's not your "regular" cancer, in fact, it's the "good" kind of cancer. I, thankfully, will not have to undergo chemo treatments to fight this disease. The doctors and the "all-knowing internet" have all simplified it down to 3 things: 1) Surgery to remove the cancer and my thyroid. 2) a one time pill of Radioactive Iodine to kill off any left over thyroid or cancer cells. 3) Taking thyroid replacement hormone for the rest of my life.

They make it sound as if it's no big deal like it's not really cancer, but it is still CANCER! So I don't have to go through the nastiness of chemo and radiation treatments, but there are still the numerous dr. appointments, scans and tests, not to mention the thought that it could spread or come back at any time is always lingering in the back of your mind and there is still the worst case scenario. Even though there is a near 100% cure rate, there are still those who don't survive this type of cancer. Having Thyroid Cancer is a bit of a different ball game. I've had a difficult time deciding whether or not to share my diagnosis with people outside of my immediate circle. There are people in my life that have a tendency to say things that infer they think I'm a hypochondriac or just want attention and use my health to get it. Trust me, I would much rather not have to deal with MS, cancer, or any of the other health problems I have. And I'm sorry, but it's not my job to make you feel better about the fact that I have cancer.

There's not really anything you can do to "fix" these things. You follow the doctor's orders, but the reality is there is just no way to really know how things will turn out. These aren't medical issues that require a round of antibiotics and then you're done with it. These things don't go away completely. Sure, there's remission and at some point the doctors could declare me "cancer free," but there's always the possibility that it will return. I don't know why MS and arthritis weren't enough trouble for me, but for whatever reason, these are the adversities I have to navigate in life.

I don't need your drama or your stress. I don't need any stress. What I need is your smiles, an occasional hug, laughter, and for cancer to not be constantly on my mind. I don't want to think about it all the time. I want to continue my life, not pause or stop it. I need you to not be sad, if you're going to be sad, then go be sad somewhere else. I need you to be my friend, not a walking bucket of pity. Two great coaches who lost their fight with cancer said it best. "Don't give up. Don't ever give up."--Jim Valvano  and "It's what you got, deal with it."--Tom Pratt   So, I've got MS, I've got arthritis, I've got cancer, I've got no plans to give up. Just deal with it.