6 Jun

Last night I took my daughter to see the movie ‘The Fault In Our Stars‘. We had both read the book almost two years ago and knew we wanted to see the movie. It’s about a teenage girl who has metastatic thyroid cancer. I will not spoil it because there are surprises if you have not read the book, but I think everyone familiar with the trailers know that at the very least you will need a Kleenex or 10 when you either read it or watch it. I cried from almost the beginning to the end. There were many moments that I identified with, first obviously, she had thyroid cancer. It was difficult watching her and listening to her struggles and thoughts but it was also hard to watch her parents and how they cared for her and even some of their thoughts. For me, the movie and book were both kinda gut-wrenching.

I’m involved with a couple cancer organizations. One where we connect on-line and support each other, the other, I am a ‘mentor’ to those struggling with similar cancer or treatments. We connect and just talk through the emotions and even some of the physical changes that happen from treatment. Last week I spoke with a new person as her ‘Angel mentor’. She, like me, has thyroid cancer; but she, like the the character in the movie, has thyroid cancer that has spread everywhere after 12 years. It was a difficult conversation and I have been praying for her daily as she struggles through. She asked me at the end of our initial conversation how I stay so positive because she can’t find that right now. I told her mostly faith, part personality, and part choice. What’s the alternative? I also told her it’s ok to feel down. There’s a quote from the movie (and book), ‘Grief does not change you, it reveals you.’ Sometimes we have to dig so deep. In speaking with her there are many things we share in common which I’m sure any cancer patient has felt:
* When we feel down, other people feel worst. When we act and talk like we feel great, people feel better. Therefore most times, we don’t really want to say we feel bad
* Having cancer more than once is difficult. Both of us agreed that telling people it was back was a little embarrassing and discouraging
* Although we all want to say ‘why me?’ when we look at our loved ones we think ‘why not me?’
* We both hate when people say that thyroid cancer is the easy cancer. Clearly it’s cancer that can spread and take over your body. Neither of us had it ‘easy’
* So this is a weird one, if you’re a woman with cancer and it’s not breast cancer, we’re a little jealous of the pink (sorry)
* Cancer makes us see what and who are truly important. We don’t want to waste a moment. Another quote from the movie ‘The marks humans leave are too often scars.’
* Sometimes the sadness of how cancer affects us is overwhelming but sometimes the joy we now find in simple moments is equally if not more overwhelming. ‘The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people noticing things, paying attention.

We don’t choose cancer, it just shows up.

Today I wear Tarte Amazonian Butter Lipstick in Tulip which is a pinky mauve. I love these because like the name they feel like butter. I chose this color because it’s perfect for every day. It also looks great on every skin tone by the way. Cheers!


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