I'm getting so close to getting back to regular old blogging. I promise! I cooked an awesome soup and Chris photographed it and then I wrote down the recipe for safe keeping!
JK! I totally didn't write the recipe down for safe keeping. I did one of those things where I'm like "I'll write it down after we eat dinner." And then we all watched Sisters and laughed our butts off and then I was tired and went to bed. "I'll write it down tomorrow," I told myself. Then tomorrow came and I was like "Is that a sore throat? What is that awful achy feeling I feel everywhere?" And thoughts of napping replaced thoughts of writing down some stupid recipe.
So then I got caught up in this whole terrible cold/cough that everyone has right now. And that turned into bronchitis and experienced some of the worst coughing fits of my life. I won't go into details but there were some moments where Chris had to see me at my absolutely most disgusting and I'm grateful he still loves me. Three weeks, some antibiotics, and possibly a broken rib later, I'm feeling much better and attempting to remember how exactly I made that crazy-delicious soup. And in other news, because my partner and I are truly made from the same cloth, Chris is trying to find the pictures...
In the meantime, until I remember how I made that soup (and write it down) and Chris finds the pictures, I'll fill you in on how things have been going over here. As it usually happens with life, there's some good and not so good stuff.
I'm still grieving for my mother and she occupies my thoughts all throughout the day, most days. I miss her. Even though at the end, our conversations were pretty nonsensical (she was experiencing dementia or was just delirious for the last 6 months or so of her life), I still miss being able to call her and listen to her tell me stories she came up with while looking through a bag of thrift store costume jewelry. I miss her so much. I read a quote a month ago or so that has really been helping me understand what I'm going through:
"And something new is created when the person you love dies.
Because they are not the only ones who die: you die, too. The person you were when you were with them is gone just as surely as they are.
This is what you should know about losing somebody you love. They do not travel alone. You go with them."
When my mother first passed away, it felt almost as if my soul had been stripped away and I was learning how to exist with a new soul I was building from scratch. This quote really put those feelings in perspective for me. I am no longer the person I was when my mother was alive. My mother and I loved each other very much but we had a complicated relationship. When she passed away, so did a part of my heart that held a lot of frustration that had stemmed from our relationship. However, a part of my heart that was reserved just for the love I had for mother left as well. Sometimes, I'm still trying to figure out how to go on without those parts of my soul, but for the most part, I'm feeling stronger, more positive. I have fewer negative emotions weighing me down. I miss my mom, but I have a firmer grasp on the new person that I am now.
I'm very happy to say that the cloud of depression that has been weighing on me the last several months seems to have lifted. I'm feeling much more like my old self. I'm laughing more and I have energy to get things done. I mean, I have days where I'm like "I've kicked so much butt at checking things off my to-do list and it's only 10:30am! Bam!" It's been a long time since I've felt like that. I feel more free. I'm more likely to sing along with the radio, crack a joke, or dance when I'm happy. I don't want to jinx myself, but I feel really good these days.
I'd like to say it was a personal triumph that overcame this recent bout of depression, but I owe a lot of it to getting a new endocrinologist. You may know that I have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, and the thyroid has a lot of control over mood, among other things. Last fall, my blood tests showed that I'd tipped over, just slightly, into HYPERthyroid territory so my endocrinologist decreased my thyroid hormone medication. I was just beginning to show signs of depression but my endocrinologist was positive that it was separate from thyroid issues because of the blood test results. The decrease in medication caused an increase in other HYPOthyroid symptoms like weight gain, fatigue, brain fog, hair loss, etc. But when I went back in February, my blood tests showed that I was still HYPER and even though I was having these symptoms, my doctor insisted on lowering my medication again. I felt that she wasn't listening to me. I went to my regular doctor to request a new endocrinologist referral and my doctor agreed that we needed to get me back to feeling better, even if that meant my blood tests showed that I was HYPER. That may be where I feel normal.
So I went to my new endocrinologist. He agreed that it was important to get me back to where I felt normal. So he increased my medication back to where it was the last time I felt good. But there was something else we needed to address. They'd found nodules on my thyroid a couple years ago and during my yearly ultrasound to monitor said nodules, one of them had grown and developed "morphologically suspicious features." The ultrasound results actually said "Consider Fine Needle Aspiration." Which, for those of you who don't know, is a biopsy. My first endocrinologist ignored this and suggested that we look at the nodules again in six months or so. My new endocrinologist didn't want to mess around with it and ordered a biopsy, which I did the following week.
I was sure that if it was anything serious, they would call me in and we'd talk about it in his office, just like they do in the movies. When the doctor called, I was positive that he was just calling to say that it was normal. When he told me that I had cancer, I struggled to hear everything he said afterwards but there was a high-pitched tone in my ears. I began to sweat. I was at work and I carried the phone outside to the balcony so I could get some fresh air and escape the sound in my head. I asked him to repeat himself. Definitely cancer. Surgery. Partial thyroidectomy. I shouldn't worry. It's common. Need to make an appointment with the surgeon.
So I made an appointment with the surgeon. The week leading up to the appointment was confusing. I'm only 35. I'm vegan. I take care of myself. I'm supposed to be healthy. How do I have cancer in my body? I was in the thick of my stint with bronchitis and I couldn't help but wonder if part of the coughing was due to the cancer. Maybe I'm so tired because of the cancer? Is it growing and spreading right now? Is it possible that I have cancer elsewhere in my body just waiting to be discovered?
My appointment with the surgeon was helpful. Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma. It's the most easily treatable, most favorable form of thyroid cancer. She wants to remove the entire thyroid to reduce the risk of having to go through this again in the future. They did another ultrasound and there are some lymph nodes near the tumor that are enlarged. It's possible that the cancer spread to the lymph nodes so when they are removing the thyroid, if the lymph nodes look cancerous, they'll take those as well. But I'm young. The tumor is small. They don't think there's any reason for me to need any further treatment following the surgery. And they don't think it will affect my life expectancy at all. I already take thyroid hormones so my body is already used to them. There won't be an adjustment period. I should be fine after one week of recovery. Easy peasy.
So that's where I'm at now. Chris and I are trying to plan a big vacation for when this is all over. We need it. We're wrapping up the show we're working on. I'm trying to get used to the idea that they're going to cut my neck open in a couple of weeks to remove the cancer. I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that I have cancer. I'm researching and picking out vacation spots. I'm working hard on filling up my phone's storage space with pictures of my dogs (thus the reason for all of the dog pics in this post). We're binging The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt because, do I need a reason? I'm trying to perfect the vegan, gluten-free cinnamon roll and I'm getting pretty damn close (and we're not sad about how long the experimentation process is taking). We're staying positive. I'm trying to remember how I made that darn soup so I can share the recipe with you ASAP. I'm trying to get back to normal, whatever that may be these days.
I'm so sorry for your loss. I lost my mom last summer. You're right. You're never the same after losing someone you love. It's a journey trying to figure out what life is without them here. You're not alone. Sending you lots of love. (((hugs)))
Oh my goodness, what a post, and what news. I'm so glad to hear that you are emerging from the heaviness of depression ... and sorry to hear that you have cancer. Whoa. You have really had quite a year. I'm so impressed that you are able to hold your head up and chug through a day, one day at a time, and even more so that you have begun to find your way back to yourself in spite of all of this. My college roommate had this kind of cancer, so she had her thyroid removed and is alive and well today (many years later). There's one anecdotal good news story for you. Of course I loved all the dog pictures -- keep 'em comin' Love & hugs
Wow! Keep up your positive energy and thoughts and I will do the same for you! I hope you will have a successful surgery and you'll heal and get well fast and enjoy your next trip wherever that may be.
Much love from Dayton.
You'll emerge stronger than ever after this...sending you so much love and good wishes. <3
Sending you so much love and a giant hug, Kristy. Sharing as you have takes incredible strength in showing us all how to let our vulnerable true selves shine. You've inspired me in so many ways.
Will be thinking about you.
I'm really sorry to hear this and send you the most loving healing prayers.
You are amazing and strong and all I have is hugs for you. I'm so thankful you have a doctor who is on the ball and that you are on the path to healing. Looking forward to those gluten-free cinnamon rolls, xoxoo
I'm sorry I am behind in all that has been going on in your life. My condolences for your loss of your mother. May all your loving and special memories warm your heart every day and put a smile on your face in the days ahead. Then I was sad to read of all you have been going through with your health and then the final diagnosis. You must feel as if you are on an emotional roller coaster. My wish for you is to have a successful surgery, speedy recovery and be back to yourself once again. I have always enjoyed your recipes and blog and know I wish you all the best always!! ~Adriana
What a brave story! Keep positive! Everything will work out.
It sounds like there has definitely been some tough times. I have heard generally positive outcomes from people with this sort of tumour, but I can imagine it would be incredibly stressful regardless. I hope everything goes well with the surgery. <3
You are really going through the wringer right now - may the tough times be over soon! A cancer diagnosis is never an easy thing to hear - no matter what the prognosis. But, like a commenter above, I have a good friend who had thyroid cancer in his teens, had his thyroid removed, and is now nearing 40 with no recurrence since. I hope you have the same good luck! Sending good thoughts and positive vibes your way!
Huge hugs and love. I'm sure you've heard this kind of anecdote from many, but just because I feel like every little grain of "THIS IS FINE EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT FINE RIGHT NOW" is helpful, one of my best friends had exactly that procedure, due to exactly that cancer, in grad school. Other than a hairline scar that you'd never notice if you weren't looking for it, she is 100% fine. And similarly, she got it as a twentysomething with an uber-healthy lifestyle. Cancer sucks, and I can't imagine how terrifying that phone call must have been, but IT WILL BE FINE.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
Xoxoxoxo Strength and love!
You sound like such a positive strong woman. Youll get over this! I feel terrible due to something like Hashimoto's that's not quite clear. Have IBS, some days feel depressive, fatigued, dizzy...but I go on on my quest to feel good and offer the best version of me to others. All the strenght on your recovery, I think youve done the hardest part already : )
I'm sorry for your loss. I dad had thyroid cancer and they removed his thyroid. He gets a check up every 6 months. He had the surgery in December 2000. I know you will be well. Love the doggie pictures. Take care.
Here's to a speedy recovery, an amazing taking care of me vacation and the cinnamon bun recipe not being quite right for at least a few more tries 🙂
Sending lots of love and good vibes! When my dad got cancer, his doctor told me that "even vegans get cancer" but what makes us different is we tend to survive (and flourish) after it better. I'm comforted knowing that you're an amazing chef who can whip up great food to nourish and heal your body. Best wishes!
oh my goodness, kristy. you have gone through so much. i don't know what else to say that, no matter how you feel or what your attitude may be at a particular moment, i find your voice incredibly inspiring and uplifting. you are a miraculous woman.
What a roller coaster! Wishing you strength to overcome the latest challenge.
Oh Kristy, what a crazy last few months you've had! I'm so happy to hear you went with your gut and requested a new doctor. I have a friend who had thyroid cancer, years ago, and is completely fine - she just has to get it re-checked every few years. Wishing you a speedy recovery and a fantastic vacation!
Richa @ veganricha.com
Oh my god Kristy. Some crazy months there. I am happy that you went with a new endo. One of my friends got it in her late twenties, surgery to remove the thyroid and a few rounds of radiation, and 6 yrs now and she has 2 toddlers now who run all over her and I wonder where she gets so much energy to handle the 2.
Wishing you the best for the surgery and quick and complete recovery. Take your time with everything and treat yourself after each and every step. Sending you loads of hugs and love.
After battling with Hashimoto's for years and years, I finally elected to get a full thyroidectomy a year and a half ago. Let me tell you I wish I did it sooner since i have never felt better! It took about 3 months to regulate my higher dosage, but since then I've felt amazing! I just don't have the ups and downs anymore. My aunt had the same operation a year before me due to thyroid cancer and she agrees that she's never felt better either! I'm so glad I did it! Oh and no worries about the scar, I literally have to strain to see mine, I can't even find it to put sunblock on it sometimes! Feel free to email me if you have any questions or want any support!
Wow, I can't believe what I'm reading, I'm a 34 year old healthy vegan woman and I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last May, I had the surgery in August 2015 (full thyroidectomy with left neck dissection). It was a bit of a rough ride, not gonna lie, but I can say there is life after thyroid cancer. Oh and I went to work late this morning so I could finish Kimmy Schmidt while eating a cinnamon roll.... Jinx! Good luck.
Glad that you are starting to feel like your old self after your loss. I was just telling my hubby yesterday that I was feeling like the old me, now 3 months after chemo has ended. What a rollercoaster journey it's been but not allowing the negative to come in has had a huge impact on my outcome. I have recently been watching The Truth About Cancer documentary series online. Your can find it on my F--k You Cancer pinterest page. IMO everyone should watch this eye opening series since cancer affects us all. I was healthy and active, ate well, never got so much as a cold & no family history of disease, so I was blind sided as well. Please watch the series, it'll open your eyes to how outdated conventional treatments are.
Wishing you love & light.
"Easy peasy?" I'm not sure if you are super optimistic, or a sassy-pants, but we love you for it, either way! You have already been through so much, and have to deal with this too? Hugs, hugs, and more hugs (virtual hugs, anyway) sent your way. Thank you for your transparency, and letting us know where you are at. We enjoy all of your fabulous recipes (for sure!), but we also appreciate the sides of humility, authenticity, and humor. Thanks, for letting us come along for the ride!
I am so sorry for your pain in losing your mom. I lost my mom and it feels like a part of me is always going to be missing.
Have you heard about this web site? Thetruthaboutcancer.com
My chiro just told me that her friend's mom had thyroid cancer and had her thyroid removed. She went to the dr for a follow up and they found some spots on her lungs and recommended she get chemo. She declined and started watching the Truth About Cancer with Ty Bollinger. She rubbed frankinsence essential oil on her throat and 4 months later, the dr said the spots were gone and he was stumped over that one!
I wish you health and happiness.
Check out Ty Bollinger here
Sophia | Veggies Don't Bite
Holy crap friend, huge huge hugs coming your way. I'm so happy you have some good with that bad. I know all will be okay, you're one tough cookie. But know I am thinking of you big time!
Hi Kristy, I have been reading and enjoying your blog for a long time now though I never comment. My mother had thyroid cancer a few years ago and I recall the doctor telling her that if you have to get cancer then it is the best one to get.....if that is possible? She had her thyroid removed and has been healthy ever since. Sending you all the best wishes and strength. And...I can't wait to make those cinnamon rolls :).
I am sorry to hear that you have had such a hard time. That all sounds terrible. Good luck for your surgery!
I'm sorry for your loss. I can't imagine losing my mom.. She means everything to me..
Im so sorry to hear about you having cancer. When I read your story I felt like I was reading about myself. Everything you have with your thyroid is what I had. Just know that you will still be great after. I went through it in 2007 and I'm still kicking! Prayers for you!!!!!
Sending you so much love and thoughts Kristy. I love spending time with you and hope we can continue to support each other! You are such a strong, inspiring friend and I am so sorry you have had a crazy rough year. I try to be really patient with the healing process, but I know it can be hard - especially with something like cancer. Love you! Thinking of you and sending healing vibes your way. <3
Hi Kristy, you are such a beautiful person and have brought so much good stuff to all of us who read your blog and have your cookbook. I love the first one and was honored to be a tester for the second.
Thinking of you and prayers for love and healing.
Kristy, I'm sending you loving thoughts and tons of support. I'm so glad that the prognosis is so manageable, and I hope you'll be feeling better soon. Your humor and perspective shine through in this post--no matter how difficult the year has been--and it's really inspiring. XOXO
Oh gosh, what a lot to deal with; I'm glad your husband (and your pooches) have your back. Best of luck with the surgery (the soup can wait!)
Wow ~ what a time you've been having. I'm so sorry for your losses and upheavals, but I guess on the positive side there is so much space for growth. With each little bit that you feel better and better, you'll have that strength and knowledge that you made it through. Sending lots of positive energy your way!
Kristy, it's so nice to see a new post from you. 🙂
I love the quote you posted; it is so true!
Wishing you strength and everything good.
Can't wait for the "bad" to be behind you.
Jackie of Vegan Yack Attack
Oh my goodness, Kristy. You are a fucking warrior! I can't believe how much you're going through and for that I am sorry. Please, please, please let me know if there is anything that I can do to help you and Chris out! So many hugs for you.
I don't visit you often on the blog, but just wanted to say you are surrounded by people who love you and care about yout. <3
May you feel lovingkindess all around you. May you be well. May you be peaceful and at ease. May you find joy in the midst of your troubles. Sending you healing energy. g
I slightly tipped into that hyperthyroidism category over 15 years ago wh blood tests were done when I had some nodes on my thyroid. I didn't have cancer and I switched to eating organic food. My TSH went back up to a more normal low, and until recently I've been fine. Since having a weird buzzing feeling in my head, I had more blood work done. My doc will say I'm 'hyperthyroid' but I have no symptoms. He's going to do an ultrasound at some point soon, and in the meantime I am trying some herbs (bugleweed) in tincture form, and he said that was fine. I'm going to consult a professional herbalist soon too.
You can beat the thyroid cancer! A good friend did a long time ago. Oxoxo
I just read this Kristy, and I am so so so sorry that you have been going through so much at once! Sometimes life throws all of these things at us at once so we can make a big decision we wouldn't have otherwise made - like a career change or a total life philosophy change. You'll get through this, and you'll be more grounded than ever before and find new inspiration and joy in things you didn't know you'd find joy. I am sending you good thoughts, prayers, and good energy for a full recovery and healing! You are such an inspiration. I love the human aspect of your blogs and your many personal stories. I say, going from your past blog entries on travel, that you and Chris should go back to Italy and maybe hit Greece too... There's nothing a vegan tour of the Mediterranean can't make better. 🙂 Good thoughts and positive energy to you from way out here in Western Montana!
I'm sorry about your diagnosis. You've gone through so much. Sending positive thoughts from mid-Missouri!
So sorry this is happening to you — so much pain and worry to deal with. My mother died long ago, but I still cry when anyone else experiences the same loss — it brings me back to the moment of her death — one of the saddest moments of my life. And on top of such a loss, to be dealing with a cancer diagnosis is a lot. But you will prevail — even if you don't feel strong every moment, you have such a positive outlook, and are surrounded with great love and support. Thinking of you and wishing you the speediest recovery possible. (And yes, I always forget to write down the recipe!)
Stay Strong. You have much to look forward to when the storm has passed. Nina (UK) xoxoxo
Amber St. Peter
Uhm I don't know how I JUST got around to seeing this but I think you are amazing and will be totally triumphant here, too! Kick that cancer to the curb, girl. Definitely scary when we feel like we're taking such good care of our bodies and then they go ahead and betray us like this. All the best feelings, vibes, and positive thoughts being sent your way lady! XOXO
Traci | Vanilla And Bean
Oh Kristy... Big hug and thinking of you. xo