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Damian Michelle Franko

Posted on: September 24, 2018

30 Stories in 30 Days

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. For the next 4 weeks, we will post stories written by thyroid cancer survivors, caregivers and friends for our 30 Stories in 30 Days campaign. We hope their perspectives and insight will help others along their journey.

ACCEPTANCE. I have never known this word as much as I know it now. Acceptance is what allowed me to live my life as I always have, not letting cancer bring me down. I accepted cancer in my life with open arms because it is a part of me whether I like it or not. It is a part of my life now. To be accepting of what comes into your life when you have no control over it is a humbling feeling. It allows you to keep living, smiling, loving, healing, hoping, praying, feeling, and fighting to the end. I understand that some of us who are diagnosed with cancer do not get to live the long life we always hope for. Some of us with cancer do not get the opportunity to see our children grow into adults. Some of us with cancer have to see our loved one’s eyes tear up when they see us because they are scared for us and sad that we don’t feel well all the time. They do not want to see us suffer. Some of us with cancer are too tired to fight anymore. It’s not giving up when you have suffered for so long and you just want to move on from the pain to a better place, a peaceful place.

Some of us with cancer, like myself, found it early enough to be treated, or got the thyroid cancer that is the one that “doesn’t typically spread” (there is still a chance that it spreads into your lymph nodes) and the thyroid can be removed. Although they say it’s the cancer you want if you had to choose where to have it, it comes along with other life-long health issues. I don’t know yet if I will have other issues. But I’m not focused on that. I feel good now, and every day is so important to me. Even if they kill the disease from our bodies I think once you have been kissed with cancer the thought may linger in the back of your mind. You will always wonder if it will come back to another part of your body. Try not to dwell on that. Today is today, tomorrow is tomorrow.

My Dad had cancer and beat it twice. When he was lying in bed he would say “I have cancer, cancer does not have me”. Those words he once spoke had such an absolute meaning and a huge impact on me. He laughed and joked and smiled through his time with cancer and I think it got him through it with support and prayers too. Thank you, Dad.

To my friends and family, I will always love you. I promise to never leave you because my spirit will always be around. I will always pray for your health, happiness and comfort. And I thank you all for being in my life.

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