Lindsey Van Parys
I choose to be happy. I choose to stay positive through all this crazy stress.
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.
I am 35, strong and healthy and the mother of a three-year-old. I have cancer and I am lucky! I bet you didn’t expect that last part, did you? How can I be a young mother recently diagnosed with cancer and be lucky? Because the universe—fate, luck, life, whatever you want to call it—had my back and led me to where I am today.
There’s one thing I know, and that’s my body. I knew something wasn’t right. So I asked for care, I asked for tests and I didn’t give up. I did my screenings and got looked over, poked, probed, scanned, prodded, imaged, and more and they all came back good. I still had no answers to what my body was telling me.
Eventually, after some genetic testing, it was discovered that I have a genetic mutation called Lynch Syndrome. I have learned that there are several types of Lynch. Mine is an MSH2 mutation, which leaves me at risk for a series of early onset cancers.
One thing led to another and my doctor called me with bad news. I have thyroid cancer. The plan is to have surgery to remove it. I will get treatments. I will get screenings to make sure it’s not coming back. And I will grow stronger. I will live to conquer more than I thought possible. I will make a difference.
The day I have surgery will be the day I take my life back and stand up to cancer. Goodbye cancer. Goodbye thyroid! Hello to my new normal and hello to life!
I am lucky. I am blessed. I caught this early, because I was diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome. I will continue to be vigilant with all my screenings. I will be here for a long… long time! I will change the world.
I can’t change my genes. I can’t change my diagnosis. But I can change me. I have all the power and control over my outlook, my actions and I’m grateful for so much!
I choose to be happy. I choose to stay positive through all this crazy stress. That doesn’t mean I haven’t cried. Yes, I have moments when I am overwhelmed and I don’t want to be in this position. Yes, I wish this wasn’t my story, but it is. So, I’m rolling with it.
I am lucky and thankful to have so many people worrying about my health and my recovery. I will be okay, and I will thrive. I am thankful I’m sharing this with you. I am surrounded by love, near and far and I AM LUCKY.
Well, here goes. The start of my next chapter: A cancer survivor and thriver.