Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Losing Weight Saved My Life

Yes, literally it saved my life. I want to share my story, not for pity but to build awareness.  Last year, I decided that I wanted finally to lose the extra weight that I have been carrying since I had children. It was a great surprise for my husband. He was deployed, and the thought of being this skinny hot chick on the welcome field was amazing. At first, the weight was coming off easy. Then I started getting sick, and my weight loss started to slow down. I lost 50 lbs. and not being able to lose any more wasn’t that big of a deal.

All of a sudden, I started having strange pains. I was always tired. There were days that I only got out the bed to take the kids to school, cook, and back home. I felt bad because the kids needed an active mom, but I just didn’t have the energy to do anything. I brushed it off as depression. I am in school full time, and my husband was deployed. That had to be the reason for me feeling so bad. Some days, I felt like I ran a marathon and I didn’t do a thing. I hung on. I ignored any possible signs of a problem.

My husband came home. He was impressed with the weight loss, but he was concerned about my lack of energy, my stomach issues, and a newly found lump in my neck. So, I went to the doctor. I was treated for a book of stuff. I blew off the lump in my neck but finally made an appointment to appease my husband.  As a result, I had blood tests, ultrasounds, and multiples scans. You name it I had it done. Finally, the doctor suggested that I go get a biopsy because it seems to show that I had cancerous looking nodules, nine to be exact.

Waiting for that biopsy seemed to take forever. And that forever turned into the most scariest call I ever had. “Mrs Coates, blah blah blah ….cancer.” Cancer that word is like a death sentence. Yes, I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. What do I do? How do I tell anyone? What’s next? My kids!!! My husband!! To be honest, I was scared…no I AM scared, but I told myself to pray for strength. Whatever happens…I needed strength.

That same day I realized that if I didn’t lose weight I would have just gotten sicker and sicker.

As I sit and talk to with my doctors about concerning symptoms, I realized that the warning signs were there. I just chalked it up to being fat.

Knowing all of this, I got really sad and I ate, and I ate. And I ate some more. Then it hit me. Snap out of it. Put the food away and live. I am strong enough to face Cancer. I don’t need the extra junk. I want to be healthy. I want to live to see my children have children. I want to be able to enjoy life.

Thyroid cancer, if caught in time, has a high recovery rate. I have to get my thyroid removed and any lymph nodes if the cancer has moved to them. I will have my surgery in the next two weeks. I am scared, but I know all will be fine. I also found a new outlook on life….a healthy one.

Every day, I post on Facebook and Instagram about being happy. I am happy. Yeah, I had a moment where I didn’t get out of bed. I had a moment where I cried. I had a moment when I questioned my life. Yesterday, I finally shared with my children what was going on. Talking to them made me realize that I have no time to be sad or depressed. I know I will come out of this fine. So, I have to enjoy my life to the fullest because I only get one and wasting time being sad is interfering with my time to be happy.

I am also proud of myself, right now. I am proud that I am up and moving. I am proud that I am even sharing this with you. I am a private person and sharing so much about myself is a bit intimidating. However, Sharing my story may inspire others to be healthy or educate themselves on cancer and even being healthy. I believe God put me here to uplift, teach and inspire. I believe sharing my story does that.