As you write this I want you to know how proud of you I am. This letter is to remind you of how far you’ve come as a woman, mother, wife, daughter, sister, nurse and friend. It is a letter that I want you to write so that one day, years from now you can look back and know just how incredible you are.
Over ten years ago on May 16, 2016, you started a journey that only you would truly understand. You were diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer for the first time. In the time since your first diagnosis, you have grown into a woman who truly knows what it means to respect life and to be thankful for life because you know firsthand that life is truly too short.
Melissa, since your first diagnosis, you’ve had hurdles with your health multiple times. You were diagnosed with thyroid cancer another two times and like the survivor and fighter you are, you dug deep and overcame those hurdles again. Your light within you enabled you to deal with those hardships and as a result you are stronger.
Today Melissa, you are a beautiful soul. You are courageous, positive and an inspiration to many people around you. I want you to know that you should stand tall and know that you are a force to be reckoned with. Melissa, you have a beautiful family and friend’s network of support that remains by your side. You have removed the people from your life that are toxic and have retained those that only bring love and light to your livelihood.
In the last month and a bit you have been mulling over how to write your next chapter. On May 16, 2016 the ten year anniversary of your first diagnosis, you received the results of your last biopsy. I know that as a three time cancer survivor who’s been writing her story for the world, the results and the news that you received that day was not what you were expecting. However, you and I know all too well that there was a 50/50% chance that the results could have gone either way. Melissa, that day you heard the words that once again your thyroid cancer had recurred again. The solitary node that was biopsied the week prior came back positive for metastasis and now you had to wait for a plan of attack.
Melissa, in the time since the news, you were tested physically once more. Unbeknownst to you, your gallbladder was a ticking time bomb. With all the changes you made with your diet, your gallbladder had stones that had blocked the opening of itself and was causing a huge infection. This led to an emergency surgery to remove the gallbladder in all its entirety. That was more than three weeks ago now and I know it’s been a challenge physically and emotionally to recover, but you’ve done it.
Take this time to care for yourself Melissa. You have a fighting spirit that others could only hope to have. This cancer fight does not define you, it will be another milestone in your life that will help to shape you into the person that you are going to be in the next chapter of your life.
I am so incredibly glad that you have taken the last month to focus on yourself, your recovery and your soul. I know that coming to terms with the news you received was such a shock and you needed to take your time to process it all.
Melissa, then, now, and in the future, just remember that you are and will always be an inspiration to others. Continue to take your time for yourself and know that you are beautiful, you are a survivor and you can do this.
I love you.