How I managed my emotions during thyroid cancer treatment

As I learned when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer earlier this year, there’s a lot of scary and unfamiliar territory to deal with when you find out you have cancer. You don’t know what will happen or whether you’re making the right choices or whether anyone else knows what it’s like to deal with the new bodily changes you’re facing. All of that uncertainty can easily consume you if you let it. As someone who’s struggled with anxiety for many years, I sometimes struggled to keep my emotions in check when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Here are some things I did that helped me keep my emotions in check. Laugh at the pain I’ve always believed that when you laugh at something that scares you, you take away some of its power over you. About a week before my thyroid cancer surgery, I was feeling nervous and anxious. My husband and I were watching reruns of “The Office.” The main character Michael Scott, hates his human resources rep, Toby Flenderson, and believes Toby is always trying to sabotage him. The narrative was so befitting of my situation that I named my tumor “Toby the Terrible Thyroid.” Giving a name to my cancer made it easier to navigate the fear, sadness and the anger I felt, and it provided much needed laughter. How could I possibly be scared of something named Toby the Terrible Thyroid? As a former crime scene investigator who now teaches that subject, I joke that my surgery scar is actually Toby’s crime scene. This running joke also helped my family and friends. Having...