Feeling like a fraud

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Morning all. So last year I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer; I was getting an ultrasound on my thyroid for an autoimmune condition I’d recently been diagnosed with and the team found a small lump. They managed to biopsy it and the news came back that it was cancer. 

Fast forward 10 months and I’ve had half my thyroid removed, needed no further treatment and been given the all clear, the tumour was only 6mm so a really early catch, however I feel like a fraud for saying I had cancer when all it boiled down to was a 3 week wait, surgery and an overnight stay in hospital. 

I know I’m massively lucky for the bizarre set of circumstances which led to this early catch but I don’t feel that it’s right to say I’ve had cancer, despite worrying on a near daily basis that it’s going to come back. 

Sorry, fairly long rambling post I know but I just need to get this off my chest. 

  • Hi Bobbyt83

    You don't sound like a fraud to me.

    I do get how you feel but cancer is cancer and it can have a massive impact on us all. Cancer can take many different forms, have many different potential treatments but there is no competition or comparison between different people and their cancer. 

    I've been a Community Champion for the Womb forum for just over a year now and also pop on to other groups from time to time- what I have noticed is that even within the same type of cancer, people can have very different experiences but they all share that common situation that they have been diagnosed with a serious illness that although hopefully can be treated, also brings the possibility of the worst outcome. It makes you potentially reassess life and perhaps consider your own mortality for the first time. I know for me it did.

    Sometimes talking to someone can help process things and if you think this would help you then do give the Support Line a call. There is counselling available and also some people find life after cancer courses helpful.

    For me, I am not as far along my journey as you and am still seen every 3 months but at each stage and at the end of each treatment- I find it takes some time to process everything. It is great that yours was caught early and that surgery sorted it but although my treatment was very different (if you click on my profile- my timeline will come up) we still share that same impact on our lives and that same fear that cancer could return. 

    I think also with yours (as with some other people) you also potentially have the What if's questions to consider. Cancer was found unexpectedly when being treated for something else. So what if it hadn't been found. What if you didn't have the auto immune disease etc. For me it was a serious symptom that led to diagnosis. So we are all different.

    I will pop a link here that may be of use.

    After treatment | Macmillan Cancer Support

    Some people find this paper helpful.

    After the Treatment Finishes - Then What? (workingwithcancer.co.uk)

    I hope that it has helped to let it out on here. If there is anything you need or you feel may help, please do ask.

    Jane

           

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

  • Hi I feel pretty much the same as you  Bobby.  My cancer journey has been unremarkable and  i jokingly said to my wife just before my last review that they must have got the initial diagnosis wrong (crazy I know)!  There is always the thought of reoccurrence and I was told at the start that you need to adjust to the new norm but help and support is always available you only need to ask.  You could consider  joining the thyroid forum  (maybe Jane could provide the necessary link).  Best wishes Michael 

  • Thanks for all the replies, I think what I’m finding hard is I’ve always been fairly stoic and as this was such a lucky find it’s hard to admit it’s a big deal. 

    thanks again to everyone.  

  • I understand and I found it took time to express how I was feeling and to process it all. At first they thought I would have my cancer removed by surgery and that would be it. I was then told I would need chemo and radiotherapy. Although it wasn't great that I needed more treatment- it doesn't affect how I feel about the cancer diagnosis and experience. 

    It takes time and 10 months is early still. Processing for me didn't really start until well after treatment ended and I started feeling physically better. Talking to others does help and expressing yourself on here- just writing it out can help. 

    For me its about getting used to the new norm. Having had cancer it is often not far from our minds and the worries about recurrence are real. Do you have check ups at all? I find that they are a good time to talk to my CNS team. 

           

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm

  • Hi Bobby83

    Hope you’re doing okay? I am so glad I stumbled across your post as this is also how I feel after thyroid cancer. My diagnosis was after a total thyroidectomy from pathology, I am now 16 months on and still  have days that I struggle to process it all and feel like a fraud also. My biggest struggles now are the worry of reoccurrence or any other cancers- I think this then highlights to me that even though our cancer may be small and slow and labelled “good” Face palm It still very much affects us mentally.
    Take care of yourself.