My Thyroid Cancer, Emotions and the Photo

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My Thyroid Cancer, Emotions and the Photo

I don’t want to gross anyone out by a sudden pop-up on Instagram or Facebook of my insides but lots of people asked to see the tumor photo. So I’m posting it here.

Talk about vulnerability.

Showing off my innards.

That long string is not a hair, as my husband tried to tease me in my post-surgery drug-induced delirium. Its a stitch. I promise.

I have a wide range of emotions when I look at the picture.

Awe, the body really is fearfully and wonderfully made.

Humbled by human fragility.

Glad, that Dr. D took me seriously and snapped the photo and also that he and my other docs took the lump seriously and are good doctors.

Sad, that the good thyroid is gone.

Mad, to be honest, because we were doing just fine, my thyroid and I and now my body is out of whack, at least for a while.

Relieved, surprised (look the size of that thing!), and still kinda in shock that this is my body. My cancer body.

Thankful for faith. Some people say those of us with faith are weak and leaning on crutches. I say, “Amen to that.” Life hurts, loving people is scary. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have a refuge to run to.

Thankful for community. For all the doctors and nurses who love me and who are begging to see the photo (you guys are hilarious). For all who have sent messages or cancer sucks mugs or soft blankets and socks and treats and flowers and lotion and tea and prayers and more.

Dizzy, oh wait no, that’s just the drugs talking. Because yeah, I’m on a lot of drugs now, so sure the emotions could be coming from one of the 10-16 pills a day I’m taking.

Amazing, how one photo can call up all that. Anyway.

Here’s the first of many rounds of daily pills (aka actual cancer candy) and then below is the thyroid.

Do not scroll down if you don’t want to see.


Not too hard to see which side is messed up, huh?


  1. Heather November 8, 2018 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Ha! I love that they put your thyroid right on you for the picture! And what a great doctor to remember and to take the time for the picture. I’m so glad your surgery went well. I’ll continue to pray for your healing and for a quick regulation of your hormones and inner body functions. I love you, Rachel!

  2. Abbie P. November 8, 2018 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    Ew! Omg! Are you ok? Owie!

  3. Jocelyn November 8, 2018 at 6:49 pm - Reply

    Praying healing!!! And rest, and real candy that isn’t cancer related.

  4. Heather O. November 10, 2018 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    Sorry to hear this, but I’m glad that you are recovering. Are you still at home? If so, definitely take advantage of the conveniences, like food delivery. I will be praying for you

  5. J November 17, 2018 at 6:08 am - Reply

    I have thyroid and lymph node biopsies scheduled next week. I found your posts tonight and couldn’t even figure out how I wandered here. Thanks for the honesty and transparency! I had no idea the thyroid biopsy might hurt. Was told it was no big deal. I do better with knowing. Was wondering if the lymph node biopsy was also painful. And no one has mentioned the drinking issue. Is that common? If you’re in the midst of recovery, please know I understand if you don’t reply. Just wanted to say a huge thank you for a post that meant much tonight. Definitely a reminder that God has the details.

    • Rachel Pieh Jones November 17, 2018 at 1:20 pm - Reply

      Hi J, thanks for commenting. I’m so sorry for you. I told my doctor afterwards – hey! You said it wouldn’t hurt. He said that’s what people told him but thanked me for saying it, so now he knows. :O) I tend to think I have a high pain tolerance, but it did hurt. I’d say the lymph node one hurt less and was less inhibiting because it was on the side of my throat, so tipping back to drink wasn’t so bad. I did have to be careful turning as I drove for about two-three days. And getting them done made me nervous – lay there while they dig around in your neck…but they were good about it. So I’d say prepare for a little more ache than they let on, take a couple pain pills. And I hope the results come back clean!

  6. Jennifer M November 17, 2018 at 10:16 am - Reply

    Feeling personally aggrieved, why you?? Not Djibouti JONES!??! As a fellow pilgrim, RVA mom, blogger and human, I am thankful you found this, found it while in the USA, had great docs, and are swallowing your candy. The timing is pretty crazy. We also thought: Let’s spend that first semester in the USA, but our family planning was as good as a twin plan, so we couldn’t do that semester four times in five years. Still, the transition from being close to help kids to being a cancer patient I’m sure makes this time even harder. Praying you find grace and humor enough for each day.

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