"The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune's spite; revive from ashes and rise."
- Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
I was introduced to the term Meddie late one night after a long day at the hospital and a very scary cancer diagnosis. I drove home from the hospital, vomited, made a million promises to myself and emailed the online Thyca support group for people with Medullary thyroid cancer. There, I vented and spilled my details to complete strangers. Those strangers called themselves Meddies and they are the people who carried me through that very difficult night. I can never forget that.
The thing about Meddies is that we're given something in life that kicks us really hard in the heart every so often and it usually happens when we least expect it. Our disease never truly leaves our bodies or ourselves. We're trying to keep up with our normal lives and a chronic cancer condition, but balancing tumors and scans with holidays and dinner every night can really slap you silly sometimes. We live very abnormal normal lives and finding people in our everyday world that can digest the unpredictable details isn't always easy. Meddies are some of the only people who have taken my road. They get it. I turn to them with the heavy stuff.
The other thing about Meddies is that we don't accept what some would label as incurable. We live our lives with cancer tucked away inside of our thoughts, but keep our hope afloat. We lend each other advice, advocate and write letters to the FDA. We run ride and hold fundraisers, relay and stay involved and informed when it comes to treatment. We educate ourselves and each other. We share our successes and our sadness. We come from every part of the Earth, but we're all in the same place. We all want the same thing. A cure. Life.
I have had the opportunity to meet several members of my Meddie family in person over the past three years. It's always like running into a good friend and I almost always make sure we have our picture taken together. I love our pictures because I think our togetherness and tenacity shine through in each and every one of them.
I love my Meddie family and While I wish with every piece of myself that we didn't have to be a Meddie family, I'm so grateful for them. I know that together we are leaving a large footprint on this earth. I know that we're impacting the Medullary community, the cancer community and the world in ways we could not have anticipated. And I know that this world's going to be better off because we were a part of it. Our hope lies within ourselves and we all know that.