The Road Less Taken - and Why We Make Art

Which way do I go? Follow everyone else, or strike out on my own?

I'm talking about treatment for the huge nodule in my thyroid.

So, to recap:

  1. Doctor S. finds aforesaid huge nodule in the left side of my thyroid.
  2. Odds are 15-20% it’s cancer.
  3. He recommends I have it out. Don't mess with cancer, and the nodule is huge. Have it out.
  4. I’m not so sure.
  5. I start looking at alternatives.
  6. I fall in love with Dr. Bernie (Siegel) who believes in the connections between our thoughts/feelings and disease. 
  7. I wonder what's going on with my thoughts/feelings and this dis-ease.

So now:

  1. I press the doctors for other options to immediate surgery.
  2. They say it’s ok to wait a few months and re-biopsy, get a second set of cells for more clarity on the big C.

So that’s what I decide to do. Wait.

As I wait, I wonder:

  1. What have other people done, in the same situation?
  2. Has anyone not taken it out?
  3. How do I find out?

I google around. Not much. Huh.

I go on Facebook. I ask friends.

It seems everyone follows their doctors’ recommendations. Most have it out. Only two regretted the choice  - one because her parathyroids were compromised, the other because she can't get the dose of replacement hormone quite right and now has weight/energy issues. 

I’m surprised. Nobody tried anything short of surgery?

I’m also a bit nervous. Am I overreacting? Really, no biggie, have it out.  I am clearly so in the minority.

But I can’t seem to let it go. Like Robert Frost, I'm inclining toward the path less traveled.

Part of it has to do with that weight gain thing. Petty, I know. But I was a chubby child. (The neighbors used to chant, “Two Ton Tilly was a hippo, the fattest of the fattest of the hippos.“) My weight fluctuated over the years, but has stabilized at a reasonable level since I had my son. I largely processed those fat demons through my writing (see video below). But I have no desire to reconstitute them.


How have YOU processed emotional scars with your art? 

Please SHARE –

I’d love to share your stories of


And for me and my thyroid – what next?

Maybe I should let it go. But the problem is: I’m really interested in this journey. In your journey.

  • Why does disease appear where it does? For me, at the figurative center of my creative life – my voice.
  • And why does it appear when it does? For me, when I had already downshifted from a lot of career pressures. Did I intuit it was coming?

I think I know the answer - answers. More on that in the next post.

Until then -  Creative Coach Eric Maisel – genius – has great tips for breaking through creative blockages, whether you’re designing costumes or composing music on the computer. Check him out!

Alicia Krakauer sings "You Are What You Are," music by Jenny Giering, lyrics by Beth Blatt. From The Mistress Cycle. David Gardos on piano, Jonny Maldonado on guitar.