Tag Archives: thyroid cancer

Mother of two young girls who had papillary thyroid cancer – doing great!

To the user that sent this to me – the submission form didn’t send me your name/email. Please contact me because I’d love to ensure you get replies to this post and make sure this story is attributed to you!

My journey with Thyroid cancer all started in June 2012 when I was just sitting on the couch feeling my neck (for some strange reason) and I felt a lump. Freaked right out; I had my husband and all my friends during the next few days feel it and everyone agreed it should not be there. Very panicked, I got into my Doctor and right away she could tell by the way I swallowed when she wrapped her hands around my neck it was in fact an enlarged thyroid.

So after an ultra sound and a consult with an ENT doctor it was determined that I did in fact have 2 nodules on my thyroid gland; one water filled and the other was tiny but solid and the ENT wanted me to have a fine needle biopsy! Not thrilled, but reassured thyroid nodules are very normal by him, I proceeded with the fine needle biopsy and it was uncomfortable but not that bad .(Honestly) About 10 days after that the ENT called me and told me to come in to discuss the results which came out inconclusive meaning they could not get a good enough tissue sample and that I’d have to have a partial thyroidectomy to get a good biopsy.

Well, I had surgery and I was scared but I came through it well ( stayed one night). Not alot of pain but hard to sleep for about a week afterwards but I used alot of pillows and basically just vegged (hard to do with little ones but they were so
great to mom).

The results did not come in and my Surgeon kept phoning pathology asking what the hold up was as they said they needed more time to get a good diagnosis.

Alarm bells started going off as I didn’t like how long things were taking but again being reassured it was probably nothing. Now we’re almost a month and a half past my surgery and FINALLY I get a call to come in and see my Surgeon/ENT. He very directly told me I had papillary thyroid cancer but it was found ( thanks to me acting so fast) very quickly and I would need a total thyroidectomy. I was not really scared or upset at the cancer diagnosis as he reassured me nobody dies of this but I was more upset that I’d have to have another surgery and live without a thyroid (that really scared me and
pissed me off.)

So I had the surgery quite quickly after the diagnosis about another month and that went even better. No pain when I woke up and no nausea (stayed one night) but I think I was more mentally prepared and not as scared.

Healing again was not bad, very little pain and I got on synthroid right away as my Oncologist said I did not need to have the RAI with such an early diagnosis (YAY). Most people have to wait 6 weeks to see what there body is going to do without a thyroid (I hear) so I was lucky. Just to note I have had remarkable support through all of this.

Minus a boss who let me go over it (JERK) but I do have two beautiful little girls I’ve had to be strong for (4 years and 6) and of course my husband was very supportive. I went back to work a month after my final surgery (found a nicer boss) and I’m doing great.

I have to go for blood tests every 6 weeks and the goal is to get me to an almost hyperthyroid state to suppress cancer cells so my docs up my dose every 6 weeks and I feel better each time they do. As far as I’m aware I’ll have to get checked for recurrence every 6 months for three to five years but my doctor said my nodule was so tiny that there was no spreading to lymph nodes and most likely I’m in the clear. πŸ™‚

April 2013

A year later – April 2013

DON’T listen to all the negativity out there about being soooo tired for the rest of your life and gaining 90 pounds cause that is crap unless you let it be your reality. You WILL be tired at first till they get your dose mostly right, mine they’re still tinkering with but I feel mostly great and yes, you may put on a few pounds just from all the recovering time but I’m currently doing the blood type diet and buying a treadmill.

MY REALITY… I will have to be watching my diet and exercise program the rest of my life now that I have no metabolism, basically. But hey, I’m alive and survived two surgeries, I have two young girls who need me every day and a full time job and I just take it day by day.

Don’t let THY CA scare you; research it, get good docs and be positive. It pisses a lot of people off when said it’s the good cancer to get as NO cancer is good but hey, I’ll take it over some of the other diseases out there. πŸ™‚


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The Pros of Having Cancer

So after disclosing that I have Teh Cancerz, people kept saying I could pull “the cancer card”. So while visiting my dad the other day, we had the following conversation:

Me: Daaad. I have cancer. Will you buy me a new bike??
Dad: Sure. What do bikes cost these days? A few hundred dollars?
Me: Uhhh the bike I want is around twelve grand…
Me: But I have caaaaancer
Dad: No. Go buy me a car.

What a fail!! So I got to thinking, what are the PROS of having thyroid cancer?

  • Post Op: Weight Loss– Unknown. Weight lost after surgery will most likely come back
  • Post Op: Cool Scar– Nope – scar will be barely noticeable and will probably just look like another neck wrinkle
  • Thyroid: Weight Loss– Nope – as I will be taking meds to simulate current thyroid levels, which are OK, no weight loss should ensue
  • Thyroid: No Depression– Nope – same as above. Nothing should change there, either
  • Radioactive Iodine: Special Powers– I very likely will NOT have go to on RadioIodine, but even if I do, you don’t get any cool special powers! No spidey sense. No X-ray vision. Psh
  • RadioIodine: Cool Glow – Nope, no cool glow either
  • RadioIodine: Isolation– Yup, can’t be around humans or even my pets. Wait, this isn’t a pro. It’s a partial pro, if I don’t LIKE the humans, but my cats can’t sleep on my bed with me?? Although being radioactive DOES sound kinda cool…
  • Sympathetic pity– Nope, since it’s such a curable cancer, I am not getting much in the sympathy department
  • Dates – No, in fact, dating life has dramatically decreased from zero to negative zero. Also, I DID try to use the ‘wanna palpate my tumor’ line on a date recently and was met with an emphatic NO. So yeah. Not a good pick up line.
  • Thinner neck – OK, I think this is the first PRO I have come across. Ironically, I was wondering if my neck was getting fat earlier this year. Well, YAY. My neck ISN’T getting fat! It’s just a tumor! asdlfkj oh morbid humor, how I love thee!

Anyways, my friend suggested I come up with a list of “Pros of Beating Cancer”, which surely will have more.. pros…? So far there seems to be very little difference of not having cancer, having cancer, then beating cancer, except the loss of my thyroid gland and a lot of money.

Oh wait, I forgot another pro about having cancer – it’s a fun topic to make jokes about!

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I Have Cancer? Whaaat?

Biopsy? Or bad date with vampire??

Interesting timeline of events:
1. Go to ENT because my septum is messed up. ENT pokes at my neck and makes me go get an ultrasound for my thyroid

2. Ultrasound results in ‘go get a biopsy’

3. Bilateral biopsy occurs. It’s really cool to watch the ultrasound monitor and see needles shoved into my neck repeatedly. Seriously! Well, cool until the anesthesia wore off. Owwww Yoga hurt that week!

4. I get a call last Monday from my ENT. I apparently have “Papillary Thyroid Cancer”. Huh? Whut? I have cancer? Whut?

So I do a bunch of research; it’s the “good one to get”. /rolls eyes
But really – I’ll be fine. They will remove my entire thyroid and I just go on replacement meds. No chemo, most likely no radiation. I barely have to miss more than a week or two of work.

I go to an oncologist for a second opinion. Yup, thyroid has to go. I’m Stage 2 (out of 4, so I’m fine). Tumor (TUMOR!?) is 2.4cm. I just thought my neck was lumpy. Now I keep poking my /tumor/ . It’s kinda cool.

This week I meet with a surgeon that specializes in the thyroid removals (apparently a bad removal can mean damaged vocal cords… so I can sound like a woman that has smoked for fifty years… ooo and become a famous blues singer!) and an endoncrinologist.

Honestly, the hardest part was telling my family. Just saying the word ‘cancer’ really freaks people out. There goes my dating life for the next few months. I want a rebrand of the name, since it’s a cancer with like, a 99% success rate. “Oh I have a minor issue called PTC… It’s all good.”

I’m more worried about life without a thyroid. It’s kind of an important gland. πŸ˜› But it’ll be OK. Just gotta keep riding, walking, being active. Unlike this weekend, where I grubbed around the apartment in pajamas with my Kindle.

The wise ass part of me wants to tell my niece and nephew I got cancer from eating McDonald’s. The thought cracks me up. I have a bad feeling this is just the beginning of a long litany of cancer jokes. Cuz.. you know.. now I HAVE cancer, I can make fun of it, right? hahahahah!!!

Know anyone who has had their thyroid removed? I wish the scar was cooler. “A guy tried to slit my throat; all I got was this scar, all he got was A GRAVE!”


Filed under Thyroid Cancer