I feel compelled to write my story, as this site helped give me some hope before I had my thyroid removed.
I am Glenda, a 48 year old woman from Alaska.
I had a diagnosis of Medullary Thyroid Cancer and had a thyroidectomy in October 2014. Although it’s only been two months, I’m here to testify that I am feeling great and hopeful.
Prior to the surgery, all I was reading were stories of people suffering with weight gain, hair loss, skin issues and/or mental fog/problems, among other issues. I felt so good before the surgery, in spite of the cancer, that I was afraid to lose that well-being. I had never taken any kind of
medication consistently and even avoided aspirin and other pain relievers in my day to day goings on. Now I was going to have to take medication every day for the rest of my life; it was worrisome to anticipate. I didn’t know if I’d be one of the “can’t get off the couch, I feel awful all the time, this is a nightmare” stories.
Fast forward two months and I feel almost back to normal. The surgery was difficult as the general anesthetic made me so sick. Regardless, I started on my synthroid and calcium/vitamin D and within a week felt good enough to travel 14 hours back home by plane. Soon after, I started walking on my treadmill and have been doing 2 to 3 miles a day. I have ample energy and am optimistic! I sometimes have had nights where I got 5 hours sleep (not associated with my health) and I’ve had the stamina to get through the day, even choosing not to nap when given the chance.
I’ve had a little issue with blood pressure being high and heart rate increased, a little breathlessness, but that is settling down. I haven’t gained any weight at all, my hair actually seems like it’s thicker and I’m losing less than before the surgery. I’m back to work as a teacher and have the energy to wrangle third graders. At one point, my blood tests showed me hypo-thyroid and my medication was increased from 112mcg to 137mcg. It was funny because I honestly didn’t feel the effects of being hypo. My doctor thinks the under-medication could have been causing my high blood pressure, which is currently much lower.
My doctor also addressed my fears pre-surgery by telling me that many people who have problems may be attributing it to the loss of their thyroid, when really it has more to do with hormonal issues associated with menopause. I’m sure there are people who legitimately experience negative effects but I’m here to say “It doesn’t have to be everyone”. I have a friend who lost her thyroid 30 years ago. She is now in her 60’s, and she looks and feels fabulous. I also was surprised to find out that actress Sofia Vergara doesn’t have a thyroid and is able to work out and maintain a healthy lifestyle and busy schedule.
So if you are facing surgery, keep positive! Those negative stories out there don’t have to be you! Get your exercise, eat right, do a little yoga and/or have some quiet meditative time to quiet your mind. Good luck and blessings to you!