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Can someone please share their story with me. I'm doing an essay on thyroid cancer and i would appreciate some help.

maria_2009
Posts: 3
Joined: Sep 2009

Hello, my name is Maria I was wondering if any of you all would be kind enough to share their story with me. I am currently in collage and I chose to do my ethnographic essay about cancer in adolescents, and one of the common cancers in adolescents includes thyroid cancer. I would like to know about what age were you diagnose with thyroid cancer, and what experiences have you gone through, has your life change from that moment, or what are some of the ritual you do. I will really appreciate it.

Thank You!

Redneckimber's picture
Redneckimber
Posts: 23
Joined: Dec 2009

My story started in the beginning of 2009. I went to the Dr not feeling well. I had noticed my energy level had depleted. My sex drive was diminishing, my overall feelings from day to day were off and it was getting pretty bad. I was experiencing intolerable hot flashes and bouts of being very cold accompanied by sleepless nights, weight gain, puffiness in the face and I just really felt bad all the time. I was finding myself isolated more and more and wanting to stay in instead of going out and enjoying the things I used to take pleasure in, like spending the day at the beach with my wonderful husband and just going and visiting friends and family. My doctor sent me for blood work and one of those tests was a TSH test. My TSH came back pretty high and all my Cholesterol levels were all jacked up, all over the place. I was diagnosed with Hypothyroidism and was placed on Synthroid and sent on my way. Synthroid made me feel better almost immediately, I slept all night that night, but very soon thereafter the symptoms came back. After 6 weeks on Synthroid, I started feeling bad again but this time I was having bad indigestion followed by hard pounding heart beating AKA "Palpitations". Turns out that over-medication turned my Hypothyroidism into Hyperthyroidism, so they adjusted my medication (again)!!! Hello, I thought... I'm a person here!! Nothing you are doing is working!!
Needless to say after almost a year of feeling "not right" my husband researched the best Endocrinologist in our area. I made an appointment with the specialist and she got me right in. Took me off all meds and started me from scratch. She noticed my neck seemed a little swelled and sent me for a ultrasound as well as some extra “all important” blood tests that should have been done from the beginning that a family practice physician just doesn’t regularly do apparently! Next thing you know I was checking my neck and there it was - A lump! How did I miss this? How could I have not noticed that? I thought to myself, why are Dr's not telling us to check our necks? All this talk about check your breasts, but I had never heard of check your neck, after all these years of working in hospitals and Dr offices, never a mention of this. The ultrasound came back with a big "Nodule" as well as a smaller one on the other side. I was right away sent for a Fine Needle Aspiration, Biopsy. Didn’t hurt a bit!
But, boy was I scared waiting a week for the results. Results came back Papillary Carcinoma. I was devastated, after all my brother had just been diagnosed the prior year with a rare bone cancer that devastated our whole family, now me!! What is happening God? Surgery was scheduled right away; they took the entire thyroid, 15 Lymph Nodes as well as one of my Parathyroid’s. It had metastasised and spread into my parathyroid and some of my lymph nodes. I had some complications after the surgery with recovery. I had a bad reaction to the drugs so I had to stay longer than usual. It is normally a 24hr turn around time. About 3 weeks later I was scheduled for Radioactive Iodine Treatment - AKA - I131! Not gonna lie, it was hell. The first 3 days were awful, OMG! 8-10 days of being very sick! I had a pretty strong dose of it, almost the max you can get at once and boy let me tell you, if you are sensitive to medications or have a weak belly as I do, be prepared. It's not pretty; I have been extremely ill and very week. I had not been able to allow anyone to cook anything in the house, due to the smell of anything just totally made me sick, even sprays and soap! Without a wonderful husband waiting on me hand and foot I would never get thru this!! One thing is for sure, every time I look in the mirror and see this scar on my neck, I get a huge reminder of how I lived my life and how I will live it from "that day" forward. "That Day" being the day “You Have Cancer” was told to me. My prayers to God and being thankful that it was not worse. My suffering and my pain are nothing compared to what God has spared me and my family from. Give thanks, dedicate your life, be happy, stay positive and love your husband more than you ever could and get out there and tell everyone you know to Check Your Neck!

Some Quick Facts:

*Thyroid cancer is the most common endocrine cancer. Thyroid cancer is a cancerous tumor or growth located within the thyroid gland (the front of your neck).

* Thyroid cancer is one of the few cancers that has increased in incidence rates over recent years. It occurs in all age groups from children through seniors.

* The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 37,200 new cases of thyroid cancer in the U.S. in 2009. Of these new cases, about 27,200 will occur in women and about 10,000 will occur in men. About 1,630 people (940 women and 690 men) will die of thyroid cancer in 2009.

* Many patients, especially in the early stages of thyroid cancer, do not experience symptoms. However, as the cancer develops, symptoms can include a lump or nodule in the front of the neck, hoarseness or difficulty speaking, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing or breathing, and pain in the throat or neck.

* There are several types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, medullary, anaplastic, and variants.

Check your neck! Do this at home, or ask your doctor to do it for you at your next exam.

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