Hello everyone! I'm so happy I decided to finally register with this network. Thank you for all your stories. It really makes a difference to know what you are going through and how supportive you all are.
I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer November 2009. It has been a roller coaster. A single mother of 4, have been divorced since 2001 when my youngest was born. My kids are 19,15,14 and 10. I thought I was taking care of myself fairly well. I had my physicals every couple of years and in 2009 I had a complete lab work.I was never on any medications, always healthy, no past surgeries or major illnesses prior to March of 2009. At that time, everything was normal. TSH and Cholesterol were within the normal limits. However, I felt like I had the flu and were treated with three courses of antibiotics. Nothing worked. I felt fatigued, had combination of the chills/fever especially at night, very emotional, hair falling out, itchy chest and neck area and increase of weight. Obviously, since the doctor was not making me better, I switched doctors and having an HMO that was a challenge on its own. I was finally able to get an appointment with a new doctor August 2009. However, by that time, I had a lump in my neck and it was visible. I went through various tests. Had a xray, then a ct scan which both requested further testing as it was inconclusive. I then had multiple MRIs of the Head, neck and chest back to back the same day! That day was horrible! I think it took more than three hours, I was very upset. Anyway, when the results came in, they were again inconclusive and required further testing per the radiologist who read my tests. My doctor then referred me to an Ear nose and throat specialist for further treatment and scheduled a Fine Needle Aspiration on 10/30/2009. On November 18, 2009 the Specialist called me at home and gave me the news over the phone- Papillary carcinoma. I was overwhelmed. I went to another docto, paid cash as I did not want to go through the process of HMO and got a second opinion. He confirmed the thryroid cancer. I then went to a third specialist through the HMO group and he did the final confirmation and surgery. I just needed to be sure :(
I had a total thryroidectomy with right neck dissection December 22, 2009 as the cancer had spread. I was to be out of the hospital the day before Christmas. However, it was not so. I was in the hospital for ten days after surgery. I was not able to see my children that Christmas day since I was too weak and in intensive care for all my stay. This also caused emotional challenges which I continue to deal with my children. They had never been away from me in their lifetime, especially during Christmas and they took it hard.
While in the hospital, I was diagnosed with vocal cord paralysis, high cholesterol, anxiety, depression, migraines and having an Adie Pupil. I was in physical therapy for 5 months for my right shoulder and arm. I had to regain strength in that side and it was very painful. I also lost my voice for three months. I was off work for 11 months trying very hard to overcome this ordeal. I'm on depression, anxiety, cholesterol and synthroid medication. I have returned to work as of November 1, 2010 and since I work talking on the phone and doing live presentations 7 hours per day I noticed my voice was hoarse and at times I couldnt speak because of the pain. I'm currently seeing another doctor for the voice and he confirmed theat one of my vocal cords continues to be lazy. He injected a solution to the vocal cord and we will see if this works. This was today.
Anyway, thanks for listening and feel free to comment. If you have hear of any similarities please let me know. I feel some doctors do not know how to treat patients and just guess at some of the diagnoses. I have some doubts, since all of a sudden I had all these problems arise.
I have always been a proud person. Never asked for help. Raised my children on my own without financial help or support from their father. Thank God for my family who took the time to help me with my kids when I was in much need but sometimes, you need to hear feedback from others not so close to you but can relate on another level. I want to thank you all in advance for listening and taking the time to provide some feedback. May you all continue to fight this fight. We are not alone :)