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Side Effects??

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2011

Hi I am 18 years old and on June of 2010 I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I had my surgery in November of 2010 and my radiation treatment in December of 2010. It was a very emotional process before and and after the surgery. I had many lymph nodes removed along with a full thyroid removal. All of the lymph nodes were on my left side of my neck so the incision is from my left ear to the middle of my neck. The doctor who carried out my surgery did a excellent job and I am happy to now be cancer free.

However even though it have been 6 months I still have a lot of side effects some I have a feeling will never go alway. One of the side effects I am told will never go away it the numbness I have half way up the left side of my face to 1/4 of the way down my arm. It is something I will have to live with is what the doctors have told me. Some side effects I did have but have now subside are not being able to lift my left are and hair loss. If anyone is experiencing hair loss as I did I would suggest seeing a naturopath doctor. They can help to give you organic and healthy medication that will help control the hair loss. Some side effects that I occasionally get are dizziness or lightheaded, tingling in the finger tips and toes, heart pain and fatigue. I feel like I am on a never ending roller coaster of side effects but I am just happy I am still here.

If anyone has any suggestions to help with these side effects that would be great.

Thank you,

Posts: 186
Joined: Oct 2010

Hi there. I was diagnosed in september 2010 and have had two rounds of surgery and RAI. My last surgery(March 2011) removed lymph nodes - they didnt take them the first time. My lovely scar goes from one ear to the other. Its fading now. I too have a lot of numbness under my jaw, my earlobes, and parts of my shoulder. I have been doing physio twice a week for a month now to help to regain movement and strength in it. I also have exercises to do 2 or 3 times a day.

My surgeon has said the numbness may last up to a year - it takes a long time for the nerves to regrow. And I may have some loss of feeling for longer, or it could be permanent.

I suffered hair loss for awhile until my meds were adjusted - hair is fine now. I still have some fatigue. I used to get the tingling if my calcium levels dropped - its been good now for a few months, but I always take a calcium tablet every night. If I know I'm having a really active day I will take one mid morning. Lightheadness - yep - I get that on occasion. I really think all the symptoms are just part of my body adjusting to everything its been through this year.

You didnt mention if you have regular checks with a doctor/endocronolgist etc. But you may want to sit down and really talk things over with someone.

And look into getting some physio or exercises to help with your arm. I'm very glad I did. Hope things get better for you.


Posts: 582
Joined: Oct 2010

I am so sorry you had to go through this at such a young age. I was 41 when I was finally diagnosed. I have the same incision but mine is on the right side. I had a Total Thyroidectomy in November 2009. Then a right neck dissection in June of 2010. I have regained some of the feeling in my shoulder and chest area since then. I still feel some tingling in my upper chest and neck area when I get really tired. I have not regained feeling in my right neck area below my jaw and part of my lower jaw. For months I could not feel most of my right ear, but now I do and only have slight numbness in my ear lobe. Nerves do have the ability to regrow. But some of mine have rewired themselves. For instance, when I scratch the right side of my face, I feel the sensation in my neck where there is no feeling when I touch it. It's very strange. Physical Therapy should help reduce your difficulties along with time. Blood flow is key to the healing process, so activity and massage will help. I had a third surgery in December 2010 but no effects of nerve damage because the incision was over my original Thyroidectomy incision only.

The hair loss may be due to your TSH levels. If they are low (hyperthyroid) you can experience hair loss, however three years after cancer it is important to keep you hyperthyroid so that it reduces your risks of recurrence. The hair loss will probably subside with time and with your naturopathic remedies.

The tingling in your extremities are "probably" caused by Calcium deficiency. Your doctor should be testing your calcium levels and checking your Parathyroids as well. I take Calcium tablets in the evening. I don't take them in the morning because that's when I take my Synthroid and calcium (as well as dairy products) decreases the effects of thyroid replacement. I usually chew two Tums tablets, but occasionally I take Caltrate with Vitamin D because I am over forty and this puts me at risk for future osteoporosis.

The chest pain and fatigue seem to be a common symptom for those of us lacking a thyroid. I experience this every day. I have learned to deal with it and try to control it with my mind and breathing exercises. However, it is always good to discuss these symptoms with your doctor, especially if you are experiencing chest pain. Never assume that it is always associated with your having no Thyroid or your medications. Regular follow up appointments are crucial.

I wish you the best.

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