After losing both parents to cancer, my own diagnosis came as quite a shock. I was a very healthy 39 year old who had never a thyroid problem. I remember a weird weight gain (all my clothes still fit despite the number on the scale) and feeling a bone-crushing fatigue. When I finally went to the doctor, like so many other thyroid patients, my doctor first told me it was just because I was getting older. Then he felt a huge lump in my neck that I never even realized was there. I was eventually diagnosed with two tumors, each with their own form of thyroid cancer: Papillary and Hurthle Cell Carcinoma. The months that followed my initial doctor visit were incredibly difficult, with eight needles to biopsy my tumors without anesthetic; two surgeries 5 days apart; a paralyzed vocal cord and dysphagia from the second surgery; Radioactive Iodine treatment; and then the real struggle began.
I tried to go back to my normal life, but nothing felt the same. I began having one issue after another, and was desperate to feel like my old-self again. After being told that nothing I was experiencing was related to my thyroid, I knew there had to be more to this than I was being told by my endo, and I was right! I found support from other patients, a doctor that specialized in functional medicine and became my own best advocate when it came to my health. Before long, I was no longer just surviving, I was thriving! Learning to live without a thyroid gland became one of the hardest feats I have ever accomplished, but with a good dose of gratitude and a sense of humor, I was able to get my life back! I hope my posts make you laugh, think and inspire you not to let any illness stand in your way of living life to the fullest!
Director & Co-Founder of the Thyroid Survivor Network