I was diagnosed with stage 3C thyroid cancer September 2012 after having a lump on my neck checked. You see I had a swollen gland I had checked out by an ENT doctor back in the fall of 2004. He did a quick check by placing his hand on the gland -- no imaging was done, I was told I had a prominent artery and that I had nothing to worry about. I went on with my life thinking everything was peachy dandy, when in fact I had cancer that was spreading unbeknownst to me. So, when my diagnosis came September 2012, it was a complete surprise and shock. The timing could not have been any worse --there was so much going on in my life at the time that when I was given the diagnosis, I
had no immediate reaction. In fact, until my diagnosis, I had never heard of thyroid cancer.
A few weeks later I had surgery, a thyroidectomy and neck dissection. I'm not going to lie, it was no fun. Add to the fact that I was left with an extensive battle wound or badge of honor depending on how you look at it. Suffice it to say I have a gnarly long scar that begins behind my right ear, travels down the right side of my neck to the bottom and then crosses my lower neck to the left side. Gorgeous right?! A month later I received radioactive iodine and was in isolation for one week. Oh boy, talk about side effects. I was riddled with them. I must admit that the radiation experience was worse than the six and a half hour surgery and recovery.
It is now nine months since my diagnosis, we haven't quite reached the happy medium with my thyroid medication and I occasionally have a side effect flare up, but I'm happy to report that I am otherwise doing well. I firmly believe this is my new normal.
I still have good and bad days, but I have made positive changes that give me more good days than bad days. I changed my entire diet. I juice daily and take antioxidant/vitamin supplements. My energy level is better than it has been in so many months.