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Thyroid Cancer Survivor Shares Her Motivational Journey

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Jourdan - Thyroid Cancer Survivor
“Fight for your life because you’re better than cancer.”

Jourdan was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in September 2016. She has successfully defeated her disease.

The Diagnosis

She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in September 2016.

The Journey

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“So, this all started with me thinking I had a little anxiety and that I was overreacting to some random feeling that was “nothing.”

I went to my family doctor anyway just to make sure nothing was wrong and to settle the anxiety I was having. This was also the doctor that diagnosed me with anxiety, he told me I needed to relax and it was nothing but me getting worked up. Fast forward a week.

I started noticing something wrong I felt like I can’t swallow and my throat just felt smaller than it normally was, so I went back to my family doctor’s office but to a different doctor this time. I got there and told her I’m probably just freaking out again but I want to make sure nothing’s wrong and she told me we are not going to say it’s your anxiety until I’m medically physically ruling out everything else. The first thing she did was put her thumb on my throat and told me to swallow and as soon as I did she said she would be sending me to imaging to get an ultrasound done on my neck because she feels like there may be a nodule on my thyroid and explained it could be cancerous but you don’t know until you look or biopsy it. (The second doctor I saw saved me for sure)

I went to Imaging a few days later got an ultrasound done and I got a phone call a few days after that and was told that I do have a nodule on my thyroid and I need to get it biopsied to make sure it wasn’t cancer. They did the biopsy but it came back as non-cancerous but also suspicious so at that point, I was referred to an endocrinologist to talk about the options.

Once I met with my endocrinologist, he talked about everything and decided that it would be best if we took the thyroid out just to be safe, I was then referred to a surgeon, who then took an ultrasound of my entire neck, not just my thyroid and saw two lymph nodes on the left side of my neck that looked cancerous, so we had a biopsy done on those as well. They came back as cancer, no maybe this time. So at that point, we went from just removing my thyroid instead we end up doing a central and left neck dissection as well as a total thyroidectomy. After I healed from that in (March 2017) I ended up doing radioactive iodine therapy which sucked.

We came to find out a few months later that I actually had a variant of thyroid cancer that does not uptake iodine, therefore the radioactive iodine therapy does not work for me. (The type of cancer is called radioactive iodine-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer)

Fast forward to January 2018 I am going for my routine appointment with my surgeon and she’s doing her routine ultrasound of my full neck and sure enough on the right side where I still have lymph nodes, there are a few that do not look good. So we did another biopsy and they came back positive for cancer. So we then scheduled another surgery for a right neck dissection in February 2018 and did not do RAI this time around.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“To live, I was only 23 years old and hadn’t been able to accomplish what I wanted in life yet.”

Biggest hindrance

“It has been a struggle with multiple things going through thyroid cancer, surgery being the easiest of it all. The problems that come with not having a thyroid and having to regulate your medicine is are by far worse.”

Message to other cancer patients

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“Don’t let it get you down or slow your life down because that’s what cancer wants and feeds off of. You can beat this, it’s not the “easy cancer” or “good cancer” but it is beatable!”

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