Thyroid Cancer Survivor Stories

1205

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now a Writer and Artist

thyroid cancer survivor

Favourite quote

“Thyroid cancer taught me to always, always listen to my body, to advocate for my health needs and even when afraid, to keep moving forward.”  

Pastor Tara Eastman was diagnosed with thyroid cancer on Oct 16, 2017. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is a writer, cook, artist, and pastor of Lutheran church.

The Diagnosis

“I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer, after having a partial thyroidectomy on Oct 16th, 2017.”

The Journey

thyroid cancer survivor's journey  “I found the mass on my neck in May of 2017. I had to have many tests (needle biopsy, ultrasounds, and blood work) and started the process with my primary physician and was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist. My first surgery was scheduled for September, but due to an injury sustained by my surgeon the day prior to surgery, it was cancelled. Due to this delay I was then referred to Roswell Park Cancer Hospital in Buffalo as my surgery was anticipated to be complicated. I saw a voice specialist and the surgeon from Roswell’s Head and Neck department and was scheduled for a partial thyroidectomy and tumor removal on Oct. 16. During this whole time of testing and waiting, I did not know if the mass was cancerous. The mass continued to grow and was causing some speech and breathing issues. As planned, the surgery took place on Oct. 16, 2017. The mass, left side of thyroid gland and some lymph nodes were removed. I stayed in hospital overnight and was discharged the morning following surgery. Recovery required me to go home with a drain tube for about a week. It was removed a week later and I went back to work two weeks after surgery. The pathology report from surgery took a little more than two weeks to receive. It was at that point that the surgeon informed me the mass was benign but there had been a small spot of stage one papillary thyroid cancer in the removed gland. It is now one year post op and I am still in remission from thyroid cancer. While my recovery did not include radiation treatment, I changed my diet to gluten, dairy and egg free aid in healing and help keep Hashimoto’s disease (that may have contributed to thyroid problems) in check.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“My faith, family and friends helped to keep me motivated to fight cancer and pursue healthier habits.

Biggest hindrance

“The waiting for tests, test results and an inconclusive needle biopsy made my uncertainty prior to surgery quite intense.”

Message to other cancer patients

message for cancer patients “Advocate for yourself. Find support from doctors and health professionals that move efforts forward and empower you to find solutions. Ask questions, use patient portal (email service) and follow up on your own behalf!”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Shares Her Motivational Journey

thyroid cancer survivor

Favourite quote

“Trust in yourself and know that time in any form is a gift. It allows you to heal and to create memories! Sadly not everyone wins, but what we learn and appreciate through the struggle of others is a contributing fact to how we heal others! Their sacrifice is a win and I am grateful for them all!”

(Without others, my doctor wouldn’t have known that studies showed I didn’t need to go through radiation! which do to the possible harmful side effects, I am so thankful for)” Tami Sturzebecker was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in Fall of 2013. She has successfully defeated her disease. She loves spending times with her kids.

The Diagnosis

“I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer in Fall of 2013, after finding a marble size lump in my throat.”

The Journey

thyroid cancer survivor's journey “In 2013, I was just about to turn 32 and had a daughter entering 7th grade, and was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer. Recently divorced, and losing my father not even a year before, the C word hit me really hard. I called out of the work the next 2 days because I was crying at home, my eyes were swollen shut. Everyone told me it was completely curable with surgery and radiation. But I also knew this meant I would be dependent on pills and on a constant roller coaster of balancing medicine the rest of my life. I never had thyroid problems before then, just the lump. Not to mention all of the side effects I heard about from radiation, just sounded horrible. Then there was the dreaded time frame I would have to be deprived of medicine to make me more susceptible to the radiation working. It was all so much, and I was just starting to feel like my life was starting to move up, and here I was again. After I talked to family and accepted this is what it was. I wanted it gone immediately, and had surgery two weeks later, total thyroidectomy. I felt horrible going through the withdrawals of thyroid hormone in the weeks and months to follow. It got so bad my heart started to have palpitations. I gained 20 lbs in two months, I was exhausted, couldn’t concentrate, battled emotional roller coasters, it just got to be too much. I had to be on FMLA at work because some days, I could barely stand longer than a few hours and would have to leave. My finances suffered, I ended up going to UNC Chapel Hill NC to see a Endocrinologist specialist, which was one of the best things I did. He reviewed my labs and surgical history, did some labs, an exam and determined I didn’t need radiation! Thank God! I started medicine shortly after and slowly started to feel better. After close monitoring over a year, I was given the OK that I WAS CANCER FREE!!!! 5 Years later, I still get an ultrasound every year and regular blood tests, but still looking good. I had a scare 2 years ago when they found some thyroid tissue on an ultrasound in a lower part of my neck and they were worried I had cancer back that may had spread. I had to have radioactive Iodine and a CT scan, which came back great and still showed me cancer free. But, I had to move out of my house for 3 days to do the test because the radioactive iodine I had to take could potentially harm my children’s thyroid. Apparently it came out in my saliva, sweat, urine, everything. Then there was the waiting… which always stinks. Even though it’s been 5 years, I still worry every ultrasound, never sleep the night before. The ups and downs with balancing my medicine aren’t as bad anymore, and I recognize when things are off much sooner now. I know it’s not the same as having some more severe cancers. The worst part was someone telling me “oh you didn’t have a REAL cancer”! I couldn’t believe this, my whole life has changed, and my body and mind will never be the same! I know I’m lucky, and I am so grateful. I work in surgery as a surgical technologist and most of the surgery I participate in is for cancer. I’ve cried with patients and family members, and shared in their joys. I don’t pretend I don’t know how lucky I am. But everyone is different, every battle is different, and every success is a win! ”

Motivation to fight cancer

“I was motivated by being there for my child and my inner desire not to quit! Even though I knew my life would never be the same, I was lucky enough to have a curable disease, I would still live!! No matter what, I WOULD LIVE!!! My grandmother passed after a battle with ovarian cancer. My aunt is still fighting and winning her battle with breast cancer. I was lucky compared to them, and I wasn’t going to take advantage of that news! “

Biggest hindrance

“My normal ENT doctor was recently selected for the state house of representatives for our district and wasn’t able to see me. So I was seeing another ENT for this lump in my throat. He refused to do an ultrasound. He insisted I had a swollen lymph node probably residual from some sinus infection. So he treated me with antibiotics. The swelling went down, but came back to form an almost perfectly round marble in my throat. After a second course of antibiotics I asked him again to do an ultrasound, in his office where he had a machine. (I already worked in surgery and had some medical knowledge, but also knew anytime something doesn’t heal, it’s a problem) He still refused. His exact words were “what do you want me to do, and ultrasound to prove its a lymph node?” I was just disgusted and had already been through enough with my father and divorce, I just didn’t want to argue. This happened over about a year. I walked around for a year with cancer in my throat, wondering why I was so tired all the time, because I had a doctor who refused to do an exam! One day, I was working and ran into my previous ENT doctor who came in to do an emergency case. After finding out he was doing surgery and seeing patients more again, I asked him if I could come see him. He made adjustments at his office and saw me that week! He said in no way was it a swollen lymph node and we needed to check it. He ordered an ultrasound guided biopsy, which I had done on my lunch at work in the cancer center. I was potentially a cancer patient, this was when I first started to get scared. And he called my cell the next day and told me to come in that afternoon. Gave me the word it was cancer, and snuck me out of the back of his office so I wouldn’t have to walk in front of people the emotional basket case I was. I am so thankful to him for believing me. He did the surgery and referred me to Chapel Hill when I asked to see a specialist.

Message to other cancer patients

message for cancer patients “You know you better than anyone else, trust in that! When you feel like something is wrong, check it! There is no age limit or minimum. I was healthy otherwise, just more tired than normal, which can be symptom of 100 other things. Cancer is always a fight, no matter what kind, it affects you forever, but that’s ok! I am more positive then I was before, appreciate more than I did before, and know I am stronger then I was before! I love life an every moment is journey. Years later, I still cry sometimes thinking about this journey. I probably always will, and that’s ok.”

Thyroid Cancer Fighter Is a Court Clerk

thyroid cancer fighter

Favorite Quote

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Taylor O’Brien was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in August of 2017. Here she shares her inspiring journey with others. She works as a clerk in a court and help women to find self-love.

The Diagnosis

“I was diagnosed in August of 2017. I went in for a Pre-Employment physical and the doctor told me that he felt a lump in my neck that he didn’t like and wanted me to go have to checked and cleared by my Primary Care Physician before he would pass me.”

The Journey

thyroid cancer fighter's journey “My journey with cancer seemed quick, although it is not complete over yet. I feel lucky because what I have is 97% curable but the scar on my neck is a constant reminder of all that I’ve been through- endless doctors’ appointment, the blood testing & feeling as if I’m nothing but a pin cushion, the diagnosis, the surgery, and 2 rounds of radiation I’ve had so far. This journey has been extremely hard. I wasn’t able to work out for weeks at a time because of the surgery, for some this may seem silly but this is my passion and not being able to broke me down. Having to go on a strict diet for radiation and having to stay away from friends and family for periods of time because of the dangers of radiation. I couldn’t go to work for weeks after my surgery because I wasn’t on medication and I had to let my body adjust to life without a major organ. And on top of that, all the odd things my body does now that it didn’t do before can be very frightening.”

Biggest Hindrance

“The biggest hinderance in my journey is that it prevents me from getting a job, and it slowed my life down a lot. At the same time, it was a blessing in disguise because I would have NEVER known about it had I not gone in for that pre-employment physical. It also slowed my life down because I wasn’t able to see or go out with friends at certain periods in my journey because of the diet I was on before radiation and because of the radiation pill. It is very dangerous for other people that don’t have thyroid issues.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“My biggest motivation in my fight against cancer is my family. They stood by me every step of the way. No matter what it was, if it was some kind of testing, or going to the doctor or just if I needed something, they would drop everything to help me. And without them I couldn’t have done it. They are my biggest support system.”

Message to other Fighters

message for cancer patients “You will get through it! It may be hard in the moment, but it will get better. Having a great support system is everything!”

Papillary Thyroid Cancer Fighter suggests to join Support Groups

Favorite Quote

“Love is bigger than anything in its way” U2

Here we share the story of Paula who is currently fighting Papillary Thyroid cancer. She asks other thyroid cancer fighters to join online support groups as they know what you are dealing with.

The Diagnosis

“In 2012, two tiny nodules were discovered on my otherwise healthy thyroid incidentally on an MRI of my neck and spine. After a biopsy was indeterminate, I had surgery to remove the right half of my thyroid and pathology confirmed they were malignant, papillary thyroid cancer, so the other half was removed 2 weeks later”.

The Journey

“One month after my first two surgeries in 2012, I needed a third to remove the excess tissue left behind, so I could have the radioactive iodine (RAI) to ablate remaining cells. However, a small piece remained, but it was too large for further treatment, so I went for a second opinion at Sloan-Kettering. I was told my tumors were microcarcinomas, so I was considered “low risk”, and didn’t need RAI, or more surgery!   What a relief, right!? Fast forward to Dec 2016, a new nodule appeared. Biopsy once again was indeterminate, but this it was sent for further testing revealing a mutation, BRAF v600e. I was no longer low risk stage 1, and now am high risk stage 3. This nodule was nestled very close to my carotid artery. Surgery wasn’t something I wanted to go through again and was proving to be difficult, so I prepared for RAI. I needed to go off my thyroid meds for 6 weeks which made me severely hypothyroid and feeling really awful, probably the worst I’ve ever felt in my life. I wasn’t allowed to drive, so I needed to arrange for rides to and from the hospital.  I felt like a slug. I needed dosimetry to calculate my exact dose. Which is a series of whole-body scans (WBS) and bloodwork over a week. My teeny nodule wasn’t cooperating and wasn’t absorbing the iodine as expected, so I needed a higher dose of RAI. In April 2017, after several weeks preparing on a low iodine diet and no meds, I had 243 mci of RAI. I had to remain in the hospital in isolation for 2 days, and then another 2 1/2 weeks at home after that. I have multiple cats, and just being near me can affect their thyroid so I couldn’t be near anyone living for a long time. So, in April 2018 at my 1 yr. follow up, I was shocked to hear that tiny little nodule was still there!  I am resistant to RAI! I had that fourth surgery in July 2018 to remove the teeny nodule.  It was attached to my recurrent laryngeal nerve. I recently had my 3-month post op follow, and unfortunately the numbers show another recurrence. As I write this, I don’t know the next steps. The damage to my salivary glands from the radiation is permanent.  I cannot have any more RAI”.

Update 15th March 2019: I had my 3-month bloodwork this month and my doctor called me today with good news finally, my Tg levels are undetectable!  Tomorrow is my birthday, and that is the best birthday gift ever!

Biggest Hindrance

“I hate having to tell my entire story to be taken seriously.  Two words do not go together, good and cancer.  Thyroid cancer is often described as “the good cancer”. There is NO such thing as the good cancer. It’s also not “the easiest to treat”, or “if you could choose which cancer to have, choose thyroid cancer” No! Stop that!  I’ve had 4 surgeries, a hefty dose of radiation, and am not done yet. My cancer is very real and treatment is ongoing.  I believe this thought process is why people aren’t as supportive as they could be. Cancer is cancer. Mine is very real and it has changed me. I’m more compassionate, more empathetic, more patient, more supportive. Finding the correct replacement medication takes a while.  Living without a thyroid, we have to take a little pill every day. Finding one that works and the correct dosage can be challenging.  It’s important to find a doctor that also treats based on how you feel, not just labs.  I do finally feel as close to normal as I can on my current dose. For me, less fillers is better”.

Motivation to fight cancer

“My daughter.  She is a sophomore in college, and wants to make a difference in this world.  She is studying biomedical engineering, and is heavily involved with relay for life for the past 6 years. Cancer is doing its best to define me, I won’t let that happen”.

Message to other Fighters

“Join support groups, those people know what you are dealing with and can help you understand what to expect.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  I’m a caregiver along with my husband, for his mother who suffered a stroke 2 years ago.  We need help too sometimes. Life can be overwhelming. Sometimes the most help comes for those you least expect it from. And sometimes, that support has paws”.

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now a Writer and Artist

Pastor-Tara-Eastman-Thyroid-cancer-survivor-now-a-write-and-artist

Favourite quote

Thyroid cancer taught me to always, always listen to my body, to advocate for my health needs and even when afraid, to keep moving forward

Pastor Tara Eastman was diagnosed with thyroid cancer on Oct 16, 2017. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is a writer, cook, artist, and pastor of Lutheran church.

The Diagnosis

“I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer, after having a partial thyroidectomy on Oct 16th, 2017.”

The Journey

Pastor-Tara-Eastman-Thyroid-cancer-survivor-shares-her-journey

“I found the mass on my neck in May of 2017. I had to have many tests (needle biopsy, ultrasounds, and blood work) and started the process with my primary physician and was referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist. My first surgery was scheduled for September, but due to an injury sustained by my surgeon the day prior to surgery, it was cancelled.

Due to this delay I was then referred to Roswell Park Cancer Hospital in Buffalo as my surgery was anticipated to be complicated. I saw a voice specialist and the surgeon from Roswell’s Head and Neck department and was scheduled for a partial thyroidectomy and tumor removal on Oct. 16. During this whole time of testing and waiting, I did not know if the mass was cancerous.

The mass continued to grow and was causing some speech and breathing issues. As planned, the surgery took place on Oct. 16, 2017. The mass, left side of thyroid gland and some lymph nodes were removed. I stayed in hospital overnight and was discharged the morning following surgery. Recovery required me to go home with a drain tube for about a week.

It was removed a week later and I went back to work two weeks after surgery. The pathology report from surgery took a little more than two weeks to receive. It was at that point that the surgeon informed me the mass was benign but there had been a small spot of stage one papillary thyroid cancer in the removed gland. It is now one year post op and I am still in remission from thyroid cancer.

While my recovery did not include radiation treatment, I changed my diet to gluten, dairy and egg free aid in healing and help keep Hashimoto’s disease (that may have contributed to thyroid problems) in check.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“My faith, family and friends helped to keep me motivated to fight cancer and pursue healthier habits.”

Biggest hindrance

“The waiting for tests, test results and an inconclusive needle biopsy made my uncertainty prior to surgery quite intense.”

Message to other cancer patients

“Advocate for Yourself” Find support from doctors and health professionals that move efforts forward and empower you to find solutions. Ask questions, use patient portal (email service) and follow up on your own behalf!”

Thyroid Cancer Fighter is an aspiring voice actor

Thyroid cancer patient personal story
“Broken crayons still color”.

Here is the story of Yossi who is currently fighting Thyroid cancer. She is an aspiring voice actor, foodie, horror movie nerd, video game junkie, and obsessed with Disney. She believes in “Feel the fear and do it anyway”.

The Diagnosis

“In 2017, I was having a MRI done to prepare for gallbladder surgery. The reports said there were two small nodules in my thyroid. I ended up forgetting all about it because I was so caught up in my gallbladder surgery. It wasn’t until my therapist recommended, I get my thyroid checked after telling her my anxiety was at an all-time high. On April 5th 2018, my biopsy reports confirmed stage one thyroid cancer”.

The Journey

Journey of thyroid cancer patient

“I had my thyroidectomy on June 25th, 2018. I ended up staying an extra four days and was moved into the ICU when my calcium levels dropped really low. It was quite scary because I was very weak and shaking uncontrollably.

The recovery was pretty hard for me. I was put on medications to level out my calcium and was sent to the ER once because I had to have it intravenously.

I was barely able to hold myself up because I was constantly tired and nauseated. It was even worse when I was preparing for the radioactive iodine therapy.

I had the radioactive iodine therapy in August.  I was quite sick through it but my parents and sister were very helpful in getting me through it. I was declared no evidence of disease on Sept 12th, 2018.  It is quite bittersweet. I’m very relieved but on the other hand, it’s not officially cancer free yet. I’ll be having my first follow up appointment in a few days”.

Biggest Hindrance

“People sometimes shun me because of the high survival rate. This so called “good cancer” has changed my quality of life. The idea of a recurrence is also quite scary”.

Motivation to fight cancer

“My biggest motivation is my family. I had to put a lot of my passions on hold to deal with this but I didn’t want cancer to stop me. The idea that I can push past this and achieve something is another huge motivation”.

Message to other Fighters

Thyroid cancer patient shares her message

“Take it one day at a time and know that you are not alone. Find someone you trust to confide in and build a good support system. When I went to get the iodine therapy, my best friend left this beautiful letter for me to find when I came home. It’s in my night table and I read it anytime I’m having a bad day. I would also read the constant messages on Facebook I got whenever I was updating friends and family on what was going on with my treatments. It kept me strong”.

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now A Runner

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now A Runner
“Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.” -Hunter S. Thompson

Lu was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2013. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is a fitness enthusiast and a runner.

The Diagnosis

“I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2013, after 3 years of battling with hypothyroidism.”

The Journey

Thyroid cancer survivor journey
“Cancer changed my life. At first I felt defeated. I was doing a post-graduate program overseas and all of a sudden I had to come back home for surgery and treatment. Life after cancer has been the most challenging part, because my body had a tough time getting used to live with no thyroid. Even when I was taking the right dose of my thyroid hormone replacement medicine, I felt exhausted all the time to the point of not being able to walk for more than 10 minutes straight. After treatment I’ve been suffering from chronic nausea, which sometimes takes the toll on me. During these five years, I’ve realized that I own my story, I am the boss of my body, and I am determined not to be defined by an illness. I started exercising and now I run half marathons despite I continually fight with my energy levels and nausea. However I’ve learnt to listen to my body and be gentle to myself when I need to, but also I’ve realized that I am not giving up and that my will to enjoy life is bigger than anything else. Cancer came to my life uninvited but it gave me a heck of a life story that now I am proud to share in order to inspire others to not to give up.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“Getting my life back, help others, and enjoy life with no limitations.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“Nausea and energy levels. But no matter how I feel, I always get up, put my sport shoes and exercise.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Thyroid cancer survivor message to other cancer patients
“Don’t let cancer define who you are and what you can or cannot do. The fight continues even long after remission, but the most important thing is to live to the fullest ALWAYS.“

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now A Nurse

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now A Nurse
“Faith doesn’t always mean that God changes your situation, sometimes it means he changes you” –Steven Furtick
Brittany Perez was diagnosed with thyroid cancer on August 15th, 2018. She has successfully defeated her disease. She works as a nurse now.
 
The Diagnosis
 
She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer on August 15, 2018.
 
The Journey
Thyroid Cancer Survivor shares her cancer journey
“Wednesday August 15th. The day I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. I never thought I would have to use the big “C” word to describe myself. In April I found a nodule or “lump” in my throat. We were learning about thyroids and feeling our own in class when I found it. (Nursing school comes in handy sometimes I guess). It was almost finals so of course, I had zero time to go to the doctor. Fast forward 3 months- I went to a walk in clinic. I was told that I just need to “breathe and calm down” it was “just strep”. I was placed on antibiotics for 10 days and told to come back if it didn’t resolve (even though I mentioned multiple times the nodule has been there for MONTHS). I took the antibiotics because, honestly, I had been convinced I was probably over reacting (because who doesn’t diagnose themselves with all the bad things in nursing school). It was still there. I told Abdi I didn’t feel comfortable going back to her, I wanted to change and go to someone I trusted, so I did. I was taken much more seriously and an ultrasound and some bloodwork was ordered. The blood work came back perfect so I was starting to feel better, then I received a call from my PCP. The Ultrasound came back suspicious and I wasn’t crazy, a 2.1 cm nodule was found..he wanted a biopsy. Biopsy was done and it did come back Thyroid Cancer. I had a total thyroidectomy done on October 4th and everything went perfectly! Happy to get that out of my body and live a thyroid-less life and cancer free! Here’s to beating Cancer. ❤”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My husband and my future! Giving up wasn’t an option.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“The only hindrance I had was fighting for the correct diagnosis.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Thyroid Cancer Survivor shares her message to other cancer patients
“Don’t give up! You can get through this and will walk out even stronger. And, always always fight for your medical care.”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Shares Her Journey

Corie Mogenis - Thyroid cancer survivor
“One minute at a time! Some days are too much to handle so break it down. Deal with the moment in front of you and worry about the next when you get there.”
Corie Mogenis was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in October 2016. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is a foodie and a traveller.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in October 2016 after a nodule was seen during a carotid artery Doppler!”
 
The Journey
Corie Mogenis - Thyroid cancer survivor journey
“Being diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer after a by chance finding on an unrelated radiology test was shocking enough, but then to find out that the cancer had already spread to 2 different sections of lymph nodes and had been there for maybe 7 – 10 years already was mind blowing! I had always felt I had a thyroid issue but was told by many doctors that my blood work was normal so they would brush off my complaints and blame them on something else. It was a very scary and difficult time from diagnosis to surgery and treatment. I underwent a total thyroidectomy, had 2 para-thyroids removed and 49 lymph nodes in a neck dissection. Recovery was very tough and I had issues with my voice and swallowing and choking for many months to follow. Radioactive iodine treatment then occurred and shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with lymphedema in my neck and chest and had to go to lymphedema therapy for 6 weeks! The most challenging part has been trying to get my medication correct and thyroid numbers in optimal range. I have been changed about 15 times already and we are still struggling to find the right type of medication, dose and on which combo I feel the best. 2 years and counting, but I know I will get there.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“I have had so many amazing, brave and incredible friends and family fight all types of cancer before me. Watching their journeys gave me strength to do what I needed to do. I had too much to still do in life and was focused on addressing the cancer and putting it all behind me to get on with living life as soon as I could.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“The aftermath of cancer surgery and treatment. Dealing with seromas that had to be drained to numbness to loss of my voice to lymphedema in my neck and more were all very difficult and even more so when you have to work full time through the process.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Corie Mogenis - Thyroid cancer survivor shares message with other patients
“You CAN do this. You may not think so now, but I promise you – dig way deep down because that strength is in there. Seek out support groups even if it is on social media. I found so many very helpful tips and information from other thyroid cancer patients just be joining these groups.”

Thyroid Cancer Fighter Is Now On Radioactive Iodine

Thyroid Cancer Fighter Is Now On Radioactive Iodine
“Cancer is only going to be a chapter in your life, NOT the whole story” -Joe Wasser
Jennifer was diagnosed with thyroid cancer on 2nd May, 2018. She is fighting her disease.
 
The Diagnosis
 
She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer on 2nd May, 2018. After few tests and Biopsies doctors confirmed she had cancer. She is mother of three lovely children. She loves rock music and anime.
 
The Journey
 
cancer journey of thyroid cancer survivor
“I knew something was wrong years ago. I was having a lot of different hormonal issues but all of my tests were always excellent. Doctors thought, I was having female issues so I went through multiple treatments to try and feel better, I even had a hysterectomy 2 years ago. As my symptoms worsened, I couldn’t swallow food properly, I was having heart palpitations, and my vision was blurry. I sought out a naturopath who took one look at my neck and knew there was something wrong. Ultrasound was highly suspicious and biopsies confirmed cancer. My surgery was June 25th 2018 and my oncologist took my whole thyroid and my central lymph nodes. I thought I was in the clear but then pathology came back as Metastatic papillary thyroid cancer. I’m currently in isolation doing radioactive iodine now.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My husband and kids.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“My own thoughts. When you hear you have cancer a million things run through your mind. You think of things that are scary and it sends you into this downward spiral and depression.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
 
“Just because you have cancer doesn’t mean you can’t live your life and have fun. Don’t let the negative thoughts crush you! Stay positive”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Is Now A Teacher

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Is Now A Teacher
“Promise me you’ll remember, you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think”.
Emma Rose Wiggins was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in June 2018. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is a teacher.
 
The Diagnosis
 
She was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in June 2018
 
The Journey
Thyroid cancer survivor story
“I found a lump in my neck area and went for an ultrasound. The lump was okay but they found out I had thyroiditis and that I had a lump in one side of my thyroid. So a few months later after having tests and a biopsy, I was told I needed to get half of my thyroid removed. In June of this year I had the operation and had the right half of my thyroid taken out as the lump was inside the gland. The lump was tested and it came back that it was cancer. After healing I then had more scans and was told the cancer hasn’t spread but that I have 2 swollen lymph nodes. They couldn’t get to the lymph nodes to do a biopsy as they were behind my collar bones so I’ve to wait until October to get more tests and I now have to take thyroxine daily.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My family and the fear of not being able to spend my life with them. Especially my 15 year old sister as I’m very close to her and don’t want to miss out on seeing her grow up. Also I’m only 25 and recently got engaged and have just got my first house. I have so much ahead of me to look forward to and don’t want to miss any of it.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“Feeling helpless and lost. I was worrying all the time and still am as I’m always left not knowing if I’m okay or not. I also have coeliac disease so this causes a lot of problems on top of everything else.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
thyroid cancer survivor shares her personal message
“To never give up and keep believing in yourselves. I am the biggest worrier ever and I struggled but I am so glad I got the operation and found out in time or things could have been so different. Everyone around helps so much and you are never alone in it.”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Says Today Is a Gift

Thyroid Cancer Survivor
“There will come a time in life when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”
Bishop was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in May 2018. She has successfully defeated her disease.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“May 2018 I was diagnosed after my biopsy results came back as suspicious. I had no symptoms, it was honestly a miracle when a good friend of mine noticed the lump on the right side of my throat as I was sitting across from her at dinner one night.”
 
The Journey
Thyroid Cancer Survivor's Journey
“In early April I was diagnosed with a non-infiltrating yet aggressive type of Thyroid Cancer. I was living in Brazil at the time, volunteering for a project near and dear to my heart. The Rosemary Dream project creates and runs programs year-round to help people from all over the world maximize their full potential and live more meaningful lives. Although I was helping others do this, I don’t think I truly grasped the concept of what living a more meaningful life entailed until this diagnosis. Going through this process I feel extremely grateful, knowing how much worse it could have been. The day I got on the plane from Brazil I had no idea what was in store for me, how long the process was going to be, the size or type of cancer, or if it had spread to my lymph nodes. I had to surrender to whatever was in store for me and accept that this time I was not in control. And just like that, the present moment began to hold more meaning for me than it ever had before. It was a miracle that we even found it as it was appearing as a rather small lump on the right side of my throat. Although it appeared small, it was taking up about 90% of the right side of my thyroid. I was told I had two options, to have surgery and get half of my thyroid taken out or a full thyroidectomy. Naturally, there was a bit of hesitation on removing the entire organ but the doctor advised that I remove all of it due to the size and the fact that if it did come back it would not be as simple as this time around. Fast forward a few weeks later, and the surgery was a success! Despite the rather depressing testimonies on the American Cancer Society Board, the recovery was smooth. As I researched I found more and more about how patient’s metabolisms suffered, they experienced weight gain, fell into extreme depression, and overall just never felt themselves again. As I cried in my mom’s bed two days after surgery I made a decision to never look at that website again, and that I would make the best out of whatever was in store for me. Sure enough, it took a few days for me to move my neck again normally, and a couple of weeks to get my usual energy levels back, and some days I felt as if my body was floating; however, overall I felt positive. I ended up not needing radiation for now and will be considered “cancer free” after 5 years. Every few months my doctor will check my tumor markers and check ultrasounds to make sure it hasn’t come back. Luckily, I was simply left with a tiny little scar at the base of my neck; but took away a rather large medical bill as a souvenir. I don’t know whether or not I believe in coincidences but I do believe life is always giving us exactly what we need for the evolution of our consciousness. And how do we do know this is the experience we need? Because it’s the experience we are having at this very moment. It’s a bit strange that it took cancer for me to come back and begin listening to myself again. However, I realize now with clarity and a full heart that I can do absolutely anything and not even cancer can stop me from living my best life. ”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“Honestly I never felt like I was truly “fighting” cancer. Being diagnosed with cancer really shook me in a way where I didn’t need to look for any motivation outside of myself to “fight”. It left me with complete acceptance and understanding that this time I wasn’t in control. No matter how much time I had left or whatever my life was going to look like after the treatment I just wanted to live it to the fullest because Cancer gave me the perspective of how truly fleeting life can be. Today is a gift which is why we call it the present.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“I struggled mostly with not feeling quite like myself immediately after the surgery. I usually feel full of energy and my friends often tell me I’m one of the most enthusiastic people they know. I even have a tattoo of the word Enthusiasm. However, the month after surgery I wasn’t feeling energized or enthusiastic about much at all, especially after researching and reading all of the negative testimonials on life after a thyroidectomy. It took time for me to return back to my usual energy levels but none the less through this I learned to be even kinder and more understanding with myself. My body needed me on its side as it recovered.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Message to other cancer patients

“Our bodies are constantly communicating with us and this is a GOOD thing because it means our bodies WORK. They are miraculous machines and when something like cancer gets thrown at you it can be quite easy to identify with it and become consumed by what is currently not working with the body. However, even with cancer, there is so much more that is working properly in our bodies that aren’t and to keep this perspective I think is really important. Although some cancers are genetic and some we really don’t know where they come from or why they surface, I find it more beneficial to continue asking what does this experience have to show me and trust that life is always giving us exactly what we need. Be kind to yourself and be your own best advocate on this journey.”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Shares Her Motivational Journey

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

Thyroid Cancer Survivor's Journey
“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
Message to other cancer patients
“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!”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor is Now A Photographer

Thyroid Cancer Survivor is Now A Photographer
“Isaiah 43:2 Irene is what I stood on and what carries me. For example: Irene, do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. Irene, when you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And when you pass through the rivers, They will not sweep over you. Irene, when you walk through the fire, You will not be burned; The flames will not set you ablaze.”
Irene Durante was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in March 2017. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is a photographer and a mother of 3 lovely kids.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“My dentist, that also happens to be a very good friend, found a lump in the left side of my neck after a routine cleaning in November of 2016, I actually blew it off because I had just been sick so I figured what she felt was just a swollen lymph node. I had to go back to the dentist in January (2017) for a filling and I asked her if it was still there, she said it was. After getting home to Colorado, I was on the hunt for a family doctor that was accepting new patients. I finally found one in the next town over but the doctor was out of town so I got in with the PA in February. When I was seen I was pretty much blown off and told “that’s why we don’t treat family” and “you have bigger lymph nodes on the right side” but only because my insurance covered ultrasounds she agreed to order one. Well, that came back showing “calcification” in the concerned node and I had a fine needle biopsy following that. I wasn’t diagnosed until March 2, 2017 (a month after finding out I was pregnant) after the biopsy came back positive for papillary thyroid cancer in my lymph node.”
 
The Journey
Thyroid Cancer Survivor's Journey
“After I was diagnosed in March I was sent to Denver to see a surgeon (the small town that I live in doesn’t do neck dissections), we decided on surgery during my second trimester and it would be a total thyroidectomy and a left lateral neck dissection. I had surgery on May 5, 2017, I was under for 6.5 hours, they took out my thyroid and 52 lymph nodes and miraculously, my baby came out of it fine too. The best thing after surgery was hearing her little heartbeat in the PACU. She’s such a champ! After surgery, I ended up with hypocalcaemia (my face and hands were tingling) because one of my parathyroids came out with my thyroid and also a chylous leak (lymph fluid) so I stayed in the hospital an extra 2 days. One of the biggest blessings I came home to (from surgery) was a master bedroom makeover from a group of friends. They wanted me to have a beautiful sanctuary to recover in! It was hard coming home and not be able to do all of my normal things like pick up my kids, wash my own hair, sleep laying down or even stand for very long. I would get winded just talking to people and I had almost no range of motion with my left arm. I went through 6 weeks of physical therapy on my neck and shoulder because I couldn’t lift my left arm up by my ear after surgery, I can now and I can even do CrossFit! Driving was and sometimes still is hard with the range of motion in my neck but it’s always getting better. It took me about 2 months to feel “back to normal” and then still so many doctor visits until my baby was born, for me and for her. They monitored us both very closely because of my cancer. I had a bunch of amazing doctors throughout this process and I got rid of the ones that weren’t going to fight with me (because I didn’t need to be fighting cancer and my doctor). I had so many people, family and friends, come around me through this and I could not have done it without them. I had a little scare in March of this year where they found a cluster of suspicious-looking lymph nodes, I went back to Denver in April for the biopsy and thankfully those came back fine! I had a super healthy baby girl on October 11, 2017, and because I wanted to nurse her and my endocrinologist was OK with it for about a year with just close monitoring of my numbers, we put off the Radioactive Iodine. It was just last week (8/22/18) that, because of my baby and my desire to breastfeed they have 15 months of data on me where my numbers stayed good, I don’t have to do the RAI! So that’s where my journey is now, annual check-ups and I can say survivor!”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My family. I’m married and have 2 other kids (5 and 3 years) and I want to show them that you can battle something really horrible and be strong but also need so much grace for the hard days. Regardless of how it would’ve turned out I wanted them to remember that I did this “cancer thing” well.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“If I’m honest, there were days I could let my mind take me to the darkest places and all the worst case scenarios but because of my faith and the amazing group of people I had surrounding me throughout this entire process, I never stayed there.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Message to other cancer patients
“Be your best advocate and take everything one day at a time, or if that’s too much still, hour by hour or 5 minutes by 5 minutes. Find the good through all the muck. Finding things to still be thankful for invites JOY in.”

Thyroid Cancer Fighter Says Learn From Cancer

Thyroid Cancer Fighter
“Surviving cancer is not the end of a gruesome story, it’s the beginning of a beautiful one.”
Casey was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in summer of 2016. She is fighting her disease.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“Summer of 2016. I had a cyst taken out that ended up being a tumor. They found thyroid tissue in it and declared that I had cancer.”
 
The Journey
Thyroid Cancer Fighter's Journey
“I have had 3 surgeries and 1 treatment of radiation over 2 years. I am still fighting currently. Having Thyroid cancer brought a lot of changes in my life. I gained 50 pounds, my hair died and began falling out, I have a huge scar across my neck, I was always tired and had hot flashes all day long and my emotions were like a roller coaster that never stopped. I used to play lacrosse at my school and I had to stop because I had nerve damage from one of my surgeries. I am a college student and I have a job, which has been challenging with my fatigue but I am still trying to finish school and make money. I am 22 years old and still living my life as much as I can.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“I want to show the world how strong I am and how I can kick cancers ass so other people can too.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“I gained 50 pounds and I am still having a hard time losing it. I had to buy all new clothes and try to regain confidence about my body. My hair is just now coming back to life. My energy level is not what it used to be so I can’t do half the things I used to. Dating is tough and frustrating. I’m constantly in doctor’s appointments and medical bills are never ending.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Message to other cancer patients
“Accept the cancer as a part of you and learn from it. It’ll change your life like it did mine, in a good way.”

Giving Up Is Not An Opinion Says Thyroid Cancer Fighter

Thyroid Cancer Fighter
“You are not in charge of the life you are given, but you are in charge of how you choose to live it.”
The Diagnosis
 
“January 2018 I went to a check-up for my lupus, I had been feeling really sick lately but had a lot going on. My husband was overseas and going through a custody battle with my ex-husband. During my appointment, my heart rate was really high so they called an ambulance and sent me to the hospital. At the hospital during a ton of tests they did on me, they found some tumours on the left side of my thyroid.”
 
The Journey
Thyroid Cancer Fighter's Journey
“Once the tumours were found, they started trying to get me into a doctor’s office so I could have tests to find out what was going on with them. A few people were just kinda brushed it off so I thought it was no big deal. So January tumours were found, it was April before I had a biopsy done on my thyroid. Once it came back as malignant they were in super speed mode to get things taken care of. I had surgery in May. After my total thyroidectomy, I had Radioactive Iodine Treatment in July. The army sent my husband home to be with me during treatments and we were assigned a new duty station and now live in Tennessee.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My family, I would be nothing without my family. My life has been my kids since I first brought them into this world. I want to show them and others that you are stronger than what you face.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“Oh, I would defiantly say my biggest hindrance is being an Army wife. Only having a “home” every few years is hard. Starting over with doctors and “plans” and being alone. A lot of time as a military spouse you are forced to be on your own and not know where your other half is or when they will be home. So just getting your mind around the fact that this is a huge battle and you’re going to need to find new battle buddies.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Message to other cancer patients
“Once someone tells you that you have that C word. You instantly are scared, feel alone, defeated, and unsure what your first step is. It’s okay to scream, it’s okay to cry, and taking some time for yourself to cope is TOTALLY normal. Giving up is not an option. So do whatever it is for YOU to be okay. You are not alone and there are others who understand, and welcome to the club.”

Thyroid Cancer Fighter Is On Self Love And Healthy Mission

Thyroid Cancer Fighter
“Live like there is no tomorrow”
Jen was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in April 2018. She is fighting her disease. She is on a self-love/healthy lifestyle mission.
 
The Diagnosis
 
April 2018, I discovered a lump in the front of my throat.
 
The Journey
Thyroid Cancer Fighter's Journey
“I was laying down one night in bed and for some odd reason decided to feel my neck and noticed a large baseball sized lump and it alarmed me. My husband felt it as well. The next day I had a follow up for my hypothyroidism with my family doctor and so I ask her and she did an exam and felt it as well. She scheduled me for an ultrasound which came back suspicious and so they set me up for a fine needle aspiration biopsy which terrified me to even think about. Those results came back highly suspicious so my doctor sent me to a surgeon who specialized in thyroid cancer. He said only a few nodules usually turn out to be cancer and he said he would need my whole thyroid removed. I was at a loss for words with that news because my thyroid was a part of me. I had surgery on May 2nd and my surgeon said my pathology came back and my entire thyroid was covered in cancer and Hashimoto’s disease and he wanted to go back in and remove lymph nodes to be sure they were not affected. I was sick and in shock and numb. I ran crying into my husband’s arms and he held me and cried with me while telling me we would get through this together. All this before my 35th birthday was life-changing. May 11, 2018, I went back in for a neck dissection and then got the call that the lymph nodes they removed all had cancer in them and then they told me cancer invaded my vein. My family doctor said ” It is good cancer” She did not prepare me for the journey ahead of me. Medicine withdrawal for 6 weeks, lab work, chest scans, low iodine diet, radioactive iodine and doctor’s appointments for the rest of my life. This is anything but good cancer. It has been life changing in so many ways. Depression sank in and took hold of me like never before and then came the fear of this cancer coming back. I don’t wanna be the sob story, I want to be the overcomer. I want to win my battle with thyroid cancer day by day. This is a scary journey and I don’t let it define me because I have one life to live and I plan on doing just that. I made a bucket list for fall and I will complete it. Thyroid cancer doesn’t have me I have it and I plan on beating it. We are all warriors .”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“To not let this define me”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“The fear of it coming back and me having to do this all over again”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Message to other cancer patients
“You are strong and you are not alone on this journey. Peace, love, and light”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now An Equestrain Horse Rider

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now An Equestrain Horse Rider
“Emotions are dangerous, they can cloud and distort your vision as well as the people around you, take a second and think it through yourself.”
Destiny Carson was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in February 2018. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is now in CSUMB Equestrian Team.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“February 2018.”
 
The Journey
Thyroid Cancer Survivor's Journey
“People call thyroid cancer the “good cancer” and in my mind, I feel the same way. It’s hard for me to think at 24 I’ve had cancer because I didn’t have to go through all different types of radiation but for 3 years I had an autoimmune disease called Graves. I thought I had just a simple hormone imbalance in my thyroid that could be fixed with multiple medications and that wasn’t the case. I was tired 24/7, sometimes never hungry, and other times overly hungry, I lived a very active life that was hard for me to keep up with, on all these medications. I couldn’t compete in horseback riding at my highest potential, I couldn’t scuba dive because my thyroid was giving me a heart irregularity, I couldn’t focus in class because I had a doctor’s appointment every week! I felt I was failing at everything I wanted to do. When I found out it was cancer I was in disbelief.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My motivation to fight cancer was to get back to all the things I once loved and do them and be great at them! I take pride in all the horses I ride and all the animals I work with in general and when I was sick, it pained me that those animals couldn’t be worked with.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“The day of my thyroidectomy, my father was also diagnosed with thyroid cancer. This was the biggest setback for me because I was so scared that something would go wrong in my surgery that he wouldn’t want to do him, and his cancer was currently worse than mine. I battled with wanting to do radioactive iodine therapy vs surgery but I figured I’m young and active and everything will work to my advantage. My surgery did last longer than most due to the fact my blood vessels were the size of charging cords! It was crazy! But I healed great and I love that fact that I can motivate my dad to do the same procedure I had!.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Message to other cancer patients
“My message to other cancer patients is always remembered to keep doing the things you love. I had to miss out on lots of opportunities because of all my doctor’s appointments but I regret it to the fullest. I wish I took a step back from school and pushed myself to do what I love during this process to keep me sane. If you’re wavering between wanting to have a surgery and not go with the surgery. There are risks to everything, but if it’s between life or death. choose life!

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Is Now A Dog And Cat Rescuer

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Is Now A Dog And Cat Rescuer

Carlie Ebben was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in May 1999. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is now a mother and dog & cat Rescuer.

The Diagnosis

“I was diagnosed in May of 1999. I was suffering from a sinus infection and went to the doctor. Upon entering the exam room he noted that my thyroid was inflamed. Thus beginning my journey.”

The Journey

Thyroid Cancer Survivor's Journey
“I was a mom of 3 young children, so I was tired all the time. Never knowing that I had a golf ball size tumor growing on my thyroid. I found out on that fateful Dr.’s visit that it was enlarged. The first doctor I went to was my gynecologist. They did blood work and found that my thyroid levels were ok, but my white blood cell count was elevated. So I had to go see an oncologist where they drew my blood and said everything was clear. I am wondering what about this huge knot in my throat?! So I made an appointment with an endocrinologist. This man saved my life!! He did a biopsy of the knot, which came back positive for cancer and I was subsequently scheduled for surgery. I was terrified as I had 3 young children that I was afraid of leaving.! The thyroid was removed and I began my roller coaster ride of finding the right level of Synthroid to be on! Six months later I had my first drink of radioactive iodine and full body scan is done. A small amount of thyroid tissue was discovered then so I was radiated, having to stay overnight at the hospital and I couldn’t be around my small children for a week afterward. A subsequent scan showed all clear and has been for Twenty years!”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My 3 small children and the fact that I knew my husband at that time couldn’t care for them if I were to die! “
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“I think having to have my medication levels changed so much in the beginning. The sheer exhaustion I felt all the time.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Message to other cancer patients
“To listen to your body. Keep an open dialogue with your Dr, Read all the books you can on surviving Thyroid Cancer. It’s not an easy road to travel but you can get there to health again!!”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now A Competitor In American Ninja Warrior Season 10

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now A Comoetitor In American Ninja Warrior Season 10
“Never give up. Keep fighting. No excuses. Be the best YOU.”
Jenn Roder was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2017. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is one of the “American Ninja Warrior Season 10” Competitor.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I was in for a routine physical in January of 2017. My brother had been diagnosed and treated for thyroid cancer a few months prior to my doctor did a very thorough neck check. She felt a very small lump and decided because of family history it was enough to send me off for more testing. The ultrasound a week later showed that there was definitely something there that should be biopsied. At the end of February 2017, I had my biopsy and a week later the test results showed likely for thyroid cancer. My endocrinologist recommended a total thyroidectomy which I had at the end of March 2017. A week after my thyroidectomy, it was confirmed as papillary thyroid cancer.”
 
The Journey
Thyroid Cancer Survivor's Journey
“The whole process was quite scary. I was very aware of the process since my brother had been diagnosed and treated shortly before me but it was still scary. I never really feared for my life (although there were and still are moments where I fear the cancer is back or somewhere else in my body) but I feared who I would be after my treatment and total thyroidectomy. I knew the side effects of not having a thyroid and was watching my brother go through them as I was going through my diagnosis and treatment. I was scared about the type of mother and wife I was going to be. I just knew that life was going to be harder and that I was going to have to work harder but I was afraid I didn’t have it in me. Luckily, I had been training at an obstacle gym (Obstacle Academy in Edina, MN) for American Ninja Warrior. Because of the shape, my body was in, surgery was easy for the surgeon and I was able to be fairly active only a few weeks after my surgery. Was I the same? No way. But I had something to get me out of the house and get me active on a regular basis. Training for obstacles also helps me with my everyday struggles. I can go to the gym and work on physical obstacles like the warped wall or devil steps. I may not get them the first try or every time but when I do, it’s a great reminder that hard work pays off. Quitting doesn’t get you anywhere and sometimes you just have to keep pushing through failure after failure. Life was like that now. I struggle with just about everything. I’m tired, I don’t handle stress well, my anxiety is through the roof, I get upset stomachs regularly, my brain seems to tap out, and I just never feel “100%”. It’s frustrating but I have to constantly remind myself of the strong person that I am and that I can get through this one moment at a time. I try to be proud of each moment I walk through and continue to keep myself motivated by focusing on how far I’ve come (even on days where I’ve felt like I’ve gone backward). I may be cancer free but my fight will never stop.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My number one motivation was my son and my husband. I have to be present for them. They are my life and my everything, I cannot imagine not being there for them. Like I said before, I never really feared for my life, but I feared for the person I was and who I would become after losing my thyroid. I didn’t want to lose all energy so I wouldn’t be able to spend time with my family. I was also motivated by my goals at the gym. I wanted to be stronger physically and mentally and training for American Ninja Warrior was (and is) a great motivator for me.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“Probably getting my thyroid dosage just right. It’s been over a year and a half since my TT and I still don’t feel right. I’m getting to the point where I’m almost positive I will never be 100% again and I’m trying to combat that negative self-talk. I am a hindrance to myself because I so often talk down to myself or negatively self-talk my situation. Instead of looking at what I have accomplished in the situation I’m in, I go back to who I could have been if this hadn’t happened to me and I never got thyroid cancer.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Message to other cancer patients
“Keep fighting. You are not alone. Find joy in the small victories (I mean, really small as you got out of bed this morning). Life is hard and even harder after thyroid cancer but we can still accomplish anything we want. Don’t compare yourself to others and don’t compare yourself to who you could’ve been if this hadn’t happened. Own who you are and what you’ve gone through and be proud of how far you’ve come.”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now A Fitness Enthusiast

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now A Fitness Enthusiast
“You sometimes have to look back, to see how far your Journey has taken you”
Kandice Welch was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2017. She has successfully defeated her disease. Now, she is a fitness enthusiast and motivating others.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I went to my nurse practitioner in September of 2016 for a sinus infection. After my exam she advised me to have my thyroid ultrasound, cause it appeared to be enlarged. Had blood work done, all my levels came back “normal” but the ultrasound showed 2 different spots on the middle and right side. I then went to an ENT, and we decided to watch them for 3 months since they were small. In Jan 2017 had my 2nd ultrasound done, the areas had changed. I then went for a needle biopsy…the results were inconclusive. After that the decision was made to remove the middle and right side with surgery, that was March 8, 2017. Spent 3 days in the hospital. 10 days later, I went back for my follow up and have my stitches removed. The biopsy after surgery showed it was cancer. On March 28 2017, I had my second surgery to remove the left side of my thyroid, making it a Complete thyroidectomy. After that I was scheduled with an oncologist to discuss treatment options.”
 
The Journey
Thyroid Cancer Survivor's Journey
“Having a Plan, a good Cancer Healthcare team, family support team, and a POSITIVE mindset is everything. After being diagnosed, I had to Meet with an oncologist and discuss treatment options. We decided the iodine radiation treatment would be the best route for me. I had to wait until my levels crashed, before doing the treatment. This was probably the worst I have EVER felt in my whole life. I took the treatment and had to be completely away from everyone for 10 days. I stayed in a house by myself for 4 days not being able to move off the couch, because I felt horrible. I didn’t feel like even taking a shower, but they recommend taking 6-7 a day to get rid of the extra radiation. After the first 4 days, it slowly got better, I was at least able to function and went for short walks. After that…I had to have follow-ups with the oncologists, the PET scan showed “hot spots” they are keeping an eye on, and that should go down over time. My first year I was on 3 months follow-ups. Each time I had to have blood work done to check my medication levels, and they are constantly changing my doses. I just hit my 1 yr check up and now able to go every 6 months.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My family and friends were a huge support system during this time. Coming from a small town, they pulled together to help my family with anything we needed. My motivation to keep fighting is for them. I have 2 children aged 11 and 4. My 4-year-old was diagnosed with Autism and special needs 2 months after I was diagnosed with Cancer. My focus was on getting back to “normal” so I could be the best mom for them.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“The symptoms of not having a Thyroid is the worse. I never knew how much that little organ controlled. NO ONE ever told me the symptoms I would experience, as they were only focused on the cancer treatment part. My energy levels bottomed out, I felt like a slug. Being a busy mom that wasn’t an option. I still have days, when I’m the tired….no amount of rest helps. Brain fog, I used to remember EVERYTHING…now I can’t remember why I walked into a room. Weight gain, I have been on a fitness journey for 3 yrs now…weight loss after surgery was nearly impossible. It’s better now, I am back to where I was before the start of my cancer journey. Hair loss, I make the girl who does my hair, keep an eye on the thickness. Anxiety and depression, at first it was really bad, with hormone levels all out of whack. Was placed on medication, even though I had a positive outlook on the whole event. After less than 6 months, I was able to come off the medications. I still have a little bit of the anxiety part, when my female hormone levels spike.”
 
Message to other fighters
Message to other fighters
“When you hear the words “its cancerous” your world will stop for a few seconds… it’s after those seconds you have to choose to give up or to fight. Right then, choose to fight. Fight with everything YOU have inside of you. The way your mindset determines how your journey will go. Surround yourself with positive energy. Tell yourself on the bad days (cause you are going to have days that are hell) they can always be worse. Eat healthily, the better nutrition you give your body, the better you are going to feel from the inside. Don’t be angry, Show love, we never know when our last breath will be. And Pray, pray for healing, pray for a positive mindset, pray for God to take the pain away. Do not give up, fight with every breath you are given….because today is a gift and tomorrow is not promised.”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Runs A Cancer Support Group

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Runs A Cancer Support Group
“Darkness exists so that stars can shine”
Gemma, was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer in 2013. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is a “fighter mummy” and runs a Facebook closed group for families and friends of those affected by cancer.
 
The Diagnosis
 
She was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer on 13th September 2013.
 

The Journey

Thyroid Cancer Survivor's Journey
“In 2013 I was a studying a degree in Mental Health Nursing which I loved, with an amazing future ahead of me. I had 3 small children who depended solely on me for everything. In the January after just a few first dates with Glenn, I found a lump on my neck. I booked into my GP straight away only to be told it was an inflamed lymph node and not to worry. Two weeks later it was still there so I went back. This happens 3 more times until I was taken seriously and was referred to a specialist. This was the beginning of 4 years of letters I couldn’t understand with medical jargon consuming the whole page. I would attend where and when told and not have a clue what to expect.” “I was told that my biopsy results came back negative and that they weren’t going to do anything more. I pleaded with the consultant saying the same as before that it was getting bigger and getting in the way of breathing at night time. After a while, he agreed for me to have a hemithyroidectomy, which is just removing half of the thyroid gland, the side where the lump was, but only for cosmetic reasons. If I hadn’t have pushed they were quite happy to let it be. It took a few months to get an operation date through, which by this time was scheduled for 29th July. Six whole months since I originally went to see my GP. I was terrified on the morning of the operation. Glenn drove me to the hospital which was 45 minutes away. The longest 45 minutes of my whole life. I was checked in, given the sexy green stockings and told to wait for my name to be called. My operation lasted 10 hours and was a success. They managed to get it all and it hadn’t spread outside of the thyroid gland. I later found out the Glenn had sat in the same chair in the waiting room the whole time I was gone, just waiting for me. I will never begin to understand how scared he must have felt that day. But he stayed, for me.” “At some point after the operation and after 3 lots of anti-sickness drugs had kicked in I was told it didn’t look like cancer. I remember even writing a status on Facebook letting everyone know I was ok and that it was benign. Oh, how wrong they were. By now it was the summer holidays and I had missed so many days of placement with appointments etc, that I had to work 3 out of the 4 weeks of August to complete it. It meant not spending the summer with my children, but this was a sacrifice I was willing to take to better my future, our future. Early September I received a letter in the post which was addressed to my GP from my consultant to confirm what they had found. The letter was filled with medical terms which I didn’t have a clue what they meant so I just briefly scanned over it, with the intention of filing it with the others. However, the second paragraph through up some familiar words. ‘Carcinoma’ and ‘a tumour’ stuck out like a saw thumb, but even then I couldn’t work out if it meant I had it or didn’t have it! My appointment seemed to take forever to arrive. Friday 13th September. Unlucky for some but for me, I never believed in superstition. I got called in, Glenn by my side keeping my mind busy with his silly jokes! We sat down and the consultant didn’t even look up. He proceeded to read my notes as if we weren’t even there. He finally looked up and it was like a horrible joke. He muttered the phrase ‘It was cancer…..’ as soon as I heard him say those words my eyes filled with tears. I instantly felt like I was going to be sick and my ears started ringing. I’ve read before out when people are diagnosed and hear the word Cancer they don’t hear anything beyond this point, but I didn’t realize it was such an intense physical pain. I thought I was going to pass out. Glenn was amazing, he stayed calm, listening to what was being said while at the same time reassuring me. I honestly would not have got through that day if he wasn’t there. When I finally composed myself the consultant looked at me and said “But it’s ok, it’s the good Cancer” I’m sorry, what?! Please tell me what part of what I have just heard and felt was good?? I couldn’t believe he thought that was a nice thing to say.”
 
Next operation: “This time the operation was closer to a home where I had a private room. The operation itself was quicker only a couple of hours I think and again Glenn sat and waited outside. In all of this, I never took the time to ask how he was. How was he coping with it all? The same month we got together was the same month it stated. Our whole relationship didn’t know any different. Will he always think of me as a patient? Did he only stay because he feels sorry for me? All I know is if it wasn’t for him, my best friend, my rock, I couldn’t have done it. This time I took a while to come round. My blood pressure plummeted to 85/60 and it took 5 anti-sickness medicines to stop me from being sick. I felt like I had been run over by a bus. But the Cancer had gone.” Next, a clinical trial run by Cancer Research. It was to see if RAI iodine treatment made a difference to patients with Papillary Thyroid Cancer. “I was shown into a tiny room which was like a prison cell. Glenn was told he had to leave me at this point. I wouldn’t see him again for 4 days. They gave me the pill to take. It was the size of a small child! Weirdly my biggest worry at that moment was I hope I don’t dribble the water down my t-shirt! The pill was swallowed successfully, a T-shirt was dry (result 👍🏻) and the door was closed. In my room, I had an en-suite bathroom. In reality, it was a cupboard with a toilet and a shower in. Everything was covered in cling film to stop contamination while I was radioactive. In the main part of the room, there was a bed, a tiny tv, and a table. Again, everything covered in cling film. I have never been so scared and felt so alone in my whole life. The hours blurred into one long Jeremy Kyle binge, the only thing to make my life seem normal. Meals were thrown through a tiny opening in the door. It was like a prison. The day came when I was finally allowed out. I was allowed home and in the same room as Glenn and the children, but we had to be at opposite ends.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“I’ve worked too hard to let this get me! I was halfway through university and I wasn’t going to let cancer get me down “
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“Lack of support, so I have since set up a Cancer Support Group to help others.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Message to other cancer patients
“Ask as many questions as you want, never feel silly for doing so, it’s your body.”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Becomes A Speaker

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Becomes A Speaker
Paula was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2016. After successfully kicking cancer out of her life, she is now a speaker and loves to travel a lot.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I was diagnosed in May 2016! I was dealing with a recurring cough and throat pain. After a few weeks, I decided to get it checked out! When I told my primary care doctor what was going on, she recommended more tests.”
 
The Journey
Thyroid Cancer Survivor's Journey

Motivation to fight cancer“My diagnosis of cancer was another life-changing event! I still remember the look of fear in my adult children eyes when I gave them the news! We had already been through so much as a family, and now this! I can’t move forward without saying I survived 10 surgeries so I was ready for this! I had a second opinion and yes, it was true thyroid cancer! The research began on the type of thyroid cancer I had, what to expect on my journey, and what options I had available to me as far as surgery, chemo, and radiation! My surgery was on September 15, 2016. I had my thyroid completely removed! An overnight stay in the hospital, seven nodules removed, no chemo, no radiation! The doctor really pressed me about getting chemo just in case it comes back! Well, my take was what if it doesn’t?? My faith is bigger than that anything I know! ” “I had to fight as my granddaughter was on the way. My faith keeps me going in troubled times! My twin sister can’t make it without me. I had to keep going as we had made plans already ♥️♥️! I fight every day because I want to live, I want to fall in love again, I want to see my family receive everything God has for them. The one thing I can tell myself is ‘I have not made it’! ”

The biggest hindrance

“One of the things that immediately changed was the sound of my voice! That was a big setback for me… I was shocked, I cried, I texted everything and I did not want to talk on the phone! It was very hard to look at a video of myself speaking because I felt incomplete. That was not the only change….my body changed, I was so tired, it was hard doing daily activities alone, hot flashes, hard to swallow, and taste buds changed! My memory was very foggy during the first 3-6 months and I kept a journal for a while.”

Message to other cancer patients

Message to other cancer patients
“I know cancer will always be a part of you but don’t let it define your total existence! Take the time you need to heal, advocate for yourself, ask for help if you need it, and never stop believing you are a miracle!”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now Runs A Kitchen/Recipe Blog

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.”
Sarah was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer just before Christmas in 2017. She has successfully kicked cancer and now runs a kitchen blog where she posts tasty recipes.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer just before Christmas in 2017. I noticed some lumps on the right side of my neck and went to my GP for an ultrasound referral. The ultrasound showed that my thyroid didn’t look normal and so the doctors investigated further with a biopsy that concluded my diagnosis.”
 
The Journey
“As a seemingly healthy 20-year-old, I was confused and overwhelmed by the discovery of cancer. I was told that in my case it was just bad luck that I had developed this illness and that nothing could have prevented it from occurring. I was also told that I should feel extremely lucky as this particular cancer develops slowly and has an extremely good prognosis. This idea soothed me and allowed me to make peace with my health issues.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
I had every motivation to fight cancer. I have my whole life ahead of me, a wonderful family, fantastic boyfriend and amazing friends. I’m a student and an intern, both of which I greatly enjoy and where I have so much more to learn and experience. I want to travel, have a family of my own, build a career and do so much more with my life that ignoring cancer wasn’t an option.
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“The biggest hindrance was my recovery after my operation. The surgery was extensive and left me in a very fragile and weak state. I had to build my strength up slowly and learn to rely on others a lot more. The mental and physical sides were equally challenging but I stayed positive and made a great recovery.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
“My message to other cancer patients of any age is to find the fire within themselves to fight and survive. Cancer comes in so many forms, none of which are kind, and the journey is tough. My motto was always minded over matter and to believe in the power of positive thinking.”

Thyroid Cancer Fighter Works As A Customer Service Representative

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for.”
Hannah was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer. She is as a customer service representative.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“I had a really bad cold and my tonsils were swollen so I went to an ENT and he looked at my neck and noticed I had a lump on it! It kind of looked like Adam’s apple but it was there for so long that I didn’t realize it was abnormal.”
 
The Journey
“It was terrifying at first. It still is sometimes. It gets frustrating and time-consuming and just really annoying. The doctors think I’ve had cancer since I was 9. I was just about to turn 19 when I was diagnosed. My body survived 10 years of cancer without me even knowing it. My body is amazing and I love it for fighting for me. I’m so happy my cancer is in the hands of the doctors so I get to focus on thanking my body by nurturing it and by living the best life that I can. “On December 29th, 2016, I got my TWELTH surgery. I had my thyroid and 14 lymph nodes removed as well as spots along my trachea. We knew my thyroid had too many tumors to salvage it and we had already biopsied multiple lymph nodes so we knew those would have to be removed. We did not expect to find any cancer in my throat. After finding how much cancer had spread in the areas around my neck, my doctor decided to check my lungs. Sure enough, my left lung had multiple spots on it. This was so scary, but I’m not mad that it happened. Getting diagnosed with cancer completely changed my outlook on life. I now look at the bright side of things and really live my life for me. Yeah, the surgery and treatments have not been fun and neither have all of the appointments or tests. But at the end of the day, I am SO lucky. I have formed so many relationships with incredible people. I’ve learned to cherish my friends and family and never take them for granted. Since being diagnosed I have started my job at Regence, started my second semester of college, and now I’m learning how to live this new lifestyle. Everything happens for a reason and my life feels like it’s really falling into place, so I guess that’s my reason.”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My sister. She’s been through hell with medical problems but she’s still one of the strongest people I know. If she can overcome as much as she has then I can overcome this.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“I have been told that they have found more cancer 4 times in the best 2 years. It’s so hard to stay positive when I’m getting tests done and then having to wait for the results. It gives me so much anxiety and takes away my positivity. I think the thing that is really pushing me through my battle is my attitude and being told that my treatments aren’t working really gets in the way of that.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
“You are so strong and you are so capable of getting through this. Keep your head up and fight!”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Is Now A Nurse

thyroid cancer survivor story
“She wears her scars like a worrier for they’re a reminder she’s alive”
Lisa was diagnosed with thyroid cancer on 2nd May. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is an ER nurse.
 
The Diagnosis
 
“Sometime in April I was at the gym and I noticed a lump on my neck. For many years I wondered why my neck was so fat but with weight gain and etc, I was told it was my anatomy of my neck. Then one day at the gym I noticed a lump so I went to the doctor. She quickly ordered an ultrasound and that lump I discovered turned out to be benign however the ultrasound found another nodule behind my thyroid that wasn’t visible to the naked eye, and called for a biopsy. Thinking that the biopsy will turn out fine since my other nodule was benign at a larger size. When I got to the ultrasound, I asked the technician what was the difference between this nodule and the benign one? She said this one showed calcification. When I researched calcified thyroid nodule it said most likely related to cancer. I freaked out and tried to stay calm at the same time. On May 2nd I received a call from my PCP and she said my biopsy results came back positive for papillary thyroid carcinoma. I was devastated at the news…”
 
The Journey
Lisa - story of thyroid cancer survivor
“After crying on the phone with my PCP, she said my medical team has a plan for me so I hung up and the very next morning I received phone calls from head and neck specialist center and an endocrinologist for same day appointment. After a few consultations, I was able to have the chief of surgeon in head and neck surgery as my surgeon and scheduled a surgery date on May 22nd. My journey after surgery and radioactive iodine treatment had been smooth with the amazing medical team I had. I feel that I am stronger every day and I hope and pray everyday for me finding my cancer at an early stage. I’d consider myself to be very lucky throughout this whole journey with a long road to recovery with balancing my levels. The good thing is, most days I feel normal!!!! And I’ve done this with the best support team I ever have!!!”
 
Motivation to fight cancer
 
“My biggest motivation to fight against this is because it is a very curable disease and I will not let it defeat me. I cannot let my family and friends down by giving up. I want to live for the next challenges that comes my way. I want to fight to live to see another sunrise and enjoy this amazing life I am so grateful for! I look forward to what life has for me next. I want to find my loving partner and have a family I always wanted.”
 
Biggest hindrance
 
“Trying to balance this new life without a thyroid and a new job as an ER nurse. I was diagnosed the first week I had training for my dream position as an ER nurse. Being in a new specialty, I thought I was going to have a lot of set-backs but I’ve been back to work the past 2 and half months and I’ve been thriving so much that I shocked all the management team! But I will continue to fight for my dream job and this new life post thyroidectomy.”
 
Message to other cancer patients
Thyroid cancer survivor shares her message

“No one ever wants this nasty disease called cancer. However, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Trust your medical team, have faith, and pray every day and the sun WILL shine again. Don’t ever give up fighting because defeating cancer is worth it!”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor now a Certified Barre Instructor

Tatus - Thyroid Cancer Survivor

Favorite Quote:

“Take it one day at a time.”

Meet Tatum who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer four years ago and is now a certified barre instructor. She urges everyone to be their own advocate in their journey.

The Diagnosis

“Four years ago, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I had two biopsies before having it removed, both came back negative. Once my thyroid was removed due to Graves’ Disease, they did a third biopsy finding that I did in fact have thyroid cancer in addition to Graves’ Disease.”

The Journey

Tatum - Thyroid Cancer Survivor Journey

“I was having all these crazy symptoms and could barely stay awake during the day. I was down to about 80 lbs and my endocrinologist diagnosed me with Graves’ Disease after doing two biopsies to conclude I did not have cancer. I then had my thyroid removed due to Graves’, where they did a third biopsy discovering I did in fact have cancer. It was a long struggle, feeling so awful but I am now better & stronger than ever!”

Biggest Hindrance

“Being told I didn’t have cancer was pretty confusing but I just chalked it up to the Graves’ Disease. The hardest thing was being so tired and weak that I couldn’t get out of bed and going to work was a huge struggle.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“It was a strange process as I was told I did not have cancer two times before finding out I did have it. However, even though I was told I didn’t have it, I did seek therapy and that helped a lot. I had never felt so tired and so sick in my entire life. My motivation came from my husband, my friends, my amazing endocrinologist and my therapist!”

Message to other Fighters

Tatum - Thyroid cancer survivor shares her message to other cancer patients

“Be an advocate for yourself. If the doctors tell you one thing but you feel very strongly, they are not correct, speak up and get a second opinion or in this case a third opinion!”

Thyroid Cancer Survivor Now Radio Host, Writer & Journalist

“Cancer doesn’t define who you are, you do it, so keep going”

MarÍa was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in June of 2018. She has successfully defeated her disease. She is now a Radio Host, Writer, and Journalist.

The Diagnosis

“In late June 2018. I had been diagnosed with a mild heart arrhythmia back in December, but after some months under medication, and have managed to control it, my heart began beating real fast again, and when I visited the cardiologist, he said it probably was some thyroid malfunction. When I went to the endocrinologist, he ran some tests and found a small tumor, and after doing a biopsy on it, they found it was cancer at its earliest stage.”

The Journey

“Immediately after figuring out it was cancer, I cried for a whole afternoon. I cried and cried, asked God why would he do it, I was too young, only 22 years, but then, I figured I couldn’t go through this path and immediately decided to keep going. My family accompanied me to the head and neck surgeon, and he explained that I had to undergo surgery to figure out whether they needed to take out my whole thyroid, or just half of it.

And also to know if I had to take iodine therapy after the surgery, which is a risky chemical, or just some pills. After doing some pre-operatory tests, I found myself undergoing the surgery, and ended up with no cancer, luckily, and a small visible scar. It has been a month since then, and in these few weeks, I have had some pain inside the scar and sometimes it hurts and itches on the outside, also I get dizzy and want to throw up sometimes, and I also get tired a little too fast. However, I am glad that I am cured, and I know that if I hadn’t acted quickly, perhaps the situation would be much much different.”

Motivation to fight cancer

“My will to live and accomplish many more things, also my family.”

Biggest hindrance

“My fear of the word “cancer” and of the scar that I would have on my neck, permanently.”

Message to other cancer patients

“That once you find out you have cancer, you don’t have to get depressed. Obviously, take some time to cry, but then just suck it up, and keep going. No one is going to fight your battle for you. Find the right treatment you have to undergo and do it as soon as possible. Do not lose any time hesitating or feeling sorry for yourself, time is too valuable for us.”

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