When I was 23 years old I was a mother to two small children who were 2 and 3 years old.
I had discovered a lump on my throat, so I went to my Dr. the very next day and was sent the next week for an ultrasound and biopsy of the lump. The next week the results came back that I had Thyroid Cancer and had to have surgery as soon as a bed was available in the hospital. Well at that point I didn’t even know what a Thyroid gland was or what it was for. It was all such a whirl wind, but I remember after I was done crying from fear, I looked at my Dr. and said ”okay, what’s next and when do we start?”
Well, 4 weeks after finding the lump I was in the hospital waiting surgery. My Dr. removed the left side of my thyroid and two days after surgery I was put on thyroid meds. I guess I was lucky that was the only thing I had, there was no chemo or radiation treatment. It was all such a blur for me, I spent the next 3 years going to appointment after appointment. I was told after 5 years I was in the clear.
Fast forward 14 years after my first surgery, I was told the cancer had come back and this time it was also in the left lymph nodes.
I felt I was reliving the time I was first told I had cancer. And once again I had a 2 yr old and a 3 year old. So, I had a challenge in front of me. Most of the time I drove myself to my appointments. Did what I could to be strong for everyone else, because when people hear the word ”cancer” it scares them and they don’t know what to say or do. I was wearing myself out and didn’t even realize it until I had to go for Radio-active Iodine Treatment and was admitted to the hospital for this treatment. It took almost two years to get my thyroid meds adjusted..only to find out that I wasn’t absorbing all the components of the meds, so they added a second one I need to take daily.
It’s coming up on 6 years since my last surgery and there are still days when I just want to stay in bed all day from feeling so tired, but there are also days when I can’t stop moving. Finding a balance is what I needed, but didn’t know how to get there.
I ended up with nerve damage on my left side. It took me a long time to come to terms with that and stop complaining about it. The scar I can deal with, but the nerve damage is so annoying. I just do my best to stay positive. I have a wonderful husband, children and some great family. They all help me get through the rough(tired) days.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.