Wednesday, May 22, 2019
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Does it Ever Really Go Away?

In February 2010, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In September 2010, I was declared in remission. In December 2010, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and was told I would have to have the other half of my thyroid removed. In February 2011, I had it removed, and was told that it was also malignant.

Then in August, finally some good news. I was pregnant. And we have since found out we are having another baby boy and he is due on Easter Sunday.

I am classed as a “high risk” pregnancy. To be totally honest, I thought that if anything was going to make for a complicated pregnancy, it would be because of my 6 months of chemo. I was wrong. What makes for a complicated pregnancy, is my thyroid, or lack of. I never thought that not having a thyroid would class me as a high risk pregnancy. Apparently, it does.

I was told the other day that I talk about my cancer a lot. I think that when you have had cancer, it never goes away, even when you are in remission. When even something as nice as pregnancy is made high risk because of it, you know that it was and still is a big deal. Can you ever really move on, even when you want to?

This pregnancy has seen me have to have extra growth scans, blood tests and echo cardiograms due to my medical history. Thankfully, everything so far has come back clear which is a relief. I just hope that it continues to be that way.

In the meantime, here’s hoping for a happy, healthy and cancer free 2012!

Roz

This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.

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21 comments

  1. No it Never goes away and don’t let anyone intimidate you! Use your voice! They just don’t understand or choose not to deal with reality, but there are us that do know it Never goes away! Have a healthy good pregnancy with a healthy baby love ,Beth

  2. It’s the story of my life! In 1994 I was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma also. I went through chemo and radiation. In 2006 I started having basal cell skin cancer’s removed. In 2007 I had a thyroidectomy because I had multi-nodular goiter. There turned out to be 2 spots of cancer on it and I had radioactive iodine treatment. In September 2011 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I just finished hopefully my last chemo treatment and now I’m getting ready for a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. I haven’t had any babies, but I don’t really plan to. Good luck with your pregnancy and hope the cancer stays away!

  3. I agree Roz that once you have cancer you never really get over it. As much as you may want to make it go away, I feel once you have it, it will always be a part of you. I’ve had breast cancer twice and it does change your life and how you look at it! I don’t like to say I’m a survivor because I feel it can come back at any time. I prefer to say I’m a warrior because I continue to fight against it everyday!!!!! Fight like a girl Roz AND NEVE GIVE UP!!!!!

  4. I will always be a cancer survivor. I will talk about it until there is a cure. Thank you….; )

  5. How sad that someone would even think to tell you that you “talk about your cancer too much”. Obviously, they have never experienced the fear, the pain and the anger that comes with the diagnosis. No, you never really get over it. Wishing you all the best…..

  6. Jill Bessett-Gansauge

    Roz, I have wondered the same thing ever since my surgery on March 16, 2010 for Stage IIIb Adenocarcinoma. I see the 10″ scar everyday. I have lifelong repercussions and issues that other people don’t see or even know about and that affect my life every minute of every day. Everyone else is over my experience with chemo infusions, external radiation, HDR Brachytherapy and surgery. I will never be over it.

    No one has ever told me I talk about it too much, but I find myself apologizing when I do mention it. My cancer experience will always be a part of who I am now. I am not the same person I was before it. Although I am now cancer-free, it does not mean I won’t face it again one day.

    Many blessings for your family, your pregnancy and for a long, healthy, cancer-free life from here on out. If other people have a problem with you talking about your cancer and experiences, maybe they aren’t someone you need in your life. There is no reason you can’t or shouldn’t talk about it. It’s cathartic and healing. You’ve been through hell. If someone doesn’t appreciate that, that is completely an issue they need to work out with themselves. It is not your problem.
    I wish you the best of everything in life. Be gentle with yourself and enjoy your two sweet babies.

    Jill

  7. People who haven’t been seriously ill don’t understand how it can affect your life forever. They want you to be done with it and get back to normal. Well, you do, too, but sometimes life doesn’t work that way and they have to be grownups and learn that. It’s not like we talk about illness because it’s fun; we talk about it because it’s reality.

  8. I’m a 12 yr. breast cancer survivor. The thought of reoccurance is ALWAYS in the back of your mind. I know how you feel. Keep writting girl & God bless you. Linda

    • Linda , I’m a 12 year breast cancer survivor too . I was wondering … Do you still get checked at the Oncologist ? I have not been to the Oncologist in a long time afet he retired I never got a new Doctor .

  9. Roz, you have been so empowered by your cancer. This will never go away. It will always be a part of you and your life. Wear your scars proudly. No one can ever imagine the journey that you have travelled, and it is their lose not to share it with you.
    Someone said a similar thing to me after I was diagnosed. Now, as an oncology nurse, every day I witness how empowering cancer can be. I have realized that society doesn’t want to be a part of the hard times. What they don’t realize is your cancer should be conisdered a triumph.
    take care, be proud, and enjoy your babies.

    Nicole

    • Firstly, I want to tell you about my friend’s mother, who had to have chemo while pregnant with her sister. Everybody’s fine! Her “baby” is now 20 and a lovely young woman!

      Secondly, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. I went thru a round of chemo and a second with a different, stronger medication. I’ve been in remission for about a year.

      Nah. I don’t thnk you ever forget it. But I think it’s important to adopt the attitude that you’re AFFECTED BY rather than AFFLICTED WITH the disease. It DOES empower you then! What’s important falls into place, like a benevolent puzzle. It sounds like this has already happened for you! Embrace it! Embrace those beautiful babies for me!

      And my friend Vickie? Of all things, tonsil cancer. Chemo and radiation that left her utterly drained. That was more than five years ago, and yet we still talk about it — and how staying in remission is, to a large extent, in your head! Stay positive, always!

      Love to you & your Family,
      Karen

  10. Roz,
    How very insensitive of anyone to tell you that you talk too much about your cancer!. You have been living with cancer for the past two years, both physically and emotionally. Talking about it is the way you are emotionally processing what you have been going through. And from my point of view – you have gone through and still are going through a whole lot. Talk you heart out – often!!!

    signed – the mother of a newly diagnosed cancer ‘girl survivor’

  11. No, I think it is a life changing normal in your mind-body-soul. I have under gone a wide ext. surgery for anil melanoma. After that a year if interferon treatments and in September of this year a complete year off the meds. I had a classmate die from Melanoma during my treatment. i question eveymark on my body. next pet scan is 4/4 have brusies all over my legs and arm and just worry about the out come until after the scan. But being normal i don’t think will ever be in the cards for me again. I pray healing into your mind-body-soul

  12. Wow! Have you ever witnessed something and had the thought “this was meant for me to see” Well this particular post/blog did that for me. In Feb of 2010 I was also finally diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I had two surgeries that year removing my thyroid and misc tumors and lymphnodes. I was told late 2010 that I was in need of another surgery before I could have my treatment but have gone untreated since due to no insurance. The other irony is the date you posted this is my birthday 🙂 I wish you nothing but the best and congrats on your new bundle of joy, hope and love. If you ever want to chat, you are more than welcome to 😀 God bless you sweetie

    • Hi Catie, How are you doing now? I too was diagnosed in early March of this year with Pappillary Thyroid Cancer stage 4. I have refused all their conventional treatments as I’ve done my research and none of them work and only destroy your Immune system further. I am going completely alternative and am doing good, but have had to do a 180 on my diet. You literally are what you eat. Now I only feed my body with healthy foods. I hope we can chat further. I just found this web-site on FB and love it. There is strength in numbers and we can all help encourage each other. I hope you have a blessed day! 🙂

  13. I am a 3 time Cancer survivor to. I had HD at 14 years of age, Schwanom at age 18 and thyroid cancer at age 26. I went through the chemotherapy treatments/radiation and I was told I was guaranteed within 10 years I would be diagnosed with another cancer, thats when I was diagnosed 4 years later with schwanom (cancer of the lining of the nerve) ,. I was given a 50/50 change to survive, so I decided to refuse the treatment and go on with my life. The Dr. were not happy as they thought I was making my own bed, then I had to lie in it.I was also told I would never have children due to the high dosage of radiation treatemtns from my neck down. Being 14 off course it didnt matter to me then, but as I got older and did wqnt children , I accepted it.Thena miracle at age 26 I became pregnant.Hoping this was going to be a great pregnancy, I did carry to term and borned a beautiful baby boy. By the time I was leaving the hospital with my son, the Dr noticed a lump on my neck, turned out to be Thyroid Cancer, so they took out the entire thyroid.I went back into the hospital 5 weeks later for 10 days. Im proud to say its been 30 years since I had Hodgkins Disease 3rd stage, 26 years for the schwanom and 18 years for the thyroid. My son is graduating high school and is going into medicine, particularly oncology. Im so proud of him and myself. I didnt know if I was ever going to see the day .I am now writing a book called : Cancer is not and Illness, Its a Blessing”. The meaning behind the title is that having being diagnosed with Cancer 3 times, you do become a stronger person, and you become a fighter.I cannot wait until it comes out as its a support book for Cancer patients and thier families

  14. Roz,
    Your story is inspiring. I too fight c ancer (pancreatic). Remission is not currently in my doc’s vocabulary.
    Continue to talk about your cancer – no matter what. Your family and friends will thank you later. Your friends (family) are trying to hide the fact that the word CANCER is too difficult to absorb in their minds – its a defense tactic.

    Jabber away – my friend.

    • I wonder if your story is as inspiring, or did you shut your family out of your true feelings to pursue a bucket list. Wasn’t it your next door neighbor that recieved a year to live notice and 16 years later she past from brain canser? I don’t belive she left the Lord in the back seat as you have and its so sad that you didn’t JABBER AWAY to the one’s that truly loved you—Your EX

  15. Roz,
    Thanks for sharing your story, praying for you and your family.
    To answer your quesiton, this is OUR new normal: thyroid cancer. When people ask me how I’m doing, they really don’t want to hear the truth. When your thyroid is gone, so are a lot of basic body functions, including metabolism- which means some days I have to fight my body to get out of bed. No, thyroid hormone replacement therapy (PILLS) do not magically make me feel better. Unlike the thyroid, meds do not produce more or less hormones as your body requires, the same amount, daily dose is NOT a ‘one-size-fixes-ALL’ solution for some. My mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great grandmother all have/had thyroid issues- I’m the only cancer. I don’t mean to ‘talk about cancer a lot’, but it’s a major part of my life now. It took me 15 years of being called a ‘pill seeker’ and treated for ‘depression’ before I found a doctor that LISTENED to me…and I was right. I was not crazy, I had cancer. When you think about the scope of that one little word, magnify it by all the thyroid does (that we usually take for granted or don’t know until it’s gone!) you have a recipe for ‘bad days’ and the need to talk. AND THAT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL!
    So, like so many others have said, wear your scar proudly, tell your story as often as you want and keep fighting like a girl!

  16. Dear Roz,
    it’s so nice to see how your cancer has empowered you, I too have Thyroid Cancer diagnosed Nov 2000, but I’m not as luck as the rest of you, they could only remove half of my thyroid, the other half has grown around my jugular vein.
    When I was told I had cancer over the telephone by my consultant I threw a fit, had a cry and then picked myself up, dusted myself down and got on with life. My treatment consists of a daily overdose of Thyroxine (T4) to control the cancer, which despite radiation therapy is still there. The side effects of this cancer are so large, because of it’s impact on the body. I have sleeping and antidepressants tabs long term because I’m either really high or really low and don’t sleep. But despite this I’ve managed to bring up two beautiful daughters, I run my own business and 9 years on I still see my cancer as a pain in the neck, but it isn’t going to get me. I have always been positive about it, life is too short and we are along time dead, so we should live our lives to the full, what ever the circumstances.
    Positive thought has to be the only way forward.
    I’ve also been looking at the spread of thyroid cancer, it was a relatively unknown cancer except for victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and service men who had worked around the testing atolls. In Europe there has been a massive increase in people in my age group (i’m 49 now) since Chernobyl, interesting??
    No one should say that you talk about your cancer too much! it is some thing we all live with everyday, and it should be talked about because if you don’t there is no way to let the emotional pain out which can fester and make you unwell. I personally think people who are like this are afraid to ask you how you are or how your cancer is doing, it is their fear that puts them in this negative state. So you go Girl!!
    ClaireXX

    • Hi Claire I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer in march 2011 and as you the Dr, called me on the phone and gave me my diagnosis i was devastated I lost my mom to breast cancer in 08 and my mother in law had been a cancer survivor for over 20 yrs and died in 09 form pancreatic cancer. I never realized how much a thyroid did for my body until i lost mine. But even with all the issues of living with out one I work full time and take care of my family. Im tired more than not but i guess thats the new me. Just take one day at a time and live life to the fullest
      Hugs to you all Robin

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