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Sara’s Fight Like a Girl Story (Papillary Thyroid Cancer)

Sara's Story (Thyroid Cancer)On November 2012, a lump appeared on the side of my neck. The doctors told me it was probably nothing, but that we should check it out anyways. It turns out that the lump was a swollen lymph node. After an ultrasound and a biopsy I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer January 14, 2013. My dad had it in 2001, but mine was “special” because the thyroid cancer had spread to my lymph nodes.

I had surgery for a fully thyroidectomy and bi-lateral neck dissection to remove all the nodes on February 19, 2013 (three days before my 21 birthday).

The surgery went remarkably well and the scar is no where near as bad as I thought it would be. I’m being told that all is well, but I still have to go in for a radioactive iodine treatment to make sure that all of the cancer cells are gone.

I fight like a girl because I haven’t let anything get me down. I’m back at school and work and loving my life.

Submitted 7-2-2013

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.

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


  1. Rashi Shete

    I am also on the same path… Right before 2 months of my marriage I underwent thyroidectomy… I hate that they will notice it and ask about it in my marriage. Anyways, how did your radio active iodine go ? Can you please share your experience ?? Mine will happen after the marriage.

    • Sara

      Oh my gosh,
      I assumed no one would ever read this. It’s been over two years since my surgery now. The radioactive iodine went incredibly well. Little bit of nausea and a lot of boredom – being stuffed in a room for three days behind a metal barrier. I couldn’t believe it, my post iodine scans were 100% clear. I was CONVINCED the cancer had spread to the other lymph nodes in my neck.
      It’s a long process. We still haven’t figured out my synthroid dosage. My body doesn’t absorb it properly, and underlying celiac disease was discovered (oh yay).
      I hope you were able to get past your rough spot. It’s been half a year since you posted this! I hope the wedding was amazing. If you ever read this, I hope you’re doing REALLY well!

  2. Beth Cabral

    I also was diagnosed with follicular carcinoma in 2011. Went to see a doctor with a lump on my neck who told me it was nothing he thought it was a fatty tumor. I went back to work in the lawn crew he sent me for a sonogram only to find two other large tumors inside my neck they were vascular. So they could not biopsy them.. The mediately scheduled to have half of my thyroid out with the tumors were. After the surgery and resting in the hospital I was sent home went back to work feeling horrible. Couldn’t function concentrate nothing. I was threatened to be fired. Went back to my doctor to find out the other side of my thyroid was dead. They had to go in again removing lymph nodes and moving my parathyroids the ones they could find attaching them to something else. Since then I have seizures fybromyalgia and numerous complications. I had RAI. 350millicurries. Was cancer free till a recent body scan. It’s back. The Dr. That’s treating me says giving me more radiation this soon will give me another cancer. So we are watching it grow. I just lost my dear Mother January second 2015. I’m very sad as you know depression is with me badly. This disease is horrible. My family does not understand how I feel. They say You don’t look sick ??!! God bless anyone with this horrible cancer.

    • JessK

      Oh I am so sorry. If you read this let us know how you are doing.

  3. Kat

    Hello there. I actually just got the news today, that my thryoid cancer has spreaded to my lymphnodes and i am honestly terrified of the scar. Is there anything (side effects) of the surgery?

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