Thyroid Cancer Survivor
In December of 2000, I went to see my primary care physician for a routine blood pressure check. As always he did a thorough exam, which included a neck check. After feeling both sides of my neck, my doctor started writing in my chart, which immediately made me a bit nervous and suspicious. He then came back to me and took my hand. He put my hand on one side of my neck, in the middle, then on the other side of my neck, which is when I felt the growth. Talk about early detection! After a series of thyroid tests, a biopsy showed what was thought to be a benign cyst. In October of 2001 my endocrinologist sent me for an ultrasound which showed the growth on my thyroid gland was getting bigger. So, in November of 2001 I had surgery to remove the right half of my thyroid gland but wound up having the whole thing removed when pathology reports showed it was a malignant tumor and not the benign cyst we thought it was. I was scared and angry, and of course surprised. What’s thyroid cancer? I had never heard of it before. I received treatment and now here it is, almost 8 years later. Some of my friends asked me at the time how I could be so calm. You have your good and your bad days, but I had no reason to panic. Cancer is no longer an automatic death sentence, especially when it’s detected early like mine was. Talking to people helped me when I was going through my cancer, so I want to help other women the way I was helped. That's why I'm sharing my story here. Despite being diagnosed with cancer, I kept on going and living my life which is something many people forget to do. I didn't let it stop me and you shouldn't either! You do what you have to do and you may not think you're strong, but remember you have ordinary courage all along.