Thursday, January 8, 2009

Your Neck....and the C word....

January.....a month for starting over with a New Year.....a month where many of us look forward to seeing that blessed W2 sitting in our mailbox....a month where the winter is just starting to get on our nerves....and Aruba is starting to look really really good....hmmm....W2....and Aruba....good combination.....


But January is also a extra important month for me....and thousands of others like me......for January is Thyroid Cancer Awareness month....


ThyCa...doesn't get the hooplah....the commercials...the celebrity endorsed telethons that other cancers get...probably partially to the fact that it is one of the most curable forms of cancer there is.....I remember my doctor breaking the news to me by...."Well...if you are going to have cancer...this is the Best cancer to have"....um....okay...thanks?!?


But Thyroid Cancer...(In it's 4 Forms)....is the Fastest growing cancer with regards to Diagnosis in the U.S....With 3/4 of new cases being women....Even though it is highly curable....they average that over 1,500 people will have died in 2008 from the disease....

Being a healthy 25 year old...I never thought that 2005 would bring the C word in my frame of reference....

So here is my story...of how I kicked Cancers Ass....Well in a nutshell....


Pre Cancer Picture




In March of 2004 I noticed a lump on the side of my neck...that didn't hurt...and I wasn't feeling sick...so I trotted off to my Primary doctor who took quick look and decided it was just an infected lymph node...and if it didn't clear up in 6 months...to come back....(to all who read this....don't do that...bad juju)...


Three months later....after still noticing...I decided to get a second opinion....this doctor luckily took it much more seriously...and determined we should just remove the lump and have it biopsied....so by this time...in January of 05....I was asked to come into my ENT doctors office...where she proceeded to drop the C bomb.....And as anyone who has had any C Bomb dropped....it's an experience you never forget....


I was told that since the cancer was found in my lymph system I had progressed to stage 3...the therapy would involve removing the thyroid and all of the infected lymph nodes followed by radioactive Iodine treatment....


This treatment usually works very well...and most go into remission after the therapy has concluded....

So...after a fabulous surgery....and taking a radioactive pill...that even though I didn't glow in the dark...(and yes I did turn out the lights and look in the mirror to see if I did)....my face became the size of a Beach Ball...


....my little cancer cells still decided that living with me was a lot of fun...and they did not listen the eviction notice that I served them.... I was told it had spread to the lymphnodes on the other side of my neck in 2006....stinky buggers....


After another surgery done at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale...(He did an amazing job...and I didn't have to become my own nuclear powerplant again)...and careful monitoring every 6 months....I am feeling great...I am finally in remission and of course as you all see...living a wonderful and blessed life...the only thing that shows that I am a cancer survivor....my conversationn starter....as I call it...

Post Cancer Picture


I can honestly say...the good thing about having a scar that is extremely noticable....it gives me an opportunity to talk to others about this cancer...a cancer that so many have never even heard of...either that or make up crazy stories as to how it got there....like..."ever seen the movie face off?"....

My goal is just....that I want everyone to realize that Thyroid conditions...even beyond the scope of ThyCa....is on the rise and serious....A great website is ThyCa.org it will give tons of useful information...


Just as in a self Breast Exam....do a yearly Neck screening....it could also help detect any other possible thyroid issue such as hypo or hyperthyroidism....




1. Stand in front of a mirror
2. Stretch neck back
3. Swallow water
4. Look for enlargement in neck (below the Adam's Apple, above the collar bone)
5. Feel area to confirm enlargement or bump
6. If any problem is detected, see an doctor



It is amazing how something so small...can effect so many.....

So here's to getting the word out...and helping others detect it early...and one day finding a cure....

36 comments:

Mrs. S said...

Thank you for your story! I am so glad that you are in remission! The more and more I hear about cancer, the more I find myself wanting to know about my body as much as possible, so that if something were different that I can take notice! It really is so important!! Thank you!

Karol said...

Wow. Thank you so much for telling your story. It's awesome to know that you're in remission. My sister has Grave's disease..problem with thyroids, and that has worried me. I noticed a bump on the side of my son's neck a few months ago, I just thought it was a gland. I'm taking him in, just to get it checked out.

Bless you, you have a beautiful family!

Michelle said...

Thank you for sharing! I can only imagine how scary that was. I am glad to here you are cancer free and doing well.

Michelle said...

Sorry I didn't proofread my comment. I meant hear not here.

Bethany said...

You go girl!! You kicked its ass!!!

Thanks for telling your story. Awareness is great.

Sherrie said...

Thanks for sharing your story! Here's hoping you stay in remission forever! Happy 2009 to you!

kjamama said...

You are amazing....I love you! :)

Cindy said...

Thanks for you for sharing. I guess I always knew anything in the body is subject to cancer, but I never thought about thyroid cancer.
At times I know I started to blog as a way for my feelings to just come out; but each time I visit you I really get to thinking it was for friendships like I have with you.

Evolving Mommy Catherine said...

Thanks for sharing that with us. I had never really give thyroid cancer much of a thought before.

Michelle said...

Glad you're getting the word out. What a terrible thing for you to go through. Happy to hear you kicked Cancers ass!! You go girl! Thanks so much for stopping by.

Kristin said...

I had never done a neck exam before. Thanks to you I did one and made hubby do one too. I will continue to spread the word.

"Well...if you are going to have cancer...this is the Best cancer to have" This may be one of the worlds worst doctor quotes that I have ever heard.

Jenny said...

Thanks for sharing this information. I think it may have been the first time I have read about thyroid cancer. I'm glad your story has turned out well.
~Jenny~

Erin Tales said...

Oh my, what a story! Thank you so much for sharing... :hugs:

Jonny's Mommy said...

Wow. What a story. Thanks for the advice and knowledge on what to look for. I'm so glad you've kicked "Cs" butt. This story makes us all more aware of what can happen and what to watch for.

Thanks for stopping by my blog too.

Jill said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog!
Omg! I am so touched by your story and cried all the way through it! I have Hashimoto's disease of the thyroid and am at risk of thyroid cancer. You are such a brave woman being able to write about this the way you did. I hope you are proud of yourself! I can see you cherish life and I hope only good things come to you in this new year. I will keep you in my prayers and now that I feel that I know you I am going to follow you!

Feel free to follow me too!
What a great and inspiring post!

Jill :) your new friend!

One Crazy Chick! said...

Thank you for sharing this with us.

Honestly I never even knew Thyroid Cancer existed before reading your post.

This is so important!

Kaye said...

Thank you for your story! I have a heart condition that the Mayo Clinic in Rochester treats and will treat for the rest of my life. Love, love, love the Mayo Clinic! You are an inspiration!

On The Verge said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I am so happy to hear you are in remission.

Ms. Cupcake said...

Dropping by from sits. Sending some sunshine your way. Props to you on winning your battle. Best wishes!

Nana said...

Thank you for sharing that. What great information! I had a scare with this same thing when I was young, but it turned out negative.
Thanks for reminding me to actually look in the mirror to see if I notice anything.

Tiffany said...

Thanks for educating us about thyroid cancer. I had no idea. Thanks for sharing your story.

Maven said...

Once of my best friends had thyroid cancer when she was 28. She had a similar experience to you. If I wasn't there, I never would have believed this could happen to a young healthy person. Thanks so much for sharing your story. That was twelve years ago for her and she is doing great. I'm so glad you are doing well too.

Purpled Sky said...

thank you for this! My hubby has hypo, and I have a history in my family of thyroid-related diseases. Will sure check this site out.

I hope you don't mind me following your blog?

Yaya said...

I am so sorry for all you have been through.

Thank you for bringing awareness and teaching us all how to be proactive in our health.

Jeauxdi said...

Thank you for sharing your story. Your scars tell your story. I have two MAJOR scars, one no one see's on my stomach.
I had a bone tumor removed from my right shoulder joint twice and a 8 1/2 lbs cyst remove with my left tube and ovary...ALL three non cancerous.
God chooses the ones that he knows can handle these type of things. SO just hink of it one of your angel test...That's what I think of mine as. He would never put more on us than we could handle.
I am so happy things turn out great for you!

Thanx for the visit to my page! You're so right about your own bed and shower! The BEST part was hearing my fur babies yelping and running to us when we picked them up!
HOME SWEET HOME...Good night and have sweet dreams!

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I haven't really heard much about thyroid cancer before. You have an amazing attitude! I'm so glad that everything has turned out well.

Jeanne said...

Great post! I love hearing people's stories, but this one is also very helpful. Hoping a lot of people will read and remember.

When I was 23, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer (carcinoma in situ). Three years later I had a hysterectomy. I still have a scar that makes my torso a smiley face. With a goatee.

Thanks for stopping by (you'll probably think twice about doing that after reading this).

Sending you a high five!

The Blonde Duck said...

You're so brave! Thanks for telling that story! Stopped in from SITS!

Julie said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I'm glad you are doing so well. I had to get my thyroid biopsied back in the summer...kinda smarts. But then I am a huge weenie.

Ritch in Love said...

This post is one of the reasons I wanted to give you an award on my site tonight.
Your story is amazing.

ashleefay4806 said...

Your blog is charming! You seem to be a very strong woman. Thank you for sharing your story! You made me laugh and cry :)

Busy Mom in Iowa said...

Wow! I'm so glad you are in remission...and that is great of you to share your story and get the word out.

You have a beautiful son by the way...and your scar is AWESOME (I have an odd fascination with scars...probably because I have so many of my own).

Thank you for visiting my blog :)

SWC said...

You inspire chica. Thanks for doing your part and making us aware. Noah is set up to learn to deal with life beautifully by having a mother like you.

The Me/ The Wife/ The Mom said...

Wow...what a story! Thank you for sharing it! I'm so glad that you are in remission!
And!... I'm so glad that you are in MY bloggy world!

Here's to staying healthy and happy! God bless you!

Joshley and The Charles said...

wow! thanks for your story! you have such a great attitude :)

Elizabeth Howard said...

This was such an informative story! Glad that you beat it and sorry you had to experience it, but glad you can spread the word.