Biopsy results confirmed: thyroid cancer. Scary to even write it.
I have read that cure rate is very high but it's cancer! I feel so sad, shocked and alone. No support system, with no immediate family, no significant other, and not a lot of people I can reach out to since I'm still rather new in town and am so shy when it comes to meeting people and making friends. I have to have thyroid removal surgery and am not even sure who I can ask to drop me off or pick me up at the hospital (or outpatient surgery, not sure what it will be). How pathetic am I? :(
That would suck to lose 150 pounds then get cancer and die.
03-15-2013, 12:12 AM
Kitty, I'm so sorry. Let the place you are having the surgery know your plight. They may have resources available to you in the community that will help. It must be so scary with no support at least not locally. I'm sure there are plenty on here who will give you moral support.
03-15-2013, 12:14 AM
My daughter is battling stage 3B colon cancer and is winning. Keep a positive attitude and you can do it too.
03-15-2013, 01:06 AM
*hugs* You can beat this.
03-15-2013, 01:13 AM
You are definitely not pathetic! And kick that cancers butt!
As to a ride to the hosptial (from my experience people are usually admitted for a day or two after a thyroidectomy -removal of the thyroid) See if the hospital has a shuttle. Do you have a co-worker you could ask? Perhaps you could reach out to a local support group of cancer survivors. I am sure your area has one and could help you .
03-15-2013, 10:22 AM
I think you will be fine. Thyroid cancer can be treated. I'm sure there are support groups that will be able to help you out--with transportation and emotionally. Best wishes to you for a speedy recovery. My thoughts are with you!!!
03-15-2013, 10:28 AM
No one wants to hear the C word, ever and it is scary. BUT... thyroid cancer is easily treated.
But you do need to ask for some help possibily with transportation. Do you work? If so, now is the time to ask for some support and it can be a way to build friendships too. It is quite easy to say, "I know we don't know each other well, but with being fairly new in this town with no family around, I don't have other support to help." They will get it. Most of us have been there.
Then, when you feel better (and you will), return the favor and it can build into a stronger friendship.
03-15-2013, 11:27 AM
I was so sad for you when I was reading this on my phone last night that I couldn't even reply. :hug::hug::hug:
I know EXACTLY how you feel, I was diagnosed with cancer last July (endometrial). Unless you have had to sit with your doctor and hear those words, you have no idea how it feels. I thought I was going to pass out, I thought they made a mistake and gave me someone else's results, I cried for days and days. I had a routine test and they just happen to test in pathology since they had the tissue. A routine test resulted in cancer, I never saw it coming. Didn't even know it was a possibility, I had no symptoms (so I thought).
And like yours, my cancer is totally treatable with a hysterectomy and everyone thought I should be so happy and excited that I am going to live (and of course I was). But that doesn't take away the scariness, the sadness, the fact that I became a cancer patient right at that moment. Everyone, doctors and otherwise, told me I had one of the "best" cancers to have if I was going to have one since it's so curable. I swear I almost literally puked every time I heard that. And I did want to tell every one of them off.
I have met some very kind people since my diagnosis, including everyone on this forum. It's strange how things all work out but I really do believe everything happens for a reason.
After reading your post, I wanted to jump on a plane and take you to all of your appointments. I know the distress you are in. My doctors offices have been amazing and they truly are professionals at helping us (I swear they are angels in scrubs and white coats). I am positive they are going to be able to assist you in anything that you need.
Please private message me if you ever want to talk. Or you can post here in 3FC. We are here for you.
And.....we are going to beat this cancer. Cancer seriously messed with the wrong chicks, we are cancer warriors and will not lose this battle!!
03-16-2013, 06:17 PM
Thank you all so much. I know that thyroid cancer is one of the more treatable forms of cancer, but any kind can be dangerous. Do I think I'm going to die? No, I really haven let myself think that. In fact, I am optimistic that this is just a short-term nuisance.
It would suck to lose 150 lbs then die of cancer! I can't let that happen :). I wanted this year to be the day I built personal relationships and found a boyfriend after a few years of loneliness and no confidence.
I will check out support groups for transportation resources. I can ask coworkers and I do have a couple of work friends; one had volunteered to help drive me but I hate being such a burden to people. I feel like a loser to have to rely on coworkers and one friend I have already relied on once before, when everyone else has support systems and probably wonder what my problem is...
03-16-2013, 07:42 PM
I'm so sorry about this. I know how scary it feels to get that diagnosis, but I will reiterate that thyroid cancer is very treatable with a high cure rate. I have 2 friends who went through it and are both cured. And I think your sense of humor (to lose 150 lbs and then die definitely WOULD suck!!) will be a big factor in your favor.
Speaking as someone who as been on both sides of the equation as the patient and as the helper, I can tell you that having a concrete thing you can do to help someone feels like a blessing, not a burden. Seriously. I definitely understand the not wanting to ask people to help, I was that way too. But then when I was the one in a position to help, it made me feel very grateful that there was some way I could help. My recommendation is to ask for very specific things, and not generic ones, or open ended. "Would you be able to drive me to the hospital this Tuesday at 10?" Or even "for this month on Tuesdays" but not no "would you be able to help drive me to the hospital?" Let people know the details and it's easier for them to realistically figure out what they can and can't do.
If there is a lot of ongoing treatment and you have a number of people who seem willing to help, maybe one person can act as a coordinator to schedule it all. But definitely start with saying yes to the person who has already offered. Each time you take one more thing off the "I need to figure this out" list, it really helps to ease the burden you feel right now.
03-17-2013, 03:15 PM
Great advice! Thank you.
03-17-2013, 05:44 PM
I'm so sorry to read about your diagnosis, cancer isn't anything anyone would ever want. My best friend had thyroid cancer, as did her sister, and they are both doing great now (had their thyroids removed). They do have some diet restrictions, and my friend has to take medication, but live normal lives otherwise.
As for asking for help, one thing that boosts peoples moods is knowing they helped someone else. Do your co-worker a favor and accept help from her. You could always pay her back in another way (maybe make a dinner for her to take home one night so she doesn't have to cook?) I have a firm belief that we were given these lives to help each other.
Good luck with your treatment and take care,
03-19-2013, 10:38 PM
Good news: I think my transportation is set!
Bad news: I now also have an eye infection :(. Usually that wouldn't be so big of a deal, but I had a LASIK enhancement last month. If these antibiotics don't work quickly, I could have serious problems, including loss of vision and a need for a cornea transplant.
I'm now more worried about my eye than my thyroid. I just have to be positive and think good thoughts that these eyedrops will take care of me.
Hope all goes well with your eye and with the cancer. Let us know how it goes. We all care about you.
03-19-2013, 11:54 PM
You'll be fine, I'm sure of it! Life throws us speed bumps along the way to remind us that no matter who we are or where we go that there'll be people who care.
There are a lot of us here who care and wish you well. :hug: and I know you won't allow anything bad to happen cause Look at how much time you need to catch up on flaunting your new figure!:) and flirt with all the cute guys out there!:D you have work to do!:hug:
03-20-2013, 10:54 AM
You know what - this IS the year that you will build confidence and get new friends.
Nothing bonds people like a shared experience, even a bad one. Get yourself to a cancer support group yesterday. A friend of mine (well...friend of the family, she's a lot younger than I am) had Thyroid cancer. Not only did she survive - her career is boosted (she was an oncology nurse of all things), she now has two daughters and she made new friends locally and nationally through the LiveStrong network (yeah, I know...it's fallen on dark days...but that truly was a good thing Lance Armstrong did).
Although I'm sure she would have preferred to never have had the cancer in the first place and I wish she hadn't either, her journey has made her a stronger, better connected and more rounded person.
Like you, I sometimes have trouble letting people in. But this year I've made great new friends through rugby. And a lot of that has been through standing with girls in freezing rain and covered in mud and blood and losing a lot. I don't want to be flip or compare voluntarily playing an insane sport to cancer - but just to say that if you can share adversity and experience and allow people to come into your life - they will.
And also to say, I'm really sorry you've had this diagnosis and will have to go through this. I'm also really sorry to hear about your eye, that is scary - and I hope that gets better soon!!!
04-02-2013, 05:08 PM
I want to give you my support. I can't imagine how you feel right now but I send you a big :hug:
I think cancer is very scary, it runs in my family, and I am fortunate that some of the members of my family are survivors. I will say a prayer for you and I hope for all the best for you.
I have had never had cancer, but I have had scary diagnoses and I know the feeling of fear and I want to give you some support.
Take good care of yourself!
04-02-2013, 05:17 PM
I hope kitty comes back to update us. The first week or 2 after getting the diagnosis was the scariest for me. And meeting with the oncologists in 3 different hospitals and gathering all of the information they needed plus just dealing with life in general was pretty overwhelming. Looking back, most of it is a blur.
kittykatfan, how are you doing??
04-02-2013, 05:52 PM
I feel for you! The C-word is so scary!!
My DH was diagnosed with thyroid cancer 1 1/2 years ago (his primary doctor kept screwing up and he had actually had it for along time). Message me if you want to talk or wonder what to expect. :hug:
04-02-2013, 08:26 PM
Just saw this thread!
Kitty- I'm glad transportation was figured out. I just wanted to drop by and let you know that there are lots of cancer resources for transportation.
In fact- I'm the Road to Recovery coordinator for the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado. I help coordinate rides between patients and volunteer drivers everyday. Road to Recovery is a national prorgram with the American Cancer Society.
Feel free to use them at anytime! I even help patients with daily ride needs!
04-03-2013, 11:01 PM
I know you've been off the boards for awhile and you have a lot going on, but I just joined the boards a few weeks ago. I just wanted to check in because I had thyroid cancer in 2000 nine months after my youngest was born. I received my treatment at MD Anderson in Houston. I can tell you after having anal cancer in 2006, thyroid cancer is an easier cancer simply because of the treatment, minimal side effects and cure rate. My scar has faded, I had to 2 rounds of radioactive iodine treatment and will be on meds for life, but my doctors never for one minute let me be afraid. You can beat it, it is curable, and your normal life will resume. My doctor told me "You will dance at your son's wedding". You didn't mention your age. I was 35 when I had it. My weight was manageable afterwards and not having my thyroid didn't affect my weight afterwards.
Feel free to message me and I'm happy to discuss any of your steps through this challenging time. I am not trying to minimize what you are experiencing or saying it isn't scary, it is, but compared to my other cancer in 2006 I would have traded the treatment and long term complications in a heart beat. You'll beat this. I hope based on your last posts that you have assembled a good support system.
I hope your eye is okay now. We'd love to hear an update. Sending you very warm wishes and positive thoughts.
04-09-2013, 04:44 PM
I am so thankful for all the kind posts wishing me well. I had two wonderful friends volunteer to take turns helping me: taking me to the hospital, staying in the waiting room during the surgery, coming up during visiting hours, then getting me back home.
I just got home from a total thyroidectomy. I'm tired and have a massive sore throat but am otherwise feeling surprisingly well. Must be the Vicodin. Those pills are tough to swallow though, when your throat is swollen! They gave me solid food for breakfast, but I think I will stick with soup, scrambled eggs, yogurt and pudding for a day or two.
The eye has been worrisome. The infection got better, but today it is red and swollen again. It was hurting but not right now. I have an appointment later this week at the eye doctor.
If everything goes well with the thyroid, I will have to go on thyroid hormone replacement, get on a low-iodine diet for a few weeks, then have radioactive iodine treatments.
I have so much to look forward to: another friend just took pics so I can post on an online dating site and hopefully find some male companionship. I wanted the pics taken before the scars :). And a friend I met in South America is going to Spain and France later this year on a hiking trip and it looks like I am going too! Not to mention a trip to my old stomping grounds in CA during July.
Hopefully I will beat this cancer and eye issue so I can start living the life I have always wanted. I will find work/life balance in 2013!
04-09-2013, 04:49 PM
I am glad your surgery is done and I hope your eye issue turns out to be a fluke with no serious long-term repercussions.
You do have a lot on the horizon - I'm excited for you to get out there and enjoy those things.
04-09-2013, 04:57 PM
Thanks so much for the update, we have all been thinking about you!! Now take care of yourself and get better soon. :hug:
Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers, so glad things worked out for you with your friends at the hospital.
04-09-2013, 10:41 PM
I am so happy your friends stepped in to help you out. Rest assured: You've got this. Hang in there. The worst of it is over. My doctor teased me when I went through radioactive treatment because I made a "spa visit" out of it. Those were his words. You will be isolated for 2 days or until you flush all the radioactive out of your system. I brought books, journals and watched chick flicks. I was a mom of a 1 year old and 4 year old at the time, so it was bliss to have 2 days completely undisturbed with just nurses checking on me. Keep us updated. Glad you are on the mend.
04-23-2013, 10:50 PM
A couple days after I got home from surgery, I was readmitted to the hospital because my calcium levels dropped to dangerously low levels. I was hooked up to IV's for days and had to take lots of pills.
Fortunately I am ok now. I have to take calcium, vitamin D and magnesium supplements, possibly for life, but that is ok. I feel pretty good now; not as tired as I used to get, surprisingly. And strangely, the cold feeling I always used to have is gone. In fact, a few days ago, I felt all sweaty. I wondered if maybe I was now hyperthyroid and over medicated, in fact. Now I feel comfortable most of the time.
I have apparently gained a lot of weight (not sure how much; didn't want the scale to depress me), but I don't know if that is due to low thyroid hormone levels, the terrible binges I went through last week, or both. I hope to find out for certain within the next few weeks.
I will be so depressed if I am no longer able to lose weight due to my thyroid issues :(
04-28-2013, 11:43 PM
Your current situation is not permanent. It took the doctors time to get all my meds straight for my personal needs after my thyroid cancer surgery. I don't like taking the calcium, Vitamin D and synthroid every day but it is necessary and a small price to pay for not having cancer any more. Your weight loss will happen again, your body just needs to time to adjust to major surgery. I know it is hard to be patient, but you did lose a great deal of weight already so I'm sure you'll be back on track soon. Having my thyroid removed 12 years ago was not the contributing factor in my weight gain now. You'll be on the right track again soon. So hang in there and try to be easy on yourself.
05-03-2013, 07:24 AM
I just want to give you a gentle :hug:
You are so BRAVE!! Take good care...
I wish you all the best with your prognosis! You will do great, keep the faith.
05-05-2013, 04:09 PM
Just an update.
Knock on wood, but I'm feeling so much better physically. Not nearly as tired as I used to be. I still get tired but it's when I should be tired, like when I get limited sleep. I still am cold most of the time, but maybe that's just due to losing 150+ lbs?
The surgeon says he did not remove my parathyroids so hopefully I will be able to stop or reduce all these pills I'm taking for calcium absorption.
I had a big relapse with my binge eating when I got out of the hospital the second time but am back on track. I was petrified that I wouldn't be able to lose the binge weight but I did! In fact, after worrying that the Synthroid (hormone replacement) would lead to weight gain, I am now wondering whether my dosage will be reduced since I seem to be losing weight easier than I have ever lost it before...
I still have to go through radioactive iodine treatment to kill any remaining cancer cells, but I hope that won't be too bad.
Thanks everyone for the good thoughts :)
05-24-2013, 03:58 PM
I'm so sorry to hear this, but happy to hear you've had surgery. I know what its like to endure life's crisis with no support system :(
Gentle hugs ::::
05-26-2013, 07:17 PM
As an update, I am off of the calcium supplements and other meds besides Synthroid. I have experienced some tingling but not enough to be worried about it. I go to the doctor in a week or so.
Fortunately, no side effects from the Synthroid. In fact, I'm wondering more than ever if it is aiding weight loss. Maybe I'm no longer slightly hypothyroid and it is easier to lose weight no? Ironic if try, since I'm just trying to maintain right now.
Within the next month, I expect to be put on a low-iodine diet and then go through radioactive iodine therapy. I am forced into hypothyroid state for the treatment so I will once again be worried about weight gain at that time. But for now, feeling ok :)
11-01-2013, 09:09 PM
Hi Kittykatfan I hope you are well.
I had my entire thyroid removed almost 3 weeks ago. During a Dr. appointment (completely unrelated issue) the Dr. found a lump in my neck. He said likely nothing I can go for ultrasound or not. I went. They found some abnormalities. The Dr. then said you can go for biopsy or not, just follow up with ultrasounds every 6 months. I went for the biopsy. They found a malignant tumour.
This led to the surgeon deciding to take out my entire thyroid. I was in the hospital for 2 night. I am currently on synthroid (125 mcg), calcitrol (vitamin D) twice per day, and calcium supplements to be taken 3 x per day. I go next week to have my levels checked.
I was feeling pretty okay and the first night after surgery I even refused Percocet. I hate taking Percocet. I took it for a broken arm a few years ago and it dulls pain but I hated feeling out of it and the constipation was out of this world. :(
A week after surgery I got an upper respiratory infection with a high fever etc. But I am over that.
However almost 3 weeks later and my voice is a little raspy. I have also been coughing since the surgery. Not often but from out of nowhere these gut wrenching coughs come that make me almost urinate. I sometimes get light headed as it is hard to breathe but only for a moment or two. I have read this is normal due to the breathing tube used, scar tissue forming etc. I do see the surgeon Tuesday so I will ask.
My stiches were removed a week ago and the incision is barely there, he did a great job.
I am still waiting for the pathology. They sent it for a second opinion. The pathology will tell me if the cancer has spread and if I will need radioactive iodine therapy. If so I will be in isolation in the hospital for up to a week. I live in a small apartment with only one bathroom, a husband and two cats so no home isolation for me.
I appreciate any words from people who have been through this or anyone really. :)