Tag: thyca

9 Years – Post Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis

9 years. Nearly a decade. That is how long it has been since I learned that I was joining a “club” of thousands. The one with people diagnosed with metastatic thyroid cancer – papillary form.

9 years… since I declared myself a “cancer warrior goddess”.

On January 5. 2011 I rolled in to a Johns Hopkins hospital operating room with Dr. Ralph Tufano and his expert team of surgeons awaiting me. From what I understand my surgery was atypical, intensive and extensive. Geez, I guess I was an over-achiever!

I chronicled my journey – including post treatments and all the ups and downs on this blog. You will find those writings here:

Click here for Thyroid Cancer blogs by Louise


Thyroid concerns?

Let me do the education part of my annual missive. These are my recommendations for those who may ponder if they, too, have thyroid issues /cancer. And what to do if you hear those words that are never easy to process – “You have cancer”.

First, please read the warning signs of Thyroid Cancer. You will find them here:

WARNING SIGNS OF THROID CANCER

Diagnosis of thyroid cancer? Do your homework. Ask questions. Find support. Don’t be shy and certainly remember to advocate for yourself!

Keep good records with a file folder – you will be getting a ton of paper from insurance agents to physician visits.

Write a journal. This can be your safe place to express all the thoughts that will be racing through your head – especially at 2a.m.

Have a theme song! You may think I am crazy – but I had a theme song and to this day I would like to thank the Black Eye Peas for releasing the tune ” I Gotta Feeling. This version with a flashmob during the taping of an old OPRAH show kept me smiling through your treatment.


Give yourself permission to grieve. Give yourself permission to be angry. Give yourself permission to eat chocolate and ice cream.

Have questions? Comments? Want to share your experiences? Feel free to do so in the comment section below.

Tweet me your comments too.. I am @LouiseASL

My annual reminder that I survived cancer

Every year I go on my annual trek to Johns Hopkins Hospital (JHH) to undergo a few assorted tests and visit with one of my Top Docs.  As you may know, JHH is known for Top Docs across many specialities, mine happen to focus on “matters of the neck and thyroid”.   This annual “date” with Top Doc is important, albeit nerve -wracking. I tend to use this time to reflect, write and educate – about Thyroid cancer and navigating the world as a cancer patient.

Read about my initial diagnosis with Thyroid cancer here

What I have learned to get me through the annual ritual “recheck” process?  Well, for starters it is good to have a support team who will cheerlead you in to the appointments and then help (hopefully) celebrate afterwards (or pick you up if the news is not so good.).  Pick your cheerleaders carefully.  You don’t want those that are “armchair quarterbacks” or wanna be docs. You just want people who will bring you coffee and candy upon request.

What I also learned through this ridiculous process is to surround yourself with only positive people. There is no room for negativity when you are dealing with matters of importance – such as kicking cancer’s ass out the door.  I prefer to do most of my appointments alone and then pace the corridors of JHH until given the “all clear” to go home.  But, others may wish to have their “team” present and waiting. Just make sure they are all helpful vs. hinderers to your wellness.

And, when the Top Doc says you continue to be LWD – living with disease – albeit microscopically – you just shake your head and thank the good Lord that the news isn’t worse. In my case, LWD just means that you get to live a long life with some cancer varmints hanging out somewhere, but not being more than a microscopic pest.  Kinda like knowing there is one bug in your house that  survived a fumigation, but you just can’t seem to locate it.

Most importantly, when all the tests are done go and conduct retail therapy.  In my case, I always purchase something totally weird from the hospital gift shop. This year a very odd looking sweatshirt with Johns Hopkins Hospital emblazoned on the front.  I wore it proudly on the plane ride home.

To summarize my recommendations for post-cancer check-ups:

*Go where there is the best of the best. Your health deserves it.

*Bring positive friends and family (if you wish), celebrate good news, and surround yourself with those who will be helpful if the news isn’t so great.

*Eat chocolate and drink … whatever!

*Conduct retail therapy.  Remember that tie-dye is never out of style if it makes you happy.

Wishing you all the very best of health,

~Louise

p.s.

Here are more articles about my experience. Hope it may help someone who reads this blog.

 

 

January is Check the Neck Month

Happy January everyone!  This week is the anniversary of when my thyroid and I “divorced”.  We parted ways in a surgical room at Johns Hopkins. Although it was a bitter divorce I am glad that I walked away from my experience healthier, wiser and more appreciative of the family and friends who helped play the role of CANCER WARRIOR GODDESS SUPPORTERS.  In my ongoing efforts to stop Thyroid Cancer from being a beast in another’s life, I am reminding all of you to check your dang neck!

If you have a persistent cough, are hoarse, have small lumps or unexplained weight loss or gain- it is time to go to the doctor and be an advocate for your personal health! Ask for an ultrasound, bloodwork, etc.  The facts are that cancers of the thyroid, especially among women, are on the rise. Don’t let a physician tell you that it is because of menopause, allergies, etc. I heard ALL of that and guess what.. it was CANCER!   My cancer was found on a procedure for a dental problem!

Here is some information that I also had posted on the 411 VOICES website.  And, for those who missed the PSA I made for the I AM THE FACE OF THRYOID DISEASE campaign last year, I am reposting the video.

Lastly, I don’t ask for a lot of readers.. but this time I will request one itty bitty favor.  CHECK YOUR NECK and remind someone you love to do the same! Thanks….

 To learn about Thyroid Cancer symptoms, treatment and support   see the info sites below.   

Dear Thyroid  (website)  Dear Thyroid LOVEHATEYOU (Facebook)

THYCA.org  (for information about “all things” thyroid)

Thyroid-Cancer.net

Medicine Net

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