Sunday, September 28, 2008

Where I've been...a PSA.

It's time for the first "Pink Train Case After School Special"

I have been MIA over the past week, and there is a reason for that. I wasn't sure if I wanted to go this personal on here, but I figure anything (now) to get the word out.

In January of this year, I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. There's no way that I can describe the moment the words came out of the doctors mouth. I was scared, I was angry, I was confused. Why me? I was 23, healthy, and no apparent symptoms. It all started the December before when I went to see my regular physician for a routine check-up. It was just a simple check to the neck that made my doctor want to get an ultrasound done. That lead to the discovery of a lump on my left thyroid. That lead to an Endocrinologist where I had a biopsy done. The next week after my biopsy, I was notified they had found Cancer.

As you can see, it was quite a ride. This all happened in the course of two months, but it seemed like it was drawn out for so much longer. At the end of February, I underwent a total Thyroidectomy, where they removed my whole Thyroid. The surgery went perfectly, but it was a long two months of recovery.

I know that the surgery was the best thing I could do, but it isn't without it's pitfalls. Now that I am without a Thyroid, I have to depend every day on a small little pill. This is pretty much for life. I'm constantly having to get my blood checked to make sure my TSH (Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone) is okay. If it's too low, I get tired. Really tired. That's the reason I haven't been around lately. I've just been so run-down and tired, I hardly have the energy to do anything. Thank goodness I have a higher dosage of my medicine now, so hopefully I'll be back to "normal" soon. Unfortunately I've also been hit with another side effect of low TSH levels, hives. Yep, I'll just end it there. Let's just say the past couple of weeks have not been fun. Unfortunately this is something that I'll have to deal with for the rest of my life, all the doctors visits, medication changes, blood tests, and weird side effects.

So, why talk about it here? Why did I share this with you? Well, to first explain why lately I've been slow on posts and visiting other sites. Second, because I wanted to have an opportunity to share my experience with this disease, and spread the word to women of all ages to CHECK YOUR NECK.

The Light of Life Foundation
is a great site to get some basic information about Thyroid Cancer, especially for women. Thyroid Cancer is diagnosed 3 times more in women than men. And it's one of the fastest growing Cancer diagnoses in the US. Like other diseases, there really isn't a whole lot of evidence showing why this is happening.

Getting checked is very simple. Nothing more than a blood test to check TSH levels and a sonogram if something is found suspicious. It's tough for people to want to get checked because it is difficult to see any obvious "signs". There are some signs such as weight loss/gain, thinning hair, and fatigue, but these can also be linked to other things suck as stress or a new diet so again, people don't see the connection to having anything being wrong to their Thyroid. The "good" news is that Thyroid Cancer is one of the easiest Cancers to be treated for. Usually surgery can get all the Cancer out (which was my case, I was billed as Cancer Free in April) and not many people even need to go through Radiation Therapy or Chemotherapy. But, that being said, Cancer is Cancer and it's tough for anyone being diagnosed, no matter what kind it is.

Again, please check out Light of Light Foundation and ThyCa, which is a site for Thyroid Cancer survivors, but it's a really good site for information too (and, if you've ever noticed, I do have a link button to their site). If you've made it through this entry, thank you for reading my story :) I'll work extra hard to get some posts up this week!

Image credit: Light of Light Foundation


Starry x2 night said...

Egads. I hope you don't mind if I pray for you. Hope those new dosages work for you!

Thanks for the helpful links--I'll be checking them out!

trishket said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you the best in your recovery.

Rae said...

Wow. The things you don't know about people...

I want to say thank you for sharing this, Tanya. Thank you, because hearing a personal story like this from someone you know, if only by blogging, makes the difference between asking for a check and, well, not checking.


T said...

thanks for sharing your story, and for making me aware of the higher occurrence in women. I wish you the best, and I am glad you are doing better. Take care of yourself because I surly miss you when you don't post. ;-)

xxMxx said...

Too bad your blog is not active anymore but hopefully you'll get to read this. Putting yourself out there in light of helping others is a brave thing to do.
I'd like to give you some tips in hopes it may help you stay strong and healthy. Cancer ideal environments are acid, so you have to make you whole sistem alkaline. Do not eat white sugar and canned food. White sugar is one of the most acids food on Earth, because is so processed and with toxic additives. Same with the canned food. Try eating raw sugar (which is brown and a little humid) and real honey instead. And by real honey the ones sold at the supermarkets are definitely not the ones. Real honey is thick, and as time goes by, it gets thicker and thicker to the point where it gets solid. Drink as pure water as you can, if possible add drops of Propoleum and/or Equinnacea. Do Not Cool you water bottles. DO NOT USE/EAT foods from the microwave. This is a real toxic devise, as it alters molecular structure.
Eat meat, fruits and vegetables as organic as you can afford. Whole grains as rice, wheat, beans, oatmeal, etc
Eat peanuts with the skin; i'm not talkin about the hard skin you break to get to the peanut, but the reddish sking surrounding the peanut. It has a substance that fights and is anti-cancer.
First thing in the morning, warm water, add the juice of a lemon and drink it. It cleanses your whole digestive sistem. Plus, lemon is one of the most alkaline fruit ever. Drink fruit juices, real ones as in you squeeze the fruit to get the juice. Processed juices are a no go.
Take sun baths and walk barefoot on grass. Not a prank, is a healthy thing to do as we are a part of nature too.

Take care and God bless you