On November 9, 2012 I found out I had Fallopian tube cancer. I had been experiencing pain and figured it was because I had Polycystic Ovaries. However, I was extremely nervous because my mom had found out the year before that she had Uterine cancer, so I made an appointment right away. After diagnosis I remember feeling that they couldn’t get this stuff out of me quick enough. My surgery was scheduled and they removed my left side ovary and fallopian tube. I continued to follow up with scans and labs.
May 2013 at my six month follow-up I was told I could start coming in every three months. I was thrilled that everything was looking good. I was still experiencing such fatigue, and I figured it was stress related. I mentioned this to my primary care doctor at my visit in May. She ran a bunch of tests and couldn’t see anything on the surface that would be wrong. She decided to send me to an Endocrinologist. He ran more test and couldn’t see anything wrong with my lab results. He did say that he thought he felt a bump in my neck. He sent me for an Ultrasound. At my Ultrasound, they decided they wanted to biopsy it. They did just that and sent me on my way stating my doctor would call me with the results. The next day he did…I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid cancer on June 28, 2013.
This was of no relation to my first cancer diagnosis. My endo told me that although papillary is a non-aggressive form of cancer, that I did have a tall cell variant which is aggressive so they wanted to perform surgery asap. I asked if I could wait until my trip to Hawaii in September was done, but he told me he did not recommend that. So off to surgery I went. I had a total thyroidectomy with bilateral lymph node dissection. Based on the lymph node removal results, I completed two rounds of Radioactive Iodine six months apart.
I take Levothyroxine now; and I do suffer from many side effects of having the suppression (thyroid cancer patients must be suppressed to almost hyperthyroidism), but I am so incredibly grateful to be here. I do believe that my journey has given me a greater appreciation for life, and I believe that it helps me help others in my role as a Patient Advocate.