Health, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroids

Here We Go Again

Life is so … interesting. Most of the time it makes no sense. Why are we here? What is the point? Are we just some maddening experiment, or just a bunch of cells that got tossed together and now here we are as these complex beings, with emotions that run wild and on top of it all; bodies that are vulnerable to so many different things. Yet at the same time, these brains of ours, so complicated and formative. So intriguing and personality based, with such character and grace. Is it all by accident or is there really some greater beings out there controlling and watching and guiding us all through life’s crazy circumstances, most that don’t even make sense.

I’ve recently been going through some major soul searching. Searching for absolutely anything to make a sense out of certain situations. In this case, my battle with thyroid cancer. Just hearing the word cancer is a body deafening sound. No matter the severity of it – it’s something I wish upon no one. And even though, the word was first brought into my life over a year ago, and I’ve been well aware it’s something that I could battle forever, it never seizes to be so emotionally impactful.

If you’ve read this far into my story, things have been going rather smoothly. Updates from my doctors and everything in between have been on the up and up until the other day.

I had my first yearly iodine scan. Four months late, mind you, because my endocrinologist insisted I receive Thyrogen shots but neglected to tell me my insurance has never covered them in the first place. I was on and off the phone with so many people, trying to figure out how to get these shots so I could stay on my thyroid medications. In the last year since my surgery and RAI treatment I’ve been feeling great. I didn’t want to fuck all that up now, but in the end, it still happened and it set everything back, complimented by some bad news. As I was off my thyroid meds for four weeks, and though my Iodine scans came back clear, which I thought was a positive prognosis, come to find out, my blood work proves otherwise, with off the chart thyroglobulin levels at 72 when they should be lower than 1, signaling possible residing cancer cells left in my body.

Numerous testing has started again to pin point where these cells might be. I endured a PET/CT scan today. My best friend Andi came with me at 6AM this morning, just to be sent home because they planned to inject me with MORE radioactive regiments which are not suggested to be around pregnant women. That totally sucked; to lose my favorite cheerleader and all her amazing positivity by my side. Not to mention, how much radio active shit that has been flushed through my body in the last year, am I going to ever have issues with fertility if I decide to have children someday? All theseTHINGS! It’s so overwhelming.

My main man Keith, who administered my iodine scan just a week ago was on my PET/CT scan case today which was cool. I really like him. Unfortunately he was the one having the rough time nailing a vein for the catheter, so another girl came in and snagged it away. My arms look like I am a recovering heroin addict at this point though. Rough.

From these tests – Worst case scenario: Thyroid cancer cells have metastasized to my spine, other lymph nodes, or my lungs. Best case scenario: There is some residual thyroid cells, cancerous or not, left in my neck bed and they will be removed with another round of surgery. The RAI treatment I went through last May didn’t seem to work, so my body may be rejecting it. Lame. It’s already been a hell of a year, I’m really in need of some good news.

Next up: Neck Ultrasound with possible biopsies of anything funky looking. This will take place Thursday morning at 10AM.
I have an appointment scheduled with my endocrinologist October 14th to declare the results of all testing and what’s next. I also decided to be proactive and contact an oncologist I was seeing in the beginning of my initial diagnosis, almost two years ago, just in case something unexpected claims dues on my health.

So now, it’s hurry up and wait. Story of my life.
Here are a few pictures from today as I got poked, waited and felt defeated at the fact that I am in this position again so soon.

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Health, Thyroid Cancer, Thyroids

SEPTEMBER – Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

I’m a little late. A whole month to be exact. And what a month to be late for! September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness month. I’ve been doing my very best to spread as much information, support, and mindfulness pertaining to all that effects current fighters, like myself, cancer free survivors, and everyone that helps support us all as we endure this quite terrifying and unpredictable experience.

I started the campaign below last year after my first surgery and RAI treatment. As a designer, I wanted to create something eye catching yet blunt to get people interested and get them aware in another way outside a butterfly, that Thyroid Cancer is a major life changing event and is on the rise. My goal is to continue to move this WhatThyroid? campaign forward with a website and some collateral in the up-coming year to help support individuals in financial need, that get diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer.

It’s been very impressive to find how many people, including myself before diagnosis, that do not embrace the slightest bit of knowledge about what a thyroid is or what it does for our bodies. Though in most cases, Thyroid Cancer is treatable, there are many ups and downs, mentally and physically that go along with this scandalous disease. More people need to start taking an annual neck check seriously. I recall back to how naive I was the first time they even discovered a nodule in my neck. I waited FIVE years to even do anything about it because I was scared. It set me up for a more severe circumstance later in my life.

When officially diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer at the top of 2014 – Completing numerous biopsies, x-rays, scans, a totally thyroidectomy, a double dose of RAI, and uncountable blood work session since, at the young age of 30, complications have now arose. I felt the need to take a minute and start the month of October with a huge shout out to everyone that has or is fighting this same battle – You are not alone! I urge anyone and everyone to please not take something that you might think of as a simple organ or check up, for granted. CHECK YOUR NECK!

More from me on my developments soon. Positive vibes are greatly needed. xo

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