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My Personal Experience With Thyroid Cancer

I am a business leader by day and a freelance writer on the side. I am also a thyroid cancer survivor.

I am a thyroid cancer survivor!

I am a thyroid cancer survivor!

How It All Began

When I turned 36 years old in August of 2002, I was in perfect health—or at least I thought I was. My energy level was high, I was working out regularly, I was at my lowest weight in 10 years, and I was eating healthy. I had never broken a bone and had never spent a night in a hospital. I thought I was invincible!

I had been seeing the same primary care physician for close to ten years. My mother had continually raved about one of her doctors, so for a change, I went to see her instead in October 2002. During a routine exam, she discovered a lump.

The lump was in my neck, on my thyroid gland. I always knew I had a thyroid gland, but I didn’t know where it was or what it did. I quickly became an expert.

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland that wraps around the front part of your windpipe, just below the Adam’s apple. It produces hormones that influence essentially every organ, tissue, and cell in the body. Thyroid hormones regulate the body’s metabolism and organ function, affecting heart rate, cholesterol level, body weight, memory, and many other conditions. It’s one important gland!

I was quickly referred to an endocrinologist, otherwise known as a “thyroid guy." He confirmed the existence of the lump (formally called a nodule) and arranged for a needle biopsy. He explained that the lump was either benign or cancerous. A few weeks later, I had the biopsy; they extracted several tissue samples from my thyroid gland and sent them in for testing.

I Have Cancer

I drove to the endocrinologist’s office a week later to get the biopsy results. Because I was feeling great and had never had any serious medical problems, I assumed that the lump was benign. It wasn’t.

The doctor explained that the lump was “suspicious” for Papillary Cancer (the most common thyroid type). Suspicious meant there was a 99% chance that it was cancerous. Until they remove the tissue from your body, they can’t state the findings with 100% accuracy. He said simply, “Your thyroid gland must be removed."

He also shared that since the cancer was detected in my 30s and that the lump was being removed quickly, the chances of survival were close to 100%. I soon learned that thyroid cancer is one of the most curable cancer types.

In addition to having my thyroid gland removed, I discovered that I would also have to take medication for the rest of my life. Synthetic Thyroid Hormone pills, taken daily, would replace the natural thyroid hormones. I immediately asked the question that all women would ask, “Will I gain any weight?” I was relieved to find out that I would not.

I jumped on the Internet to find out everything I could about thyroid cancer. I learned that 13 million Americans and one in eight women have a thyroid disorder. Many of these disorders go undetected and untreated. Many famous people, including Tipper Gore, Rod Stewart, and Kim Alexis, have had thyroid nodules removed. The movie critic, Roger Ebert, was a recent thyroid cancer survivor. I was not alone.

The Surgery

We scheduled the thyroidectomy (complete removal of the thyroid gland) surgery for the end of January 2003. The operation would take close to two hours, I would have to remain in the hospital for one night. After that, I would need help recovering for the next eight to ten days. Total recuperation time could take up to three weeks.

As the date grew closer, I became more and more anxious. I had never had surgery, never been under anesthesia, and never stayed in a hospital overnight. Would it be like what you see on television?

I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 a.m. with no makeup, no contact lenses, and no jewelry, as per instruction. I was told to remove all of my clothing and put on a “johnny” and a cap to cover my hair. I looked like a supermodel…not. My family soon came in to wish me well, then retired to the waiting area. 30 minutes later, I was wheeled into the operating room. I was then given something through an IV to “take the edge off” and was unconscious within seconds.

The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room. A nice nurse talked to me, gave me some water, and my family stopped in to say hello. I don’t remember much as I was pretty out of it.

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Soon I was wheeled into a hospital room, my quarters for the evening. It looked just as you’d expect, barren with some assorted medical equipment, and I had a roommate separated by a thin curtain. I spent the next 15 hours sleeping, taking medication, drinking water, and eating the most popular hospital food—Jell-O!

My mother drove me to her house, where I would stay for the next two weeks. For the first few days, my neck was immobile, and I was very tired. I began taking synthetic thyroid hormone pills. Within a week, my energy began to return, and I was able to partially move my neck. When my sense of humor re-emerged, I knew that I was getting better.

Next Steps

My recovery went well, and two weeks after the operation, I met with my thyroid guy to “check-in” and find out the results of the pathology report on the removed thyroid tissue. I quickly learned that I had cancer with 100% certainty. The good news was that my cancerous thyroid gland had been removed. The bad news was that since it was definitely cancer, I now had to undergo a radioactive iodine treatment to kill any remaining cancerous cells in my body. Radioactive iodine has been used for more than 40 years to treat thyroid cancer.

In summary, this treatment requires a patient to ingest radioactive iodine pills and then undergo special scanning to confirm that most of the remaining thyroid cells have been eliminated. As the iodine is radioactive, patients must be placed in isolation for three days to minimize radioactive exposure to others. For seven days after that, patients are no longer isolated but still have to stay six feet away from other people. Side effects can include sore throat, nausea, and headaches.

In preparation for this process, recipients must follow a special low iodine diet for two to four weeks. The diet has many restrictions, including no dairy products, no restaurant food, no fish, and no canned food. Allowable serving sizes of meat and grains are minimal.

The purpose of this diet is to deplete the body of its natural stores of iodine to help make the radioactive iodine treatment more effective. The premise is that when the radioactive iodine is administered, the thyroid cells will “suck” up the iodine because it has been so depleted. In my case, I also had to stop taking the synthetic thyroid hormone for a month prior to treatment. This was of concern, as the side effects could include exhaustion and weight gain.

Going Back to Work

When I had fully recovered from the surgery, I went back to work full time. It felt good to be interacting with people and using my brain for more important things than choosing what DVD to rent. I was pleasantly surprised at how supportive my coworkers were. I had received many cards and emails while I was out. Now, many came to visit my office and check-in. It was, quite simply, nice.

I also felt like a different person in some ways. This experience was changing me a little. I found myself reacting differently to situations. In some cases, I used a softer approach. In others, I noticed that I expressed my feelings more openly.

After two weeks, it was time to go off of my synthetic thyroid hormone and on to my diet.

Diet and Energy Level

Don’t hate me, but this is the first diet I’ve ever had to go on. For most of my adult life I’ve limited my intake of junk food and tried to eat healthily, but I never had to count servings and sizes— and I’ve never had to completely stop eating certain foods. The first few days were a breeze. I said to myself and others, “I can do this!”

As time went on, I found that I was hungry all the time. Is this what the participants on the reality show Survivor feel like? Five ounces of protein for an entire day doesn’t go far; I missed eating desserts. Although vegetables were unlimited, how much broccoli can one gal eat?

The good news: I began to cool. A lot. I made tomato sauce from scratch. I baked muffins. I sautéed chicken. I started to enjoy cooking. I also bought and began using a juicer so that I could my veggies and fruit, as I couldn’t eat much more.

Being single on this diet posed an interesting dilemma. Most dates include lunch or dinner at a restaurant, and I couldn’t do either. I did end up improvising and cooking for someone early in the dating process. (That’s usually saved for date eight or 10.) He seemed to appreciate it.

By week three, my lack of thyroid hormone partnered with the limiting diet began to affect me. I hadn’t gained any weight and didn’t have headaches, but my energy level was dropping daily. I had to reduce my work hours to part-time. I couldn’t make it to the gym. Cooking started to seem overwhelming, and my family stepped in to help out. Special thanks to the person who invented Tupperware and microwaves.

Although I was feeling pretty lousy, I knew that the next week I could go off the diet and back on the synthetic hormone. I could visualize my Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and Chinese food. I was excited at the thought of my energy level returning.

I also had my sister’s baby shower on Sunday, March 9, 2003, to look forward to. This was the first baby of the family and something positive to celebrate. On Sunday, I “showered with Sis,” and the following Tuesday, I showered in preparation for my radioactive Iodine treatment.

I’m Radioactive!

It was a rainy Tuesday morning when I drove to the local hospital to ingest my radioactive pills. When I arrived, I expected to see a bunch of men in white space suits carrying a heavily guarded container of radioactive material. Instead, my doctor greeted me in a pair of latex gloves.

He carefully removed the iodine pills from a special bag, placed them in a plastic cup and instructed me to swallow them immediately. I followed his instructions. (The space suits would have added some drama to the experience.)

He then said everything would be fine as long as I didn’t vomit; that would expose the radiation to whatever the liquid touched. Knowing that I couldn’t vomit, I spent the next 20 minutes worrying that I would! Luckily, I did not. I made it home with no incidence.

As I live alone and am self sufficient, I was given permission to stay in isolation at home, instead of a hospital room. This was a great relief. I could read my email. I could watch HBO. I could lead a normal, but radioactive life. There were many instructions to follow, but I was happy to be at home.

The first few days were pretty uneventful and I had no side effects. I was finally able to go off my diet and happily ate Chinese food and my Ben & Jerry’s. I followed that with pizza and various junk foods. I had a continuous craving for chocolate, which I happily satisfied.

After about six days, the reality of isolation started to set it. Although I could have some visitors (that had to stay six feet away from me), I could not leave my condo. I cleaned, organized, read and watched television. But, I began to go stir crazy. I began to feel depressed. I had too much time on my hands to think. Food also started to taste strange, a common side effect.

As you can probably figure out, what goes in must come out. After ingesting the pills, I was advised to drink lots of liquids. Like a good patient, I followed this instruction. The key word was flush. Everything had to be flushed, not once but twice. I flushed a lot! I built a special bond with my toilet handle.

Just when I was about to go completely off my rocker, the ten days ended. I couldn’t wait to be out and about and even to go back to work. I couldn’t wait to drive my car. Embarrassingly, the first place I drove to was McDonald’s. A girl has to have her French fries.

Back to Life, Back to Reality

When I returned to work, I found that I was particularly stimulated by the tasks at hand, the projects I was leading, and the problems I had to solve. Prior to the surgery, I had begun to feel a little restless at work. Now, I felt fully engaged. Either the work changed, or I had.

I attempted to fill in my social calendar to make up for lost time. Now that I could go out, I wanted to. I had enough alone time. I spent the next few weekends ”out on the town.”

Any food left in my pantry related to my special diet was tossed. I didn’t want any reminders around. If I never see a raisin again, I won’t mind. Admittedly, I also stopped cooking. Now that I didn’t have to, I seemed to have no desire to do so. I hope the motivation comes back at some point.

I had a few blood tests to determine how my synthetic thyroid medication was working. Luckily, everything appeared to be moving along as expected.

Three months after my surgery and one month after the Iodine Treatment, I was informed that my “tumor marker” was undetectable. In layman’s terms, it appeared that the cancer was likely gone. My thyroid guy said I should be very happy with these results. I would need a blood test in three months to check the tumor marker again. Overall, I felt relieved.

Five Years Later

Since the surgery in 2003, I have continued routine visits with my thyroid guy and have had follow-up scans and ultrasounds. Most importantly, the cancer has not returned—but there have been some challenges in regulating the strength of my synthetic thyroid medication. I

f your levels are too low, cancer can make its way back, and you can feel tired or depressed. If the levels are too high, you can induce other health or medical issues. About once a year, we’ve made tweaks to my medication levels.

The scar on my neck from the surgery, which was very red for the first year has almost completely faded. I’ve been religious about applying sunscreen, and it’s paid off; the skin tightness and warmth around my neck—similar to the feeling of a hot flash—that I experienced for the first two years after surgery are also completely gone.

Although the cancer has vanished, my recollection of this entire experience remains etched in my brain. It was very stressful at times, and it was also one of those experiences that reminds you that you’re mortal, that “life is short,” and you need to live in the moment. As a type A planner type, this was a helpful infusion. It has changed me and the way I look at a very positive way.

2015 Update

It has now been more than 10 years since my surgery. The scar is almost invisible, the cancer has not returned, and I am healthy, energetic, and happy. I still take my thyroid meds daily and will need to do so for the rest of my life.

You and Your Thyroid

Thyroid diseases are extremely common but often go undetected. Symptoms may be subtle, diagnosis can be tricky, and thyroid diseases can mimic many other disorders. Common symptoms of thyroid problems include weight gain, fatigue, nervousness, and sleeplessness. Studies have shown that of the more than 15 million Americans suffering from thyroid disorders, more than half remain undiagnosed. For more information on thyroid disorders, visit the American Cancer Society's page about thyroid cancer.

  • National Cancer Institute
    Information about thyroid cancer treatment, clinical trials, research, and other topics from the National Cancer Institute.
    Easy to understand description of papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer. Symptoms, diagnosis, and complete treatment options are discussed using actual patient x-rays. The role of radioactive iodine and surgery.
    A top thyroid website.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Christine on September 10, 2017:

Wow Thanks for your detailed testimony of the whole experience. It comforts and reassures me. I am facing a decision to have surgery or not but will first have a new molecular test to clarify my diagnosis of atypical cells... Likelihood or unlikelihood of cancer.

okoro on March 26, 2014:

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Mike on December 20, 2013:

Hello , 2009 was told I had thyroid cancer papillary and follicular though ok , now what ? Had a total thyroid removed case solved hurray.2012 was told did not have papillary and follicular cancer it was medullary all along the pathologist made a mistake ??? They said he could have been having a bad day who know . I then then had to have a. I bilateral neck disection remove limp notes lots of fun , shit happens I guess was off work 10 month this time and nine months the first time .

oopzie on November 14, 2013:

I have a friend going through this now, what is the best thing I can do for her now? Any food recipes I can make for her during her no Iodine diet. Thanks you for sharing, gives me insight on her experience.

Cancerkiller on October 25, 2013:

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The price of the Personal Cancer Killer for the whole world is $90 Billion. I accept checks of $50 Million to disclose it personally and how one can stay absolutely healthy all the time, all life long, like a living God - just like me - never getting sick even for a second.

Monica Ivanski on October 11, 2013:

Took 2 years, (I don't know why), to came back here to tell you inspired me to overcome scary days as a Thyroid Papillary Cancer Patient. But never is late to say a huge thank you. After been diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer I started reading so many experiences but most people were so negative and just you encouraged me and made me feel strong to go trough my surgery.Two years Cancer Free , removed whole Thyroid and it was enough for my cure ; )) on July 02, 2013:

Your story makes me worry. Like you, I also think I am invincible. I feel I had the strongest immune system that I don't remember myself being brought to the hospital. Goiter runs in our family. My elder sister just had her thyroidectomy last month and we're glad that the pathology report of her thyroid was negative. What makes me worry now is that, I have a gut feel that I have problems with my thyroid too. The problem is, I'm scared to see a doctor but I guess, I need to.

kelps on April 06, 2013:

Wow, you pretty much expressed my feelings when diagnosed with the same thing! What you went through, up to surgery, I have experienced. I appreciate the rest of your story beyond that because I am only one week after surgery. Your explanation is spot on and it helps me tremendously, I can do this. I'm a 59 year old male, quite healthy, aerobically active and nutritionally conscious. I too am perplexed as to "why me". Thanks again for your gift to write. This article has been shared with my friends and family. I think they now get the picture of what I am thinking. I'm told I may not be able to talk for several weeks/months. Ken

Jen on June 28, 2012:


I just found out yesterday that I have thyroid cancer. So far I am in the wallowing, terrified, denial, with a little anger thrown in for good measure stage. I am waiting to hear back from Dr.'s to meet to discuss surgery and the iodine treatment (the endo doctor told me that I would need to have my thyroid removed and probably they lymph nodes as well as the iodine treatment). I am numb, and trying to be strong for my husband and my family. Thank you for sharing your story, it is reassuring to have a real story, not just medical definitions and statistics. I am worried that I will not be able to take care of my family, we have a young child and I don't know how much help I will need, i'm worried about that and about the radioactive treatment and being around my family.. Thank you everyone here and God bless you and keep you in good health always.

Sherice at on May 25, 2012:

Thanks so much for your summary of your thyroid experience. I too was diagnosed with thyriod cancer at the lovely age of 32. I've had two surgeries to remove both lobes of my thyroid, and am currently on the low iodine diet in preparation for my upcoming radioactive iodine treatment (my homemade tomato and mushroom pizza is cooking in the oven as we speak). I was feeling a little picked on today as my energy level is down from being off my medication, and I found out my iodine levels aren't as low as they hoped which may result in another week of no pills and no cheese! However, the summary of your experience was a nice reminder that I'm not the only person who has to experience this and that I'm not alone. I too am dreaming of french fries, ice cream, and true pizza with lots of cheese...but know that these things are not too far away for me. Anyway, thanks for sharing, and for your upbeat tone. I think I feel a little better now! :)

ummbreen on May 21, 2012:

hi my self umbreen actually iam patient of thyriod and suffering from.................ineed help what to dodo

actually what to say

Mickey Hatcher on May 15, 2012:

I was Diagnosed with Hypothyroid 12 1/2 yrs ago. And have been on RX since then. I just took the Mercury Fillings out of my Teeth 7 Weeks ago! Had a Blood Test Done and My Thyroid is "Kicking Back In"! Dr. went down on my Levothyroxine! I'm hoping to go Off Eventually! Any questions, let me know!




ralph on May 10, 2012:

hi my name is ralph. i noticed for some time now under my adams apple a black&blue mark comes and goes, can anyone help me

priya on May 04, 2012:

thank you so much for the info!god bless you!

LA on May 03, 2012:

I am 29 and was just diagnosed yesterday. Not the phone call I wanted for sure. After the word 'cancer' I didn't hear anything else my doctor said. I am set to meet with the Endo department on Monday. Can't honestly say I'm not worried.

Thank you so much for this article. I actually laughed about the cooking part. However, I'm not going to let my boyfriend read this article or he's going to expect me to start learning how to cook!

sandy on May 01, 2012:

I am very thankful for coming across this article when i was searching for stories from people who have gone through thyroid cancer. i was diagnosed recently on April 28, 2012 with papillary carcinoma of my left thyroid. everything started with a visit to my doctor, he noticed on my left side of the neck a bulge or also known as a nodule, i was then sent to do an ultrasound and from there on i knew it was more than just a lump. i saw an endroconologist who sent me to do a biopsy the following week. Two days later my results came in and my life changed for ever. my doctor told me there were bad news and that i had thyroid cancer. All i could hear was the word cancer and the world stoped for me. it was the most frightening, shocking moment of my life i could not believe it. It has been a week after the biopsy and in one more week i will have the surgery of the removal of the thyroid gland. I have to admit that im very nervous and anxious about this entire experience im going through but thankfully i have the support of my family and friends and church members, without them i have probably gone crazy by now. After doing alot of reasearch and reading over this cancer and understanding to "some degree" what i have i feel lucky to know this can be cured. i want to say some day that i am cancer free. i appreciate so much all the posts and information that is useful for many of us who are starting the process of recuperation. May God be with us all.

jane on April 28, 2012:

i have had problems with my thyroid gland for years.i have had a scan again and i now have 4 small nodules i have had the fineneedle biopsy and im just waiting on my results so im worried.i also have fybromyalgia and rheumatoid athritis i am 42.thanx for ur stories they are inspiring.

rls8994 from Mississippi on March 31, 2012:

Really enjoyed reading about your journey through this time in your life. I too had thyroid cancer and had my thyroidectomy removed in 2009. You mentioned the "space suits" and that is so funny because I also could imagine them as he came out with his big thick gloves on, holding a silver container that contained my pill. I was thinking, he doesn't even want to touch it and I'm suppose to swallow it? lol...You did a great job of explaining everything in this hub. Thanks so much for sharing this. Rated up! :)

coconut gal on March 26, 2012:

Thanks for sharing your experience which i gain lots of knowleage i m 26 years old i have done total thyroid dectomy on june 2011 due to papilarly thyroid m planing to have child is there any problem for my child when i go through internet i came to know that after surgery papilarly ca may come back is true pls reply me

Jenny on March 23, 2012:

Reading this has helped me so much, I amscheduled for the pills Monday march 26 and i was totally scaared out of my wits until I read your journal...I have hyperthryroid and my main concern is thte tiredness and weight gain as My mother died at age 59 froma massive stroke and my older brother died at age 62, same age as I am...both were very overwieght and i have worked hard to keep myself healthy and my weighht down, no smoking and no drinking, but genectic are aonther worry... Thank you for this article.Jenny

Ana Martinez on January 13, 2012:

Hi nice to hear from your story, thanks Jesus Im a survivor to, now Im 40 years when I had surgery when my daugther was 5 years old and now she is 16 year, I had Radioactive Iodine 7 years ago Next month Im going to get married, but I dont know if I could have a baby, I ask many doctors in my country but they arent a 100% sure. Thank u for share your experience.

Ana Martinez

emmalyn timbal on January 01, 2012:

thanks for sharing your experience.i salute u coz you are brave women,hope me experience is i take a surgery last dk.says that im going to RAI traetment im going to my dk.for tyrodectomy prosedure but my dk dout becase they are not already remove all the tumor found in my neck im going to take 2nd time surgeon but im wprried for that 2nd sergery some negative think i felt can i survive my conditions ,,,hope thats miracle comes in my life because im has 2 little kids thats why im afraid to die..

Frog Empress on December 27, 2011:

I just got my diagnosis today of papillary cancer in my thyroid. Thank you for your honest descriptions of your experiences - it helps to demystify what's coming.

smore440 on November 06, 2011:

Thank you so much for sharing your story! I just had a TT back in May due to Thyroid Cancer as well. Adjusting to the meds is still proving to be long did it take for you to adjust to yours? I'm hoping it won't be too much longer but its hard to stay positive when you feel so crappy...reading your story definitely gave me hope though! Thanks, Stephanie

Maggie B on September 13, 2011:

Hello Ms. Reynolds,

Thanks for your descriptive account of your experience with thyroid cancer. I have Graves Disease being treated with an anti-thyroid drug and fear that thyroid cancer may follow. My niece, age 21, was diagnosed in January with thyroid cancer and took a semester off of school to recover. Perhaps you can answer this question, or Dr. Teddy: Do you know if your parathyroid gland was removed along with your thyroid? Osteoporosis is another condition I am being treated for, and I know the parathyroid controls calcium in the body. A friend just had part of her thyroid removed because of nodules, and her surgeon was careful not to disturb her parathyroid during the procedure. Thank you again,

Maggie B.

nikwhyte on June 10, 2011:

Thank you for your honest and helpful story about your experiences. I was in for a routine exam in April 2010 and a 1cm nodule was found in my thyroid. Through additional testing (nuclear scans, ultra sounds and fine needle biobsy), they have found I have approx. 14 nodules/goiters on my thyroid ranging in size from 1cm to 4 cm. My fine needle biobsy is unfortunately inconclusive the results show that I have folicular cells. They won't know 100% if its cancer until after surgery, but based on size and amount of nodules my doc feels I have a strong posibility that its Follicular Cancer.

Based on my family history, Grandmother had Thyroid cancer in the '80's and died of lung cancer and my sister just passed from Breast cancer, as well as the overwhelming presence of multi nodule goiters my doc has recommended total thyroidectomy. I'm scheduled for surgery on June 30 and he tells me that we will have to see how things go. He hopes to have the results within a few days of sergury in regards to cancer.

I thank you for your expeience and article as it gives me hope and a look into what I will be facing post operative.

DePuy Pinnacle Recall on May 25, 2011:

Having thyroid or parathyroid problems can affect calcitonin levels which ultimately affects one's calcium levels. When there's too little Calcium left in the bones, pathologic fractures may occur.

This was what happened to me a few years ago. I've had my parathyroid removed, and it unfortunately lead to a pathologic hip fracture. My doctor suggested that I undergo a hip implant and that I did. But Now I'm worried about the possibility of a recall that I've learned from other individuals who have been injured by the defective hip implant. Numerous individuals have already filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer. I'm thinking about the thought of filing one for myself.

Amith Jose on May 10, 2011:


This Really very interesting and thanks for this to make me more confident,My Wife Had a same situation like this she had papillairy carcinomas a two years back and she had a surgery for removing the thyroid gland now she is perfectly all right , but now we are planing for having a baby , we just need to know is there any complication for pregnancy after papillairy carcinoma ?? and also we are worried that from some website we just came to read that there is possibility to come this papillairy carcinomas again , is that true ? Do the papillairy carcinomas had came back to you after your surgery had on 2002 till now ? Pls Pls Reply

sunchild28 from Nigeria on April 28, 2011:

Nice story which really gave me goose pimples while reading from you.Actually,i felt your pains while i was reading this story because i know anything cancer can be a deadly disease which only faith and divine favour from God can only be the solution.thanks for sharing with us.

dayonnacampbell on April 18, 2011:

i was worried about i am 16 and ive been dianoised with thiroid cancer and i have two tumars on my stomach and possably melanoma cancer i have a permentent dent in my back ever since i was seven and fell off a two story and landed on a medal grill lid i have read yur story and it makes me feel better about this i never thought i would have health probmles but i do and thank yu for writing this it has helped swo much

Golfgal from McKinney, Texas on January 30, 2011:

Thank you for sharing your story. I have hypothyroidism and take a low dose of levothyroxine. Did you also have low vitmain B12?? Did anyone check this?

robina on January 28, 2011:

your an insperation..... Reading you story has helped me to realize that I still have some stuff to go threw .

Tracey on January 19, 2011:

Thank you so much for your personal account on dealing with thyroid cancer and the radioactive treatment.

I am currently in the waiting game. I have another condition that requires MRI's and I was totally floored last week when it showed a mass on my right thyroid. My primary doctor for years has always made a comment about the size of my thyroid, but always just checked the tsh levels and sent me on my way.

My ultrasound was done this past Monday and I understand there are many masses on the thyroid and a few cysts. I have mentally prepared myself for the removal of my thyroid, and the possibility of the big C.

I just want to get over with already!

Jen on December 11, 2010:

Diagnosed a few days ago. I'm 17.

Elena@LessIsHealthy on November 04, 2010:

My mom has thyroid cancer. My mom win the battle with breast cancer, but now the thyroid is the problem. I read your story, God bless you, you are a strong woman.

dhaneesh on September 15, 2010:

Thanks for the insight on your experience. It is really helpful. My sister was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and has already undergone surgery to remove the left side of the gland(not thyroidectomy) the results after examination confirmed tumor growth however more tests must be done to confirm if the cancer has spread elsewhere(she's only 27 and just like you pepped up and full of energy). Just wanted to say thanks and really admire your courage and strength. God bless you and all the survivors and hope my sister emerges out of this ordeal smiling.

Ryan on August 25, 2010:

Thank you all for your feedbacks and replies. My mother just been diagnosed with papillary cancer. Even though it's a curable cancer, the word "cancer" itself horrifies everyone everyday.

Her lump is 9mm in size and probably will need to have the glands removed and hopefully nothing has spread through out her body.

I feel terrible being my beloved mother and all but I'm sure it's not even 10% pain and suffering you all had with your experiences.

You guys are simply amazing and KUDOS to all you lived through this horrible ordeal.

My prayers are with you all.

God bless.

ghiagrl 71 on August 22, 2010:

Simone, you're correct in stating that "not all thyroid cancers are the same". My son who is 16 has been diagnosed with medullary thyroid cancer, and his doctor has told us that this cancer type is more aggressive than the papillary type. My son has yet to have his surgery. I'm believing in God for his healing, and thank you everyone who has shared their stories about their cancer survival.

Simone on July 30, 2010:

Great article but one statement is a little deceiving. You said thyroid cancer is the most curable cancer. Papillary thyroid cancer is, that is true. But under the thyroid cancer comes three more types. Follicular, Medullary and then Anaplastic thyroid cancer. The last is the least curable of all cancers. I had medullary which is 60/40 survivable. Not having a go at your article at all. Its great and I wish there was more of them to comfort those that get cancer. But just thought I would point out that not all thyroid cancers are the same. Thanking you

Kim on April 18, 2010:

Was diagnoised with papillary thyroid cancer Mar 2010. I found the lump in my neck dec 25 2009. Had my thyroid removed Apr 2010.. The cyst was 3.7cm but the surgeon said it did not look like it was in my lymoh nodes.The cyst appeared to be totally contained in the thyroid. Won't know for sure until the final results come in. It will take about 6 weeks then onto the cross cancer. The waiting seems to be the worst part. Everyone tell you that people don't usually die from this cancer. It still sucks. Thanks for your story. It is nice to hear a positive experience. I hope mine is the same.

janice on February 09, 2010:

Hi! Thank you for sharing your story. I was diagnosed with papillary CA at the age of 23 and what my doctor only did was to remove my thyroid. At that time, I never had RAI therapy because he said that all of the thyroid tissues were removed and I thought that was the end of it. After 3 years, accidentally, I happened to see my doctor at the hospital when I was visiting with a friend who was confined there. He told me to have a body scan and to cut the story short... the cancer was back. I had undergone RAI therapy immediately and after a year there was a decreased but still the cancer was there. Last year July, I had my second RAI therapy and I was waiting to have a body scan to see if it totally remove the cancer which frightened me a lot but I'm hoping for miracles.

MM on November 14, 2009:

I received my biopsy results yesterday - I have papillary cancer. They believe it was caught very early and I am greatful. I am so glad that I had your story to read and prepare me for this journey. I am scheduling surgery for the week after Thanksgiving...but need to decide between a lobectomy and total thyroidectomy. My surgeon believes that the cancer was contained and while I want to believe that, I think I am leaning towards removing the entire gland and undergoing RAI treatment to ensure we knock this thing out in round one. Thank you again for sharing your story, it has been a huge help to me as I start down this path.

MM on October 28, 2009:

Thank you for sharing your story. I have undergone an ultrasound on my nodule which showed signs of "calcification" and have now been referred to a surgeon for a Fine Needle Aspiration. I am 38, have two small children, and am scared to death. However, reading inspiring stories like yours really help me to believe that no matter what, I will get through this. You need to know that your words are comforting others and providing strength and support. Thank you

carolegalassi from California on October 07, 2009:

Wow, loved your story. It shows me that a normal, healthy young person can come down with something as unsuspecting as thyroid cancer. It's amazing to me that you felt good and did not have any signs of illness, thank God it was had early detection.

All the more important to get those annual checkups regularly because although you may feel fine, something like this could come up. My brother in law had a similar exerience but he was not so lucky. He passed away with cancer which was not detected until after he started feeling badly.

Early detection and your age seemed to have played a factor in your recovery and treatment. I am happy to hear you are a survivor. My husband is a cancer survivor also. :-)

Marie on September 25, 2009:

Hi, I had a fine needle biopsy and was told I had a suspicious nodule showing papillary carcinoma. (42 year old female) It was a month of shock, fear, denial, but family and friend support along with prayers really helped! I just had my thyroidectomy on Monday and currently resting ...I started levothyroxine a few days ago and have to go back in three months to get my blood checked from my endocrinologist as well as a full neck scan at the same time. A small part of the thyroid nodule was cancerous as well as a few central lymph nodes which were also taken out. I was told that I will not have to take the radioactive iodine pill. I am so thankful to have it out and to be alive! I love this site; it has been so encouraging to hear everyone's success stories.

yeny on August 01, 2009:


it was really a miracle that you are a cancer survivor..

me too i was diagnosed as having thyroid papillary carcinoma..

i had total thyroidectomy..and this coming september is my a bit nervous about it im hoping that everything will turns out well..actually im supposed to work in china as a caregiver but this illness hold me..your article was really hopeful and very inspiring.i t gave as courage to those who will undergo an so glad that you came out and share your bits by bits of are a very beautiful person and a very strong one..i really admire you for that..i thought i was alone in this world having this are right life is too short and this disease thpought me a lot of things..i truly appreciate life now and maybe God has a purpose why this illness came to me..but im hoping and praying that one day i will be also be included in those people who survived from thyroid cancer..thank you so much for your inspiring article and to those people who shared your story.. it really helps a lot..

may God Bless you all..

yeny on August 01, 2009:


it was really a miracle that you are a cancer survivor..

me too i was diagnosed as having thyroid papillary carcinoma..

i had total thyroidectomy..and this coming september is my a bit nervous about it im hoping that everything will turns out well..actually im supposed to work in china as a caregiver but this illness hold me..your article was really hopeful and very inspiring.i t gave as courage to those who will undergo an so glad that you came out and share your bits by bits of are a very beautiful person and a very strong one..i really admire you for that..i thought i was alone in this world having this are right life is too short and this disease thpought me a lot of things..i truly appreciate life now and maybe God has a purpose why this illness came to me..but im hoping and praying that one day i will be also be included in those people who survived from thyroid cancer..thank you so much for your inspiring article and to those people who shared your story.. it really helps a lot..

may God Bless you all..

Ashlee from Ohio on May 01, 2009:

Hello my name is Ashlee, and i had my thyroid taken in may of 07 i was only 17! the lump was cancerous, and i just went back for my routine exam, and they found another lump, that tested positive for cancer. they are very positive. i am 20 now, and i thought i was done. they have to do the thyrogen shots again to see if the lump is dying from my previous radioactive idodine treatment. my one doc. thinks this is very possible. so there is hope if you get it again. there are suvivors out there!

lella on January 30, 2009:

I am 27 from Massachusetts with a very suspicious biopsy. My thyroid will be removed soon. I am thinking of starting some sort of thyroid cancer fundraiser as it's growing so common. I know maybe 6 or 7 women age 26 to 55 who have had thyroid cancer.

Reynolds_Writing (author) from Atlanta, Georgia on December 02, 2008:

Thanks Goldenrod!

goldentoad from Free and running.... on December 01, 2008:

After reading the hub. I had to become your fan.

Tammy on November 30, 2008:

I know that we discussed our both being on thyroid medicine, but I never knew that you were a survivor of thyroid cancer! This is an outstanding article and depicts very clearly what someone will go through from both a "tasky" perspective and an emotional one. Nice job Marci!

Reynolds_Writing (author) from Atlanta, Georgia on November 22, 2008:

Thanks JimLow. You have written some fantastci hubs on Thyroid related disease!

JimLow on November 22, 2008:

Thanks for sharing your story Reynolds-Writing, I found it interesting and inspiring! It's great to hear you're free from the cancer five years now and that's a good indication it will not be returning.

Bless your heart!

victoria winters on November 18, 2008:

I'm so glad to hear that, especially as a young woman who still wants to be seen as pretty, you know?!

Reynolds_Writing (author) from Atlanta, Georgia on November 17, 2008:

To Victoria's comment above.. the scar does heal well after a few years. Today, no-one can even tell I have the scar unless you are looking very closely.. Modern medicine!

victoria winters on November 17, 2008:

I just got diagnosed last week. I'm 32 years old and have a 12 month old at home. I'm in shock, denial, and vasillate between anger, fear, and sorrow.

I hate this!

Would you be willing to email a picture of your scar? I'm freaked out about having a "second smile" and feeling like I'll be a human jigsaw puzzle

Reynolds_Writing (author) from Atlanta, Georgia on November 16, 2008:

Thanks for all these great comments. For those still deaing with thyroid cancer, good luck.

KimMarie Gaye on November 12, 2008:

I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer at the age of 23. I am now 49 years old. One thing to let everyone know is that the science continues to grow towards all sorts of Cancer. I had a thyroidectomy followed by 11 years (not continuous) of Radiation treatments. For all that time, my thyroid checks consisted of going off my thyroid replacement hormone for 6-8 weeks and then a small dose of radiation followed by a full body scan. Now it is a blood test. Stay Positive, enjoy life and don't forget to laugh.

tinyteddy from INDIA on November 12, 2008:

dear sheryl

thx for your query

lingual tonsil is different from lingual thyroid.

tonsil are lymph nodes and if not removed properly will recur

contrary to general opinion it is not due to acid reflux

get your sinuses checked and get a good ent examination done

adult tonsil genrally shrinks

if it recurs something else is a foci of infection

take care

Carrie on November 11, 2008:

Hello from a fellow thyroid cancer survivor. Your story is much like mine. I too was 36 and had my susupicious test come back, thyroid removed Feb. 08 and cancer confirmed. RAI in April 08 followed by isolation. BORING! Now I have more lymph nodes that were detected and came out just 2 weeks ago in October 08. I am having my RAI for the second time next week. This time 150 instead of 100. I am hoping like you I can say I am cancer free in a few months! My TG is down to 4. I am hoping this is it.

Be well, stay well and to everyone don't forget to "Check Your Neck". is a wonderful resource for those newly diagnosed or needing the low iodine cookbook.

Carrie, IL

DebeDee on October 28, 2008:

Hello, fellow thyroid cancer survivor - I'm very happy to meet you!

I was 32 years old and pregnant with my first child when my thyroid cancer was detected.

The medical community told me as well, that my chance of survival was great and they've been right so far.  However, they were wrong about my grandmother who lost her battle with thyroid cancer. 

I wish you well.  I have survived it twice having to go for round two when the cancer was detected in lymph nodes in my neck.  But I have been cancer free for six years now. 

The key to health from my perspective is plenty of water, plenty of exercise, getting rest when you need it, and eating real food - not the edible non-food that fills most supermarket shelves.

Best of Wishes to your future!


Susan Reid from Where Left is Right, CA on October 27, 2008:

Your story is inspiring and extremely practical. You did a great job laying out step by step what happened and how you reacted to your treatments. In short, you demystified the process for others who may be facing it!

I have a "thyroid guy" who regularly gives me thyroid ultrasounds and biopsies. I will never forget attending a client holiday lunch with my neck black and blue from the biopsy and little drips of blood coming out. Lovely!

Luckily my nodules so far are benign. But I'm glad to know about them and have a professional keeping an eye on them for me!

Thank you again for sharing your experience!

morrisonspeaks on October 27, 2008:

Your story inspires me. it's a great thing you survived! When we hear the word cancer, we often think it's deadly. Right now, there is a spread of human papilloma virus found in thyroid which could cause cancer. this virus they say is secreted by the cervix. but because of wrong sex practices, they are spread even up to the the thyroid. i think people should beware of this

Writer Rider on October 27, 2008:

Thanks for posting this blog. It means a lot to me since my doctor also felt a lump in my throat but I'm afraid to have it checked out. Your story gives me a little courage. Did your voice change after the operation by any chance?

Victor Doppelt from San Diego, California on October 26, 2008:

My sister in law was just diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She has has part of her thyroid removed and then the biopsy showed that the cancer had spread to a lymph node, so now she has to go back for more surgery to remove the rest of the thyroid and the surrounding lymph nodes. Then she will have to undergo radiation and chemotherapy. Thanks for the hub; it is great to read a personal story of what it is like to go through this process. It helps me understand what my sister in law must be going through.

sheryl c from canton ohio on October 26, 2008:

Hi that was a great story and very glad your ok today.To Tinyteddy what do you know about the lingual tonsil on the back of tongue I guess a Lymphnode I had a large one removed they said no cancer but has growed back bigger than ever they say it is from acid reflux but I take reflux meds it has messed up my voice and swallowing i just hate to get it removed again because it will probley grow back and painful.Thanks Sheryl

tinyteddy from INDIA on October 26, 2008:

hi there

i am an endocrine surgeon in an endocrine surgery department which is the first one to be started in asia and has completed more than two decades.

papillary cancer of the thyroid is slow growing and i have personally following up more than thoudsands of patients who ad been operated decades ago and they are fit. which means this is one type of cancer where you will live long with minimal suffering

relax and enjoy your life.

i recently operated on a lady 26 years old who declared this to her fiancée and they had got married a few weeks back be assured.

you had been extremely lucky that it was papillary cancer of thyroid. bt do frequent your doctor regularly.

all the best

penny mc on October 25, 2008:


I apologize for not knowing your name, maybe I didn't see where it was written. It is great to read a thyroid cancer story. I personally have not had cancer, but my 15 year old daughter was diagnosed this year with Papillary carcinoma. She had her TT in Feb (08), and RAI in April. We are scheduled for a check up in 2 weeks. I am a little nervous about the visit, but have not expressed my thoughts to my daughter.

I am glad that you shared your story and that you are healthy and happy now.

Penny Mc, mom to Kim

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