My Journey Through Thyroid Cancer
My journey begins with an ordinary visit to my doctor's office on March 7. I had been feeling stuffed up and congested and decided it was time for a visit to the doctor since my over the counter meds were not help. Plus, I felt like there was something stuck in my throat and constantly felt like I had to clear it. Sometimes, it felt like things were getting stuck.
My very capable doctor did her usual exam of nose, ears, listening for my heart and then she felt around my neck and asked if I had ever been told I have a thyroid nodule. My reply "no, and what is a thyroid nodule"? She was great to explain that many times we (especially women) develop nodules in our thyroid and that most times it was nothing to worry about. In doing her do diligence, she referred me to an endocrinologist.
I did two things that day. I thanked God that she found something that no one else had ever found and I started doing my own "Google Research" to find out more about thyroid nodules and what it all meant.
Before I get started with all of that, let me explain a little about my background. I was diagnosed over 20 years ago with hypothyroidism by my gynecologist. She was this delightful woman from India who just seemed to understand female hormones. That was when I was around 45 and I was so grateful to finally figure out why I was so tired all the time and why I couldn't shed weight no matter what diet I tried. She put my on a thyroid medication and within about 3 months, my energy level was much better and I had shed 20 pounds. It was truly a blessing to me but there was so much I didn't know that I didn't know at that time. And, so much that even doctors didn't know they didn't know about our amazing endocrine system. Over the past 20 years, I have had multiple doctors including a homeopathic doctor and worked with a nutritionist (the best thing I ever did for myself) to try and find out why I was hypothyroid and what else (other than drugs) could be done about it. In all my searching, I was once never told I had Hashimotos disease. Let me quote the Mayo Clinic in telling you what this is. "Hashimoto's disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck below your Adam's apple. The thyroid gland is part of your endocrine system, which produces hormones that coordinate many of your body's functions.Inflammation from Hashimoto's disease, also known as chronic lymphocytic thyroiditis, often leads to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). Hashimoto's disease is the most common cause of hypothyroidism in the United States. It primarily affects middle-aged women but also can occur in men and women of any age and in children."
Well, that would have been good to know...more about that later.
Back to my "Google Research". I read everything I could find about thyroid nodules and found out that they are pretty common...even more than most people know. Based on what I read, most nodules are benign and there is nothing to do but keep an eye on the nodule to see if it grows. As you can imagine, I was sent for a ultrasound of my thyroid on March 9. To read more, see the next blog.