kschmitz's Journey with Follicular Variant (also called Mixed...

Patient: Thyroid Cancer > Papillary Carcinoma > Follicular Variant (also called Mixed Papillary-Follicular Variant)

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 6 years ago, Female, Age: 42

  1. 1
    • kschmitz
    • Experience with Follicular Variant (a...
    about 3 years ago
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    Misdiagnosed

    Oh No

    I was told I had cancer on February 11th, 2011 by my family physician after going in to see her for bronchitis. She had felt a lump in my throat and asked me how long that had been there... Of course, I had no idea- but she sent me on for an ultrasound and biopsy. She called three days later and over the phone as I was walking in to pick up my three year old daughter from preschool- was told I had cancer. I am lucky enough to live about an hour away from the Mayo Clinic so spent a day down there going through all of their tests only to be told it was a benign tumor- but I just had a gut feeling that it was not a good thing and went ahead with a total thyroidectomy only to find out it really was cancer.

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  2. 2
    • kschmitz
    • Experience with Follicular Variant (a...
    about 3 years ago
    kschmitz's Avatar

    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    The surgery itself went well, (and I was ordering products from infomercials that evening in the middle of the night from my hospital bed- not a good idea!!) but they nicked my parathyroids to I spent the next several days unable to use my "claw hands". The hardest part with the slow decline in what I was able to do for myself and my three young kids leading up to the Radioactive Iodine Treatment and having no thyroid hormones. I've never been so tired, emotional, hungry, cold or achey in my life.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  3. 3
    • kschmitz
    • Experience with Follicular Variant (a...
    about 3 years ago
    kschmitz's Avatar

    Radioactive Iodine Therapy

    Radiation

    I was so tired after being without any thyroid hormones in my system for the previous 6 weeks that I actually welcomed 4 days away from my young family to rest and sleep. I was slightly nauseous throughout those 4 days, but did not have a lot of pain from this. I remember I had this on the Thursday before the big royal wedding of Kate and William and there was coverage 24/7 so I watched every detail of that! :)

    Painless Experience: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  4. 4
    • kschmitz
    • Experience with Follicular Variant (a...
    about 3 years ago
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    Relationship

    Loss

    I found out that my husband had an affair during the time I was going through cancer and even though I wanted to work things out, he did not.

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  5. 5
    • kschmitz
    • Experience with Follicular Variant (a...
    about 3 years ago
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    Live my life full of bitterness, or turn it around

    Decision Point

    I was very angry at cancer and all it had done "to me" for two years. I was it's victim, and felt powerless over the wrath that it had taken on my life. I had very distinct memories of my well-meaning husband telling the kids as they laughed and played outside my bedroom door to "quiet down- Mommy is sick and needs to rest", of missing school functions and sporting events because I was sleeping 22 hours a day. I remember it as a very dark time in my life both literally- all my memories are in my bedroom with the shades drawn in the middle of the day while I distantly heard the voices of my three young children weave in and out of my dreams, and figuratively as I cut myself off from everyone who could not relate to what I was going through. I had to take a leave of absence from my work and my marriage suffered from the stress that it put on both of us to the point where my husband had an affair. He never intended to tell me about it, but I found out by accident shortly before my one-year cancerversary. I hated cancer for all it did to me and my family. And yet, with some distance and lots and lots of prayer and determination I have decided to make the rest of my life the best of my life. This is a continual work in progress, but I know that I was given the experience of cancer so that I can help other women going through the same things- to know that they are not alone, to give them hope and empowerment, to give them knowledge and education on the simple diet and lifestyle changes they can make to decrease their stress, increase their energy and send their cancer cells running for the door. I have started www.bravecancermoms.com and believe with all my heart that it is my life's purpose and I will do all I can for the rest of my days to be there for others who are dealing with cancer to know that they are not alone and that there really IS so much that they can do to fight back.

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  6. 6
    • kschmitz
    • Experience with Follicular Variant (a...
    about 3 years ago
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    Remission

    Celebration

    My cancer is now in remission- woo hoo!!!!

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