Jecklehyde's Journey with Thyroid Cancer

Survivor: Thyroid Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 11 years ago, Female, Age: 60, Stage II

  1. 1
    about 5 years ago
    Jecklehyde's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    I have Thyroid Cancer. I found out after a suspicious FNS (Fine Needle Aspration), in November of 2006. I saw a surgeon a week later and scheduled a partiel thyroidectomy for the beginning of December. Aweek after the surgery, I was told it was cancer and had to go back in the following week for a total thyroidectomy.

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  2. 2
    about 5 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    First surgery was tuff as I did not know what to expect. I could not talk. Felt like a very sore throat. Hard to swallow. I actually went home the following day. Took time to be able to eat solids. Italian ices, soup and ice cream really helped. Back to see surgeon the 1 week after surgery.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  3. 3
    about 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    After the first surgery, I was told it was papillary cancer and had to get the rest of my thyroid removed. Cancer - WOW. I have the big "C". I was so upset and could not stop crying. I think my husband was just as shocked as I was, but needed to take care of me and keep his feelings to himself. I had 2 children in high school and felt I would never see them get married. I just didn't know what to do except that I was having the second surgery the next week.

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  4. 4
    about 5 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    The second surgery was very tuff. The surgeon went into the same cut to reduce another scar. My neck and throat area really swelled. I was so hard to talk and eat. I got out of the hospital on 12/23/06, so Christmas Eve and Christmas Day was one big blur. I needed so much rest. 2 surgeries in 3 weeks was a huge blow to my body.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  5. 5
    about 5 years ago
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    RAI - Radioactive Iodine

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    6 weeks after surgery, I had to have radioactive iodine to kill off any residual thyroid tissue in my body. I had to be on a low iodine diet for 1 month (disguisting!), but I did what I had to do to get rid of the cancer. Most people use thyrogen shots, but my Endocrinologist believed the first time you had to be off synthroid. I was such a slug! I could hardly move. It was so hard getting up every morning, getting on the train and going into Manhattan to work. When I was given the iodine pill, I had to stay away from everyone. I went home because my bedroom had its own bath and my husband would sleep in another bedroom and share a bathroom with the kids. He made my meals, but dropped them at the door for me to pick up. Every night, my 2 kids and hubby would open the door to say hello for a second. My first days were so bad as I got very sick from the pill. No one could comfort me and I had to handle it all by myself. I sucked on lemon drops every hour. To this day, I cannot even look at a lemon drop! The drops were to help clean out your salivary glands. Eventually I got back into circulation. My voice was very horse which they said would go away.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  6. 6
    about 5 years ago
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    No Voice

    Oh No

    To make a long story short, for approximately 2 years I had a very raspy voice and sometimes no voice at all. All the ThyCa Conference in Boston I met a doctor that told me I needed help. I seemed that my vocal chords were nicked during one of the surgeries. (This does happen sometimes since the thyroid is so close to the vocal chords. Has nothing to do with a bad surgeon, it just sometimes happens and of course with my luck, it happened to me.) The doctor at the conference gave me a name of a specialist in Manhattan. He works with correcting vocal chords for opera and theatre singers etc. I did see the specialist and I liked him right away. What they were going to do was put gortex implants next to my vocal chords and in addition, tighten the cartliage around the chords.

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  7. 7
    about 5 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Had the surgery in Manhattan. Surgeon felt it was fine for me to go home the same day. Tuff part of this surgery was that I had to be awake so that they could ask me to talk at certain points for the positioning of the implants and the tightening of the cartliage. Very strange and scary. This was in a teaching hospital, so there were many people. Listening to the doctor talk about what he is doing is not fun. Once he finished, he did put me out (thank heavens) to go back to recovery. I was not allowed to talk for 1 week.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  8. 8
    about 5 years ago
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    Other

    Side Effects

    I am the poster child for side effects from RAI. As you know with the past logs, no voice. My salivary glands did clog so I have no saliva in my mouth. My tear ducts have clogged so I have chronic dry eye.

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  9. 9
    about 5 years ago
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    No voice again!

    Oh No

    About 10 months after the first surgery, I lost my voice! I was so upset. I went back to the surgeon and after an exam, he told me that it looked like the cartliage had loosened. It seemed that the thread used (I guess the same used for stitches) had cut through my cartliage. They needed to go back in and re-tighten. He was going to discuss situation with his colleagues around the world (as there are not many specialists in this field) and then schedule surgery. He told me he had several options he was going in with and would see what happens. He also told me this had never happened before.

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  10. 10
    about 5 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    Back again and awake again. Surgery was longer than expected and every option my doctor went in with didn't work. He finally had to do the same thing he did in the first surgery and went out to see my husband to tell him the surgery had failed. He didn't think the thread would hold. Needles to say, it held one week. I needed at least 6 weeks for my larnyx swelling to go down. Again he would research.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  11. 11
    about 5 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    OK. Once again. I begged him to please put me to sleep. I just didn't think I could take another surgery awake. Since the implants were make of gortex, he had decided to make wide gortex strips to wrap the cartliage. That would be much harder to cut through the cartliage. the third time that I could not talk for a week. (I think that was my husband's favorite times!). All went well. I stayed overnight again and left the next afternoon. I am still talking with a good voice and thank this surgeon every day for giving me the gift of voice back.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  12. 12
    about 5 years ago
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    Survivor

    Celebration

    6 years cancer free. I still have my voice. No saliva in my mouth and clogged tear ducts but I have learned to live with it. After all of the problems I had after RAI, I still think I would not have done anything different. Some schools of thought no longer give the RAI, or take out the thyroid - they just watch and see if it grows. I don't think I could have lived that way. I have a wonderful family that has supported me through all of this and words could never express the love I have for all of my family and friends.

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