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    Thyroid cancer, how did you survive?

    Asked by WhatNextEmails on Monday, March 11, 2013

    Thyroid cancer, how did you survive?

    We need your help. This month we are putting together a collection of articles for those newly diagnosed on what actions survivors took to beat their specific type of cancer. Please take a few minutes to share your experiences and advice for those newly diagnosed, and your posts might just get included in our articles. Feel free to share whatever comes to mind. Here are some more specific questions to help get the juices going: What kind of support did you have? Were there things you did that really made a difference? How do you go about finding your medical care team? Who made up your team? What resources did you find that were most helpful to you?

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • SMT4's Avatar

      I will start at the top of the list. The support system I had in place was family, friends, therapist, and a great medical team, and Whatnext.com just around that time was becoming known so that consisted of my support system.
      What I did during my treatment that really made a difference is recruiting people to help in areas where I may not have time such as research of the type of cancer, methods of treatment, alternative treatments, supplementation and physical and emotional health tools to stay healthy during treatment. The focus was not settling on one answer but asking until I understood what was going on, and what the benefits and risks were to me as the person not just a patient. Asking the doctors to clarify all the information that really made a difference so that I would know what the info and process was, even if I didn't fully understand how it all scientifically worked.
      I found my medical care team by taking a proactive approach and finding the right hospital for me. I researched many hospitals and luckily I was able to be in a city where we have one of the best cancer research hospitals available; City of Hope. From there the hospital offered therapists, nutritionists, physical therapists, and doctors to meet the needs of me the person not just a patient with a disease.
      The individuals that made up my care team were the ENT surgeon, endocrinologist, radiologist, nutritionist, and physical therapist.
      The resources that were most helpful were and are Whatnext.com, ACS, City of Hope Research Library and Patient Classes, and Thyca.org,

      over 4 years ago
    • bavin's Avatar

      It is important to not give up or feel hopeless at any point in treatment. The mindset of beating the disease is always first. Even when my doctors did not know what to do or how to handle it, instead of worrying, I found other doctors that were more capable. There is great variation throughout the medial community on correct ways for radioactive iodine treatment. Read and know our information, and ask questions! It saved me from having to go through some things that would have been very harmful for my body as a pediatric patient when they tried to treat me as an adult. Sometimes the patient is so overwhelmed themselves they can't clearly think to ask questions. Find a friend or family member that can be assertive clear minded and ask questions. Thyca.org is a very valuable resource to use through treatment. Knowing that I had the support of my friends and family was very important.

      over 4 years ago
    • leannemas' Avatar

      When I first found out my only thought was I need to beat this. I didn't have a really good support system initially cause everyone was too shocked and my family lives in a different country, but I feel blessed for my friends and cousin who were constantly there for me.

      My doctor was great and he suggested all the next steps. I did some research online but there was too much information and not sure if everything was accurate.

      But the biggest factor was mental strength and the will to fight . I found that never second guessing yourself and having a positive attitude can do wonders. Its OK to cry and complain but never doubt that you can get better.

      ResourcesI used http://papillarythyroidcancerguide.com/, www.thyca.org, mayoclinic .com .What'sNext.com has been great, the ability to hear story from people going through same thing was help pacify me that i'm not alone.

      over 4 years ago
    • hiho's Avatar

      I believe that to really survive you must listen to your body. Even though I had several "negative" tests to begin with, I knew something was out of place. I kept returning to my GP. Lucky enough she did listen to me and helped me take the next step. She sent me to a surgeon that specialized in thyroid surgery and treatment. He fortunately believed me and did the correct tests to discover the cancer. Immediate surgery and adjuvant treatment was scheduled. I also had an endocrinologist that took insisted I take off work for 4 months for my surgery and to go hypo enough for RAI.The most important part of my treatment though was the full support and help from my family without whom I could not have made this journey in one piece (so to speak haha), especially my wonderful husband. He has picked up the pieces more than once and took care of my responsibilities around home so I could rest. Actually he is still doing this because I have been left with some lingering illnesses and still need his help daily. I also have great colleagues at work that inform me every few months that I am included on their prayer chain. How special that makes me feel. I recently decided that I was uncomfortable with the continuing treatment and decided to go to a major medical community for a check up. I was so glad I did. It came to light that my cancer was of a type that is more aggressive than what was originally thought. what this means to me is that now I have a chance to possibly catch it before it gets out of hand where before hand I may not have paid enough attention. Educate yourself and ask questions.

      over 4 years ago

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