Goodbye butterfly: 5 years

๐’ข๐‘œ๐‘œ๐’น๐’ท๐“Ž๐‘’ ๐’ท๐“Š๐“‰๐“‰๐‘’๐“‡๐’ป๐“๐“Ž 5 years ago today my life changed forever. I had my thyroid, a parathyroid, and 10 lymphnodes removed due to cancer. Shortly after my surgery I received my first dose of radioactive iodine. Nothing could have prepared me (or anyone for that matter) at such a young age to undergo the surgery and treatments. The past five years I spend hours upon hours getting lab work, ultrasounds, biopsyโ€™s, injections, CT scans, and radioactive iodine treatments.

My doctors did not prepare me that the battle would be far from over after they removed my thyroid. They failed to tell me how sick I would feel for years, the struggle I would have with my weight, and lack of energy. They didnโ€™t mention as they balanced my hormone levels with medication I would become depressed, fatigued, I would have skin issues, my hair would thin out and never feel the same again. I didnโ€™t realize that removing one small little butterfly shaped gland could wreak so much havoc on my entire body. I thought my one little thyroid pill (that I will have to take for the rest of my life) would just substitute what I had lost, but It didnโ€™t. My body rejected my thyroid medicine multiple times and swung me into hypothyroidism leaving me wondering what feeling normal even meant anymore. Even though it was hard and I wanted to give up so many times, I just kept pushing through and staying positive. I had my fair share of ups and downs but eventually I have always found my way back into the light. I decided to share what I went through in hopes of inspiring someone and remind them that they are not alone. I also share the truth about thyroid cancer on educating others about the challenges thyroid cancer patients are faced with. Even though itโ€™s been five years I still suffer from extreme fatigue and staying in shape is a constant battle. The lab tests and ultrasounds that I still undergo have become a part of my new norm. It is as much a mental battle as it is physical & have to remind myself that I need to listen to my body and there are going to be days that I am not OK and that is fine. I am thankful for my life and that I am still here to live it.

(Note: My doctors at the City Of Hope did amazing job with my surgery and treatments and I am thankful for that. I do however feel that there was a huge under misrepresentation of the challenges I would be facing after my thyroidectomy. The purpose of this post was to educate awareness about the challenges thyroid cancer survivors face because it is a common misconception that our battle is over after we have been declared cancer free)

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