Another update on the Cancer Clan. My Aunt Gracie (a non-member) is getting biopsies done of nodules in her thyroid on Monday. From what I recall, she has a goiter, but her endocrinologist (same as my mom, sister, aunt, and cousin) decided she should have biopsies just to check. If any of this information is faulty, I'll change it immediately.
So, we'll see how that goes. I'll keep you folks posted.
I was looking through my Cancer Timeline, as I call it, recently. Today, I decided to glance through to see if there are any significant dates in September. I stopped around September, and I found this:
September 19, 2007 -- Thyroglobulin results betray that there may be more cancer.
I feel kind of sad that I didn't see this until today. This post would have been much more effective yesterday, but ah well. At any rate, here are my thoughts about this.
The back story to this event is that I had my usual scan on September 5 along with bloodwork. My endocrinologist gave me scan results immediately following each time I had one, so I always had instant results. This was after my second round of radioactive iodine (RAI), so I was really hoping and praying that this scan would show up clear. When my endo came out and gave me the thumbs up sign, I cried harder than I ever have. Seth (my then-boyfriend) was with me as were my mother and sister. It was so surreal for me; it seemed like a beautiful dream. I truly didn't want to wake up.
The next week, I had been talking to my sister as she was taking me to school one day. I said, "This just feels too good to be true." She told me not to jinx it. Well, I think I had, truth be told.
When I got the call from my endocrinologist stating that my levels were high, I was very confused. I thought that scans were completely accurate. How could I still have cancer? How could the scan betray me? Where was it, then? And why wasn't it showing up on my scan?
To make a long story short (I'll elaborate later on, when I go through the rest of the story later on in the week), I still had cancer in my body. It wasn't showing up on the nuclear scan because it didn't pick up any RAI. It was what my endocrinologist calls "radio-resistant" thyroid cancer tissues. These don't respond to treatment. The only other real treatment there is is surgery. And, that's what had to happen on November 29, 2007.
The point I'm trying to make here, ladies and gents, is that thyroid cancer is a bit more difficult than we all may think. Sure, it's a better one to have than breast cancer or lung cancer, but it's still a pain in the butt cancer. Every cancer is, to be honest.
I learned a valuable lesson when this scan came through. I learned that you cannot rely on just one source of information. Folks, get ultrasounds. Get bloodwork. Get scans. Do everything it takes to get accurate results. Get multiple opinions if you feel you must. Honestly, it makes a world of difference.
I know so many cancer patients who were misdiagnosed or mistreated because they were not given the right diagnosis or given the proper treatment they needed in order to combat their disease. By the time their cancer was found and treated, they were in Stages III or IV. Don't let yourself get that far. Check your body. Know what feels right and what doesn't.
As always, I wish you all love, happiness, and -- most importantly -- good health.
Like Daughter, Like Mother: Our Thyroid Cancer Journey
Behind the Blog
Adelina is a full-time wife, mother, practice manager, and medical transcriptionist. After receiving an ultrasound and countless biopsies, she was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer on December 11, 2009. She successfully underwent surgery on December 29, 2009, and had her first radioactive iodine treatment in February 2010. Following treatment, Adelina now sees her doctor once a year for follow-up. She has been doing well, and refuses to let cancer slow her down.
Dori is 26 years old. She was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer at the age of 17 on June 1, 2006, just three days prior to her high school graduation. Dori endured two radioactive iodine treatments and two surgeries to remove her complete thyroid and 39 total lymph nodes from her neck. She is now under close watch by her doctors, and only time will tell if the cancer stays at bay.