Just found out on Monday that I have thyroid cancer. Right now the plan looks to be total removal of the thyroid, some radioactive iodine then start playing "find the perfect cocktail" of hormones/drugs with an endocrinologist..Not freaking about the " C" word..but the horror stories of weight gains of up to 50 lbs and Drs not listening or being willing to try different drugs. If anyone has any good links or advice on that end..starting with finding a great endocrinologist..please pm or email them to me...and once I get through this ..I am thinking of treating myself to a D4 lol
I so sorry to hear about your cancer. It is never fun to hear that word.
I didn't have thyroid cancer, but I did have throat cancer (over 13 years ago). The radiation treatments did do some damage to my thyroid and I needed medication to get the thyroid levels back to a normal level but, for me, the process was pretty simple and with virtually no side effects. The doctor started me on a small-to-medium level of medicine to supplement what my thyroid was producing and then had me do fairly frequent blood tests for the thyroid level. It turned out that the first dosage suggested was accurate enough that I continued to use it for several years. I would still get blood tests at least each 6 months or so, and after a few years the doctor did increase the dosage slightly, and it has been at that level for the past 2 or 3 years.
Note that most people get an "artificial" thyroid medicine and do perfectly well (as I do), but my wife also had thyroid damage and they found that the artificial thyroid reacted badly with her system - they had to prescribe natural thyroid for her.
I had thyroid cancer. I had half my thyroid removed and have been monitored ever since on the other half (but so far seems fine)
the first thing my doc said to me was "This is the Rolls Royce of cancers.. every conference that we attend they ask us ,'which cancer would you choose to have if you had to' and the answer is always "thyroid"." The reasons are because it's completely curable and doesn't involve chemo and doesn't impact on the lifestyle.
which was comforting to a point.
The part of my thyroid that remains is covering for the other half nicely atm, so I don't have to deal with the medication, sorry I can't help you there. But if you are not happy with your doctor/specialist then please change and/or ask lots of questions.
And you'll have a cool scar.
All the best for it.. I know how scary it is to have needles jammed into your throat and to wonder 'what now' but you are smart and strong and this is not a glitch, just a bump in the road (or throat.. as the case may be ) .
Fri 19-Jul-13 02:14 AM | edited Fri 19-Jul-13 02:18 AM by Dallaspilot
Sheri -- ome years ago, I was having some troubles and a client encouraged me to go to the Mayo Clinic. They are master diagnosticians and the trip was well worth while. There are other great places, too, but you may want to get a second opinion for something this serious.
Sheri, Sorry to read your news. I have no close experience of the 'C' side of thyroid, but the 'C' does not need to be an end to things. My wife had a malignant melanoma 21 years ago. Every now the then we have a different scare but they turn out to be just that, scares. My reason for writing is that our daughter has thyroid (and other) problems and we know how tricky it is to get the treatment right. Make sure you have faith in your specialist and that they are approachable. You will need to monitor the dosage and it will likely need to change from time to time. If things do not feel right, you are gaining weight, losing weight or just not feeling right, the dosage or prescription is likely not right so get it sorted. Above all keep being you and that will be your greatest help.
I am sorry to hear about you health problem. But it sounds like you have something that is treatable.
About 12 years ago, my wife developed a very aggressive form of breast cancer (actually, 2 types at once). She when through lots of treatment, but the main thing that got her through was her attitude that it wasn't going to beat her. She dealt with the treatments, kept her life as normal as possible, and kept planning for the future. Late last year was her 10th anniversary of being cancer free, and her doctor told her she never expected to see her again except at cocktail parties.
So, you find good medical help is available in most places, but what's in your head will make the big difference. What lenses are you going to get with the D4?
Sheri, I have no experience at all with this type of cancer, so no words of wisdom to offer. But you have a great spirit, a positive attitude, and a lot of perseverance. Those are incredible assets that will get you through a lot.
You will be in my prayers.
working on it in Middle TN Nikon D3100
35 mm 1.8 Nikkor 18-55 mm Nikkor VR 55-200 mm Nikkor VR 55-300 mm Nikkor VR 150-500 mm Sigma OS MeFoto Road Trip w/Q1 ballhead Feisol CT3471 & Markins M20 ballhead
Sat 20-Jul-13 10:19 AM | edited Sat 20-Jul-13 10:20 AM by Cavy2
Hi Sheri, Luckily, I have no experience with cancer, but my thyroid slowly stopped working about seven years ago. It took about six months to find the correct dosage of meds. It was a fairly easy process, and have never had any side effects/ weight gain. Med dosage has been consistent for the past five years, with no adjustment needed.
Sheri, you will be in my prayers. Please let us know how everything is progressing. Get out there and take pictures, it's a great de-stressor.
You can chat with others who have direct experience, share information and news, and there are medical professionals contributing also, for more "official" advice.
I had a hip replacement in 2008 and a specialty support forum, which I still post on occasionally when someone needs a good outcome story to encourage them It was very helpful to me and convinced me to finally get it done. Good luck! Stan St Petersburg Russia
Hi Sheri, Looking forward to your D4 pics! My experience is a 'lifetime' ago so no suggestions but, stay positive and of good cheer, follow directions and you'll be fine. Will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. (And, don't forget the pics!) stan
Sorry to hear of your diagnosis. On the positive side, my brother-in-law was diagnosed and he's now cancer free after surgery and radiation treatment. I've sent your note to him and I'm sure that he'll give me permission to give you his contact info - there's nothing like chatting with someone that's been down the road already.
Should you desire to chat with someone that has gone through thyroid cancer please feel free to contact my brother-in-law, Tom Young, firstname.lastname@example.org. Tom has been through the surgery, radiation, etc. Tom would be happy to talk with you, compare notes, talk about his experience at Northwestern University Hospital - Chicago, etc.
Sheri, while not familiar with your type of cancer, I am a 13-year cancer survivor (Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma). I am so sorry for your diagnosis, but hope you will find the strength, support, and humor to fight it and win. An internet search will turn up a lot of information but be sure to read many articles and hear many opinions. There's a lot of conflicting information out there. Regarding doctors, I don't know if they don't listen, but be sure to "get them talking" and don't be afraid to ask questions and bring up anything and everything you hear. The more involved and knowledgeable you are, the more they will respond to your specific concerns and needs. It's working so far for me.
One thing I've learned through my own battle with cancer is that life is short and precious. You have to enjoy things now and live life to the fullest. If you need a D4, I say go for it!
I have no idea how the health system in the US works, but I can tell you few general things that might become useful to you.
1. Heck, get that D4! 2. On a more serious note, hormone replacement is not the first thing you are going to need. 3. Treating you is a stepwise team effort. 4. Assuming you had a tissue diagnosis, based on the definitive 'C' word you used, next specialist you need is a surgeon who can take your thyroid out. 5. Then you need a radiation oncologist for radioactive iodine treatment. 6. After surgery you'll have to go on thyroid hormone - depening on your healthcare system your primary care physician/GP will hopefully be able to that with a bit of guidance from the oncologist if required. 7. Be careful when browsing the internet for information - as you and I both know it is a jungle. 8.Doctor shopping and changing teams in general does more harm than good. 9.Find a good team and stick to that mob (pun intended!) 10. Always use your GP/Primary care physician as the primary source of general advice - I hope you have a good one you actually like!
Good luck, and may the strength be with you!
Edited to add.. Dan's last sentence is pure gold ... please read it over and over again .... I will elaborate later as you go on fighting your battle!
Two of my 3 sisters have had cancer of the thyroid and a male cousin. They were all treated very successfully and it is my understanding that thyroid cancer is one of the few cancers that has almost a 100% rate of treatment. I am recovering from a few rounds with cancer treatment and I treated myself during recovery to a D800. Now that was a great drug. My family found the thyroid treatment relatively straightforward and didn't experience the difficulties you mention.
Thanks to everyone who responded here and by email. I really am not concerned about the cancer part ( My mother on the other hand is..although I think she may be starting to take a cue from me and just go with the flow) I just had my consult with my surgeon. Surgery is Sept 5th ( I wanted to wait until after Labor Day, as it is a mental thing about summer being over..being cooler..Watch it hot 100 again lol) I like my surgeon.so..so far so good. He said as long as I promise to not over do it I can probably be back to work to some extent in 2-3 days post op. I already have a lackie..uhh.. the boyfriend.. lined up to do some of the heavier stuff and others to pitch in as needed so I forsee myself being back on the mower within a week of surgery :-P
As far as the D4...probably NOT going to go that far I am probably going to be among the unemployed withiin the next year so maybe I should just tighten those purse strings..although the Boss man did leave me a little something in his will...and I already have some decent glass... wheels are turning We will see....
My wife is a cancer survivor for 15 years, and remains cancer free. I'm a diabetic of 50 years and remain free of complications. I suggest looking upon your medical team as working for you and not you for them. That being said, you may find yourself having to act as your advocate insisting on the best.
We shall both keep you in our thoughts. The only other suggestion that I can make is put that D4, D4s, or D4x back in front you.
It's important to have that someone, whether it be a significant other, friend, or family member that will be there for you to lean on. After my last post, I remembered what the judge that married Sue and I had to say about marriage: "It will double your joy and halve your pain." And that someone, whomever that someone may be, must have the courage to look you straight in the eye and tell you quietly when, to quote Neil Young, "...you're pissin' in the wind."
You have hundreds maybe thousands of cyber friends on these forums pulling for you. For me, I want to see a photo of you holding that D4, D4s, or D4x and smiling.
I haven't had cancer of the thyroid, but I do have thyroid disease. I was diagnosed many years ago with hyperthyroidism. Treatment was radioactive iodine to kill off a portion of the thyroid. I now take a daily supplement, and it's pretty routine. I have experienced weight gain, even though doctors all agree that my thyroid levels are now perfectly normal, but it's not excessive. As health problems go, I've lived with this one for 30 years or so, and it hasn't altered my lifestyle much at all. I sincerely hope that your outcome is similar.
Having read a lot..it seems the trick is to find a Dr thatvtreats on symptoms not JUST lab levels..andvlooks at other levels, not just TSH. I appreciate all the responses.. For now, I am just trying to get things caught up on the farm and making contact with the hospital to set up pre surgery bloodwork ..Sept 5th is going to be here before I know it..
You are so very right, lab levels are for labs they may well not be right for any specific person. You will need a Dr who will ensure that you get the level right for you. May good fortune attend you, I am sure that with the right team on your side it will. Just take care round and about on the farm, that can be a more dangerous place to be. Richard
I had hyperthyroidism, then I131 treatment, then hypothyroidism nearly 36 years ago. The adjustment can be as much mentally as physical.
Eat a balanced food plan very day, get your exercise, take your medication the same time every day, evening or night - but do not switch once you start. The Dr will explain why, and normally they say in the morning. But for some I know that just seems to be impossible for them so they take it at night despite because they can remain consistent.
Levothyroxin is now the most often prescribed medication. It takes about a month for levels to even out after changing doses. It may take 6 months to find a level that is suitable for you. You should see results for T3, T4 and TSH levels. Have an Edndocrinologist explain this to you - not all Doctors know or understand.
If you do not feel comfortable with what you are taking, tell the doctor and make sure to keep notes of the lab results. The may help you and the Dr. pinpoint the doses you should be taking.
The "normal" range today is far better than what was the standard just 10 years ago. However I can tell if my levels change within the "normal" range. Most people seem to be just fine anywhere in this "normal range" but I do best at the lower end of the range. MY Dr. is truyly amazed at this, but I've delat with it for long time.
You should have a doctor that works with you on this. If not find another.
When I got my radiation treatment the Doctor told me hypothyroidism is one best diseases to have, a pill a day and I should be fine. I sure didn't feel that way for a long time - but he was right.
Sheri, I'm so sorry to hear of the diagnosis. Please stay positive, it really does help with recovery - that D4 at the end of the road is a great incentive!
One of my coworkers is recovering from bladder cancer. Always jovial and in good spirits, it was at times difficult to stay positive and in a fleeting moment of dispair, he would laugh out loud and say "Well F-U very much, Mr. Cancer. This beats the alternative." Now retired, he's waiting for his wife to retire; he's been working on her honey do list.