Before cancer, I was energized and always optimistic about every little thing (to the point of annoying other people). I have always been known for being very patient with others and being extroverted.
The first thing I noticed after looking back was unexplainable fatigue. I was just constantly tired and felt off. I was fairly irritable and didn’t know why and felt myself becoming more and more negative. I happened to be going in for a physical with a new doctor, so I mentioned these things that were just little random instances that I thought were really nothing to even talk much about, much less worry about.
My doctor pushed and felt in all the normal, uncomfortable places. When she felt my neck, she said I should go get an ultrasound. After noticing there was a “nodule” my doctor referred me to an endocrinologist. He was amazing and is still my doctor to this day.
The endocrinologist said that the nodules that concern him are 3cm and mine was only 1.7cm, but he was concerned because the benign ones normally show up in people that are much older. He scheduled a biopsy. I was super hesitant about the biopsy, but my doctor explained that it would be the best option just to be sure there was nothing wrong.
When the biopsy was over, I walked out crying, but was still hopeful for good results. A week later, my doctor called and said that it was cancerous. From there, I asked my dad for help and I ended up with the chief of endocrine surgery at a local research hospital in Boston. I felt like I was in the best hands possible. Surgery was scheduled. I was hopeful and eager to get everything over with.
I was so incredibly lucky because thyroid cancer is slow growing and I caught it extremely early. The doctor took out eight lymph nodes and all were totally clear. Now all I have to do is take a pill once a day and get an ultrasound every 6 months.
I urge EVERYONE to get things checked every so often even if you don’t think there is anything wrong. After this experience, I have looked back and noticed how many health concerns I have overlooked and just brushed off because I didn’t feel like going to the doctor or I was worried about paying for a bunch of doctors’ appointments.
The one thing I have always told myself and will continue to tell myself is that it may be frustrating or annoying or feel tedious, but if you don’t do it and there’s even a slight possibility of a serious medical problem, you may not have a life to take care of!
Because I stayed on top of things and took my health concerns into my own hands, I look back and know that my life could have been much different if I hadn’t gone to my physical, or hadn’t gone to get the ultrasound or said no to the biopsy. I truly believe my life would have been much different if I hadn’t caught cancer early.
- unexplained fatigue