They say that thyroid cancer is a ‘good’ cancer. Well, my reply to that would be whoever stated this has never been diagnosed with the disease!
By the time I was diagnosed in June 2005 the cancer was at stage 4 and had already spread into the surrounding lymph nodes of the neck and into the lungs. During the initial thyroidectomy surgery one vocal cord was permanently paralysed, leaving me with a distinctly croaky voice. Granted, the lung nodules do not grow as long as they are suppressed with enough thyroxine, but it took a left sided neck dissection and three doses of radioactive iodine to halt the spread of the disease. In 2014 it came back again after a 7 year hiatus, requiring me to undergo a right-sided neck dissection and a fourth dose of radioactive iodine. I then needed two DCR operations on my eyes to unblock the tear ducts, which had been narrowed by the radiation. This narrowing caused frequent bouts of conjunctivitis and sore, watery eyes.
I’m the sort of person who tries to look on the bright side of life. After my right-sided neck dissection two years ago my voice was damaged even further, but nobody could suggest why. I was told I could have a procedure to strengthen my voice, but that it might leave me permanently short of breath. I decided not to go ahead!
I took early retirement from my job as a medical secretary because I had next to no voice, and began a new career at home as an author of women’s fiction. I had always wanted to write novels from a young age, and thyroid cancer gave me a chance to do just that. I’ve written 8 novels, 4 novellas, and 18 short stories under a pseudonym. My voice became slightly better about a year later, but I decided to stick to writing stories, a job I love. I’ve won three awards for my fiction, and as of November 2016 I have been in remission for nearly 2 years.
Do you think thyroid cancer is a good cancer?