Emily is a chiropractor, and was diagnosed in 2013 with a follicular variant of papillary thyroid cancer.
What surprised you the most? What was most frustrating?
Once I was diagnosed I was most surprised by how common thyroid cancer is in young healthy women and that we don’t know the cause. For me, the wait times for surgery were the most frustrating. I also found many people’s comments of “it’s the good kind of cancer” incredibly insensitive! My main concerns were if I would survive this to be there for my young kids, if the treatments offered would be effective and if the cancer had spread.
What helped you the most?
I found daily exercise, yoga, meditation, juicing, supplements, sleep and the support from my close friends and family were the most helpful. One friend told me “Cancer picked the wrong chick to mess with”. It really made me feel better! I really wish I had known how utterly exhausted you are being hypothyroid after surgery, as well as the thinning hair, cycle and mood changes, etc. It took six months for me until it was corrected. Also, I found that learning everything I could so I could ask the right questions of my healthcare providers put me more at ease. Knowledge truly is power.
The biggest lessons I learned through this is that I am stronger that I ever thought I was and that you have to fill up your own glass first or you will have nothing left to give to anyone else. Being a mom, wife, and healthcare provider myself I tend to give a lot, but thyroid cancer forced me to start taking care of me.