Friday, April 20, 2012

Trust your Gut!!!

Cancer. It’s a word that no one wants to hear. A couple weeks ago I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It has been an interesting adventure to say the least. I feel like I haven’t really had time to process the whole thing yet, which honestly is probably a good thing. So here is my timeline of events----about a month ago I saw the ENT about a lump in my throat (swollen thyroid---aka Goiter), she sent me for blood work and an ultrasound with follow up in a week, next appointment I had a Fine Needle Aspiration done (they stick a needle into your goiter about 6 times to get samples of the tissue) with follow up in a week, then at follow up from my FNA we scheduled surgery.  I had surgery on Wednesday April 18, I had my drain removed on Thursday, and today I just have to have my calcium levels checked. The doctor removed my entire thyroid, as well as a few lymph nodes. Pathology will be back in about a week on those. I am praying that they come back negative. I have to have a neck scan done to see if there is any signs of cancer anywhere else (not sure when this will take place). I also have to complete a radioactive iodine treatment sometime in the next 6-8 weeks. I will be spending a weekend at a hotel for this since I have to be away from my kids, well all kids actually, while I am radioactive.

I had a feeling that I had something going on that was more than what met the eye. The trick is finding a physician who listens to your symptoms and show compassion for what you are going through. Here are some of the symptoms that I was having:

  • Fatigue---- even if I just slept 8 hours
  • Weakness in legs
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Coarse, dry hair and dry skin
  • Hair loss
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss
  • Abnormal menstrual cycles----like every other week
  • Decreased libido
  • Ear aches that were not from infections
  • Goiter
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Panic attacks
Just to name a few. Anyways, I was seeing a family physician who was treating some of these symptoms as if it were unrelated to one another. I had a hunch that something else was going on so I tried to make an appointment for an endocrinologist, but you need a physician to refer you to get an appointment. So I went to the ENT instead, and I am happy that it ended up this way honestly. Who better to remove neck cancer than an ENT. Anyways, the moral of this story is ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT!!!!! No one knows you better than YOU! If you have a goiter and want to see a good doctor let me know and I will give you the name of my surgeon.


  1. Thank you for sharing this, Jenny! I am praying for a speedy recovery and negative results!!

  2. Hi Jenny,

    I hope you are feeling better these days!

    I have seen Dr. Slack (at the same office as Dr. Richards), and just today had my pre-surgery appt. with Dr. Punger. I am scheduled for a full thyroidectomy on 9/24 (less than 2 weeks) but Dr. Punger shared your blog with me and thought you might be open to chatting with me about it.

    Would you mind e-mailing me at so I could share a couple questions with you? I know you are so busy but I would really, really love to get some insight from you.

    PS- Your blog is fantastic! :) What a beautiful family.

    Thank you so much!!

  3. I see dr Richards but I think everyone in that office is great. Slack is also a plastic surgeon so you will likely have very minimal scarring :-)