Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bringing Sexy Out of the Thyloset: A Dear Thyroid Blog Tour

Since I have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer in July 2008, I connected with an awesome community of folks at “Dear Thyroid”. As part of Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, the good folks there have put together a Blog Tour highlighting those of us who have the magic combination of thyroid cancer and a blog about it. Thanks for the opportunity, Dear Thyroid!

The questions Dear Thyroid has asked and my answers below:

What kind of thyroid cancer were you diagnosed with? How many years have you been a survivor?

Papillary carcinoma with positive lymph nodes diagnosed July 2008 with surgery and radioactive treatment. Recurrence January 2009 with surgery only.

September is thyroid cancer awareness month. What does that mean to you? Why do you think awareness is important? How do you spread awareness?

For me, it means share my story so I can raise awareness about thyroid cancer. I like for people to notice the scar on my neck and ask about it. I want to tell folks about how I had no idea I had any sort of thyroid issues (I barely know what a thyroid was!) until my physician during a regular physical examination said, “Hey, what’s this?” to the lumps on my neck. Check your neck, folks!

Many thyroid cancer patients have been told, “If you have to get cancer, thyroid cancer is the one to get.” What do you think of that statement? When you’re told this, how do you respond?

Ah, this has been one of my pet peeves since being diagnosed, that thyroid cancer is the best cancer to have. No cancer is good cancer. Thyroid cancer is not easy by any means.

This isn’t a contest of who has a “worse” cancer diagnosis. We are a community of not only thyroid cancer survivors but cancer survivors. Everyone’s experience is unique, and we should respect that.

Dear Thyroid is constantly working to dispel the myth that thyroid cancer is the good cancer or the easy cancer. What other myth would you like to dispel regarding thyroid cancer?

The biggest myth that I have had to overcome is that they take out your thyroid and the cancer, have treatment, take the replacement medication, and you are done. It is frustrating as I continue to struggle with fatigue and weight gain. My levoxyl dose has never been right, and we continue to work on this. In addition, I have actually not been quite done with the cancer diagnosis as I am still battling abnormal, conflicting tests. (More blood work and an ultrasound in the next month)

What one thing would you tell the world about thyroid cancer?

Thyroid cancer is one of the few cancer diagnoses that the incidence continues to go up and not down. Check your neck!

What advice would you give to a newly diagnosed thyroid cancer patient?

Connect with others diagnosed with thyroid cancer via Twitter and Facebook. Gather information. Question your physicians. Change doctors if you aren’t satisfied with your treatment. Be your own advocate.

Do you have a funny thyroid cancer-related story you are willing to share?

When we sat down with our three kids to tell them about my cancer diagnosis, the older two (both teenagers) thought we were going to tell them that we were going to have a baby. The doctor had left a message about an ultrasound. Looking back, it is a funny story, and that is how I chose to deal with it, using humor. Here’s a link to a story about my cancer journey and humor in a story from Cure Magazine Fall 2009: http://www.curetoday.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/article.show/id/2/article_id/1277

Thanks for including me in the Blog Tour, Dear Thyroid! Now everyone....go check your neck if you haven't already. :)

About Dear Thyroid:

Dear Thyroid is a thyroid support community and literary brand. Our goal is to connect patients with each other, to create awareness for thyroid diseases and cancers, and to give all thyroid patients a voice. We come together as a united front to invoke change on behalf of thyroid patients worldwide. Thyroid patients are invited to submit letters to their thyroids, thyroid rants and raves, and other literary creations. Help us to create awareness for thyroid diseases and cancers by wearing your disease on your sleeve and by requesting one of our free awareness bands. Visit DearThyroid.org to learn more!


  1. Charlcie, thank you SO much for participating in our blog tour. I love that your older kids thought you were pregnant. :) Definitely have to laugh at situations like that!

    Thanks so much for spreading awareness--every voice makes a difference!

  2. Good for you for keeping the word out there! The ultrasound story is kinda funny - hey, if you can't laugh in the face of a challenge like this, when can you laugh?

  3. i enjoyed reading your post. i hate being told that thyroid cancer is the best one, and also people thinking that having surgery and some RAI takes care of everything. i am looking forward to reading the rest of your blog, and many blessings and good wishes go out to you.

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