Weathered the Storm

UCLA Health article

My words to others is - it gets better, It was a challenge and the unfamiliar and unknown can be scary. The process was rough. I didn't see or feel a lump and barely knew what a thyroid was. I just had a minor sore throat. My regular doctor gave me some antibiotics and said it looked ok but on my followup two weeks later I still felt some irritation.

This was the first medical issue I had ever had. Just to be safe, my doctor referred me to an ENT who put a scope down my nose. Said all looked ok but put me on a stronger antibiotic .I still had some irritation but it was slight and I had been told all was ok so I was hesitant to come back. I felt like I could live with it. But mostly to relieve my anxiety, a CT scan was done.

I had to research a lot of terms as I was unfamiliar with them. The ENT was not concerned about what was found. Said what was seen was small. I had to be persistent and thus a biopsy was done. I was told the left side was negative and the right side was undiagnostic - couldn't tell if it was cancerous or not. Another biopsy would have to wait for six months.

Due to a family history of cancer, I was scared. A surgeon said the right side could be operated on. It was only after that surgery that I saw an endocrinologist who was a very important part of the process. I got conflicting advice about getting radioactive iodine. Due to the small size of what was found, I was told I could wait. But six months later, they saw something again. Surgery again to take out a lymph node. Then the radioactive iodine. 3 months later, another lymph node.

We decided we needed to find a real expert in the field. I am so happy I finally saw Dr. Yeh and I wish we had seen him sooner. Dr. Yeh said we had options - to or to watch it. I wanted to go ahead with the surgery. Afterwards, dr. Yeh said that was a good decision based on what they saw. For the first time since the diagnosis 3 years ago, a followup visit has not found anything. I am so grateful to God. I would tell others to think positive thoughts - faith helps. God is with me. Everyone has to go through something and this was bad but could be worse.

Live your best day to day. A good support system is important!