(SI QUIERES LEER LA VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL HAZ CLICK AQUÍ).
Dany and I have been friends for 17 years. During all this time, we have lived an infinity of things together, we have told each other our secrets and we have supported each other through the good and bad times.
A year ago, Dany got diagnosed with thyroid cancer (what is the probability of two friends having cancer with only one year of difference? I don't know, but I'm pretty sure it is very low) ... and a year ago, she BEAT IT.
I invite you to read my best friend's case and find out how a "routine visit" to the gynecologist can save your life.
Hi! I'm Daniela. I am 25 years old and I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer when I was 23.
For two years now I have had the same question: how can a healthy and young person have cancer? And although I still don't have the answer, I know that everything happens for a reason.
HOW DID I KNOW THAT I HAD CANCER?
In a casual visit to the gynecologist, the doctor felt a small ball on the left side of my neck (nothing to worry about) and told me that it was most likely a nodule in the thyroid (something very common in women) but anyway, he sent me to get a neck ultrasound and a blood test to verify that my thyroid was working well.
Thyroid problemas are recurrent in my family and because of that we decided to go to the endocrinologist before doing the studies to know his opinion. The endocrinologist agreed with the gynecologist and gave me the same explanation that many women (and also some men) have nodules in the thryoid and these are benign most of the time. However, there are other cases where they are related to diseases such as hyper or hypothyroidism and even in rarer occasions (and very unlikely due to my age) the 0.0001%, it is thyroid cancer.
I AM PART OF THAT 0.0001%
The endoncrinologist also said that I had to get a neck ultrasound and a blood test. It was on the ultrasound that the second signal appeared that something was not right. The pellet had irregular borders and it was better to do a biopsy to discard that it was a malignant tumor. In addition to this, the result of my thyroid profile blood test showed that I had "Hashimoto Syndrome"... HASHI... WHAT?
To tell you a little bit about this syndrome, I will tell you first what the thyroid is and what it is for. The thyroid gland is in front of the neck and has a butterfly shape. It produces two hormones (thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3)) that regulate our metabolism and the way the body uses energy (that's why so many people with thyroid problems feel tired). "Hashimoto Syndrome" is an autoimmune disease that prevents the thyroid from producing the thyroid hormones that the body needs.
The weirdest thing of all is that I did not suspect anything about this problem because I did not have any symptoms (I just noticed that I was gaining a little bit of weight but I did not care about those extra pounds).
The doctor was confused because he had already confirmed that I had "Hashimoto Syndrome", BUT the pellet had a strange form to be a normal nodule and because of this, he sent me to do a biopsy.
I knew that I had cancer on January 6, 2016. It was "Three Kings Day" and I had invited my friends to my house. When they left, my parents told me that they had picked up the results of the biopsy and that there weren't good news. That day I didn't want to tell anybody because I was in denial until the doctor confirmed it to me two days later.
On January 8th I saw my doctor and he confirmed what I didn't want to hear: I had thyroid cancer. At that moment my worst fear became real and I had to face it.
The truth is that I've always been lucky. In contests, games of chance and things in general, I'm always lucky. And this was not going to be the exception. Although I did not wish it to anyone, if you had to have cancer once in your life, I wish you this one because it is a cancer that is almost not cancer.
This cancer is the least aggressive of all and doesn't metastasizes. In addition, even if it is detected in an advanced state, it is of slow growth and can be cured only with surgery (and in no case there is need of chemotherapies). After knowing this, I didn't want to waste any more time and my surgery was scheduled for two weeks later. At that time, I thought: "The faster I get out of this, the better".
The surgery was performed on January 27. They removed my whole thyroid and checked that no lymph nodes around were infected and thankfully, it was like that. The tumor was very small, it only measured 0.6 cm and was encapsulated within the thyroid (just at the limit of exiting towards the ganglia). The surgeons were really surprised because it was almost impossible to detect it through touch and thanks to this I didn't need a radioactive iodine treatment (the treatment that almost all patients with thyroid cancer have to take after surgery).
Within the bad, I was in the best scenario that anyone with cancer could have.
My recovery was very fast. Three days after the operation I was in my house and I stayed 10 days at rest. I felt on a "little vacation" because I no longer felt so bad and had time to focus on my recovery.
I returned to my "normal" life only two weeks later. And I say "normal" because everything had changed already. I'm not talking about the pill I have to take every day for the rest of my life to replace the thyroid function, but because I see life differently now.
I recently took some studies where it was confirmed that there is no trace of cancer. Today, one year and four months after the operation, I am TOTALLY CURED.
I think that life teaches us through big or small battles how fragile it is and we must learn to value it. We must live today and thank what we have because we are already fortunate only by being here.
Personally, this experience left me a beautiful scar down my neck, a great self-growth and a lot of desire to continue living.
If you have any questions or comments you can write to me on social media (I'm as @dannyf24).