I’ve Got Thyroid Cancer Can You Believe it

You may have seen my Facebook videos, last Saturday (March 23rd) I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer. To say it was a shock is rather an understatement, I never thought I’d get cancer, even though stats say that 1 in 3 Australian’s will get it.

Before I carry on blogging, I want to say to anyone who is feeling shocked/freaked out/surprised, that I am going to be fine. There is a 99% survival rate, they have caught it really early.

Why I am Talking about Thyroid Cancer?

Before I got it, I’d never really heard of it, I knew you could get cancer anywhere, but hadn’t really thought about it much. Obviously I had a hard time with my Mum dying from ovarian cancer, so I kind of had in my mind that once you get cancer that is pretty much it. I didn’t really know anyone who had had cancer and come out the other side, and if they had I thought it was unusual. I realise now that no one really talks about it that much, it’s kind of a yukky subject that upsets people (understandably).

This is why I am talking about my cancer, to help people understand what is involved, how far cancer has come since it was first discovered due to all the research done (like how I slipped that in?).

I’ll Be Fine

My thyroid cancer has been discovered really early. I found a lump on my neck about 3 months ago, it didn’t hurt just looked big, I went to the Doctor who sent me for an ultrasound which found 3 lumps. I had a biopsy, the results came back that the big one was benign (no cancer), but the small ones they didn’t get enough cells and I had to wait 3 months and go back for another biopsy.

Fast forward 3 months and I had the second biopsy, none of the lumps/nodes had grown at all in the time, so I thought everything is fine. But on getting the results my doctor called me in to see her, so I knew that it wasn’t going to be ok. That was last Saturday. I was shocked and to be honest I don’t think it has sunk in yet. I don’t feel any different. The smallest node with the cancer in it is only 1.3cm wide, and they don’t take them out unless they are over 1cm, so you can see how early it is. In the cancer stages it is stage 1 of 4 (4 being the worst).

The Treatment

The surgeon has to remove my thryoid, this is done under general anesthetic and only takes 90 minutes. However, I have to be in the hospital for 2 nights. While performing the op they will take some lymph nodes and test them to see if it has spread. I will find out the results a week after the op.

After the operation I obviously won’t have a thyroid, so will have to take thyroid medication for the rest of my life, but lots of people do this. The only challenge is them getting the dosage right. Too much and apparently you get all jittery and lose weight (I’d like that bit), but too little and you feel tired and put on weight.

Lots of people have told that this is the best cancer to have if you have to get cancer. The treatment is straight forward, the recovery rate is high and there is no chemo.

Where To From Here?

The operation is on April 17th, apparently recovery takes 2 weeks then I will be back in the water, and apparently faster according to my surgeon! I love that bit. It does mean that I will have to shuffle my swims around a bit, but don’t worry I will just double up some months to make it up 🙂

I will keep everyone updated on my progress, I am sure this is just a little blip that I will get through. I want to say thank you to everyone for all their support and kindness, it really really makes me feel loved and I appreciate it. I love my swimming as you know and I will e back in the water as soon as I can and carry on raising the money for ovarian cancer research. Please help me raise $120,000 for Ovarian Cancer research so that other people can recover.

Lara xx


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