Emotional rollercoaster- Papillary Thyroid Cancer

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Occasional Visitor

Emotional rollercoaster- Papillary Thyroid Cancer

Hi everyone. This is completely new for me and I was hoping to chat with someone who has/had the same type of cancer or can think of anything reassuring!

 

15 days ago I got diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer. Didn't even know I had cancer- my GP saw me for a routine appointment and noticed my neck was a little swollen. I ended up having a decent lump in my right lobe, which all medical professionals thought was benign. The biopsy proved them wrong. 

Unfortunately for me, it is malignant. 

 

In those 15 days, I've had a total thyroidectomy, 19 lymph nodes were also removed and 12 out of 19 were cancerous. My calcium dropped during my hospital stay and meant I was there for 5 nights. I've now been at home recovering for 3 days. It all happened so quickly. Which I am grateful for, but gives me limited time to process anything.

 

I'm now in the process of figuring out whether a second surgery is needed to clear out any more cancerous cells or if I'm ready to into radiotherapy. 

 

My surgeon keeps telling me that I will not die from this. But I can't help but feel like this is the end. I'm so scared to find out the next step. 

 

If you have gone through anything like this, please reply. It would mean alot. 

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Cancer Council Team

Re: Emotional rollercoaster- Papillary Thyroid Cancer

Hello and welcome to our community @Katherine 👋

 

I'm so glad your GP picked it up, what a whirlwind the past few weeks have been for you.

 

You might like to check out our podcasts, in particular these two - coping with a cancer diagnosis and making treatment decisions. I'd also recommend listening to this one about managing fear. The podcasts are also great for sharing with family members, there are a few in there specifically for family and carers.

 

Sending hugs to you ❤️

 

-Kate

 

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Occasional Visitor

Re: Emotional rollercoaster- Papillary Thyroid Cancer

Hi Katherine, I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis. I feel our stories are very similar. About a month ago, I too was diagnosed with PTC from a FNA of a thyroid nodule. It was cystic and last time he just drained it and completely benign, figured it would be the same again, bit of a shock when it wasn't. 3 weeks ago I had my surgery, total thyroidectomy and central neck dissection. They found 6 cancers (3 in the thyroid and 3 in the lymph nodes). 

My surgeon reassured me that this is usually something you die with, not of. He meant well, bless him, but I (and probably like you) couldn't think of anything but worse case scenario. The C word tends to do that! 

I have another 3 week wait until I see my endocrinologist and find out what the treatment will be and when.

I think personally I'm more concerned with spread. Hopefully I can breathe a bit easier after the full body scan. Man, I hope they do one!

I thought I'd just share my experience so far and let you know there are people out there who understand how scared you are, despite the experts reassurance.

Take the time to talk with your family and let yourself take it all in. Scream, cry, throw a tantrum if you like, cancer is a crap diagnosis no matter the prognosis, you're allowed to be mad. Don't be afraid to ask your doctor questions.  It's their job to help you understand (in layman's terms!) what is happening to you.

I'm sure you will have a great outcome, it is a cancer with a great prognosis and specifically targeted treatment.

I think I have dribbled on enough now! Feel free to reach out anytime. Wishing you good health, Anna xx

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