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Readers Respond: Health, Wellness Ideas and Suggestions from People With Thyroid Cancer

Responses: 35

By

Updated March 08, 2011

No Synthroid for Me

Synthroid was almost the death of me. It was all I could do to get off the couch. Thank God for a specialist (not an endocrinologist) who told me about Naturethroid. He also tested my adrenals and treated those. The cancer really needs a number on them. It's been 2 years, and I feel better than I have for a long time. I went gluten free and have lost 30 lbs. I finally have energy to live.
—Guest Dana

To the person on Levothyroxine

Hi I'm reading comments. Thanks to all of you I'm recently diagnosed. A coworker, had issues when he took levothyroxine(generic I think) instead of synthroid. He went back on synthroid and says he feels fine.
—Guest Cindy

Much of the Same

As I read through everyone's experiences, I have now found answers to my own situation. It's been 3 years and hopefull the thyrogen treatment is coming as soon as the medicine arrives (back-logged). I'm tired everyday, cannot lose weight and occasionally am depressed. When the weather turns cold, it is harder to swallow. Not fun - as I told my endo, I am not a happy person..
—Guest Kathy

No matter what they say...

I certainly don't want to viewed as being pessimistic, but I will say that when the surgeon told me, "you'll have to take a pill for the rest of your life, but nothing else will change", I didn't have any reason to doubt. Unfortunately, I've never felt the same since my surgery and treatment. I don't care what people think, there is no replacement for the way our bodies were designed in the first place. I am thankful there are medications and treatments available to help patients survive, but do not feel like I used to.
—Guest Darlene T.

Yoga is Everything For Me

Before I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's and thyroid cancer, yoga had gone a long way towards moving me to a normal life. It continues to aid me in recovering from a severe reaction to RAI after surgery and acheiving a "normal" energy level & lifestyle. I am strong & able to cope. Take the "warrior's stance" & move on.
—Guest Guest Lynn

My Advice Re: Thyroid Cancer

Finding the right endocrinologist is key but I also believe that you have to be positive, exercise and eat well. When I was recovering from my thyroidectomy I did alot of my own research and read that those without a thyroid need to exercise on a regular basis to feel well and maintain weight. I've been cancer free for 5 years, not gained or lost weight and feel great.
—Guest Christima

My Life After Thyroid Cancer

After they completely removed my thyroid, my life was not the same. I was in pain every night and wake up with pain. I gained 10 lbs and suddenly I have carpal turnel , which made my right hand numb and my thjumb hurt, and I can't hold on to even a empty cup. I alse had symptom of menopause at 41.
—Guest Nina

Not the "Good" Cancer!

One good thing that has come from my papillary thyroid cancer is that I got involved with ThyCa (Thyroid Cancer Survivors Association). I have met the nicest people, online and in person. Thyroid cancer survivors are great. And, no, it's not the "Good" Cancer. There is no such thing. Cancer is cancer and there is nothing good about having it. We (thyca survivors) must have our thyroids removed and did you know that the thyroid is one of the most important organs in our bodies? It controls a lot of body functions. Then we have to be irradiated (fun?). For the rest of our lives we have to take thyroid replacement and have follow up scans and lots of bloodwork. We get to know our doctors really well. No, it's not fun but we go on because we are fighters. I wish you well and hope that you never hear the words, "You have thyroid cancer." It is a lifelong battle.
—Guest PAP

There is always hope...

I spent years getting worse. Lethargic, hair thinning, fogged out mentally, gaining weight from being a thin person to almost 50 lbs in about 2 years, while eating no differently. Then reality hit me... like a pain in the neck; literally! After a year and a half of trying to shrink a nodule that wasn't showing it was cancer, but suspect, my doctor said it was time to take it out. It was then, upon waking up from surgery that I heard the news. As everyone has described, I went through all the post surgery situations everyone else has. It took about a year and a half before I started feeling normal, though within a year things were different. Now, four years later, I work hard at maintaining my weight, working out almost daily. I have my down days, but I've learned it's part of it. But I thank God for a great Endocrinologist who is open, and the mercy of God in my life. There is hope! You can do well post it all. Just don't give up, no matter how you feel right now. It will change!
—Guest StevenB

Salivary Gland Problems

In Sept. of 2010 I had treatment after surgery, and since then my salivary gland has been plugged, I can`t taste, my head shakes uncontrollably. It's hard to swallow.
—Guest Betty Romano

Tired of dealing with my thyroid

I had my thyroid removed last May after being diagnosed with multiple nodules that were pressing on my esophagus. My biopsy was negative for cancer, so you can imagine my shock when I learned I had Papillary Cancer. Since then I've had three round of RAI. The last being this past week. It seems that there is still thyroid tissue in my neck. Now I have to have another scan in six months. When will it end? When will I be able to put this to rest and get on with my life? I've already dealt with the 10 months that it's taken to regulate the Synthroid. I am so tired and frustrated!
—Guest Susan V.

After Thyroid Cancer

I wish I had known about the hormonal changes after having my thyroid removed because of cancer. After 6 months, I went into full blown menopause and because of the hormone drop, I have suffered from intercystial cystitis ever since. I always swore I wouldn't take estrogen because of the breast cancer risk but I was miserable without it. I took 2 years to get my Synthroid meds just right so the extra weight fell off. When there was a Thyrogen shortage and it was time for my scan, I told my endo I would rather skip the scan til I could have the shots! The Thyrogen is the way to go, for sure. It is frustrating to find out there is "a little cancer still there - somewhere" but feel lucky to have a slow-growing cancer. I probably had cancer for 11 years before I was diagnosed!
—StretchBR

I Still Don't Feel Right

I was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer in October of 2010 (3cm tumor with nodal involvement), and after much hesitation, finally agreed to surgery in June of 2011. I've never had a scan, and I've never taken I-131. Since surgery, I seem to have suddenly been thrown into menopause, and I've been unbelievably depressed (which I'd never been before) and unbelievably low energy (also, totally unlike me). I used to wake up happy and ready to start my day. Now I can't drag myself out of bed, and I can't remember what to do each morning. I don't understand it. I had never before now taken any preseciprion drug of any kind, and now I'm on Levothyroxine daily. It is humiliating to be beholden to the drug & insurance companies, to be life-dependent, and to pop a pill every day.
—janeDeca

I Put My Cancer In the Hands of God

My biggest problem since my surgery was finding the right doctor for myself. My first one was disappointing. She kept me feeling so very sick looking at TSH only, not listening to my symptoms. I am not under the care of another doctor who seems more in tune with my needs. I don't think about the impact of having cancer. I basically try to live my life as before cancer. I feel that if I can hold on to that picture, I will eventually become that again. Working out for two hours four times weekly (used to be 3 1/2 hrs) has always been a high priority, as well as walking my dog, not as easy as it used to be, but still doable. It is more important now to maintain strength. I thank God that I am strong enough to continue my life. And, I pray that God help all that are touched by this disease to live their best life. I give cancer no authority over my life. God is the healer.
—elvirawalker

The Good Cancer?? I Don't Think So...

I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer (with Tall Cell Variant) in 11/06. This was about 6 months after having my second spinal surgery, a Spinal Fusion (from which I almost died and ended up in ICU at Hopkins and in the hospital for 10 days). I was upbeat for all that I had been through. I was diagnosed exactly 6 weeks before my 40th birthday. In fact, my surgery was a week after my birthday. Sadly, I did nothing for my 40th, as my family did not seem to think that it was that big of a deal... after all it was the "good" kind of cancer to have. My brother and sister, whom I thought I had a good relationship with, haven't really spoken to me since my diagnosis. I went through pretty much all of it alone! I atleast now know that I am a strong person! As an unfortunate result of this "good" cancer, I was left permanently disabled! I now have trouble with all of my cognitive skills (memory, comprehension, etc)... so in my opinion, I think that calling it that is VERY wrong!!
—turtlelover13
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