I had a very healthy lifestyle, and everything was fine. One day, when I was looking in the mirror, I found something near my neck. It was not much visible from the outside, but I could feel something different when I touched it.
Thyroid Cancer Diagnosis
I went to the doctor who did a biopsy, but it was inconclusive. The doctor gave me antibiotics, and they didn't work. I underwent a CT scan, and it was found that I had thyroid cancer, which had spread to the lymph nodes. I was diagnosed in January 2015 when I was just 32-years-old.
Thyroid Cancer Treatment
I had a Surgery to remove my thyroid gland and the impacted lymph nodes. I underwent radioactive iodine treatment. It was difficult for me to go through with my low iodine diet to prepare myself for the treatment, but I was fortunate enough to sail through it. I had some side effects, but they subsided in their own time.
Later, I moved to Canada to pursue my PhD I did my one-year follow-up in Canada. I was declared cancer-free in December 2015, and that came as a sense of relief for me after a whole year of ups and downs. A couple of years went by, and things were okay. I had hormonal fluctuations, and I had to take thyroid medication because my thyroid gland was removed, but there was nothing serious to worry about.
In August 2018, I had a sore throat for a month. The doctor didn't think it could be a relapse because when she examined, she couldn't find anything, but as a precautionary measure, she asked me to go for the scans.
I underwent the scans and, to my dismay, found that there was a lump. I am grateful that we found it early because I had no symptoms. I went through the whole Thyroid Cancer Treatment again, including a Surgery to remove that lump. I had radioactive iodine treatment, and I am on a one-year follow-up.
Currently, I am working on my PhD, which I had started after my first tryst with thyroid cancer. I recently graduated a couple of months back. After my first cancer journey, I wrote a book, Falling up - Nine ways to transform trauma into triumph, and published it. I am now perfectly alright and cancer-free.
Falling up - Nine ways to transform trauma into triumph
My book,Falling up - Nine ways to transform trauma into triumph, is on the concept of post-traumatic growth. It is about how trauma-survivors grow after trauma and what helps them to develop. A strong social support helps them in their recovery and growth. Exercise and meditation also help a lot. I used to write three things I was grateful for, no matter what was going on. I wrote my book in 2015, and when I was going through my second cancer journey, I worked more on it and published it after my PhD program.
My Support System
My husband was there for me throughout my thyroid cancer journey. He has been my greatest support and strength. He was my primary caregiver, and I am very grateful to him for all he has done for me. I express my gratitude to my extended family and friends who were with me throughout my journey. They were just a phone call away whenever I needed support. They were always happy to provide me mental and emotional support and played a huge role in my journey.
I learned to accept the new normal and be patient with life. When thyroid cancer happened to me, I realized what truly was important to me. It made me take a step back and analyze what was important in my life. I want meaningful relationships in life and want to help and inspire others.
Stay strong. Cancer diagnosis and treatment take a toll on your mental health, so don't be afraid to ask for help. Tell your partner, family, or your close ones about how you feel. There are so many support groups and communities, so join them and get help from there.