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I Love You, But I’m Leaving This Relationship for a Healthier One

Post Published: 25 February 2010
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Category: Dear Thyroid Letters
This post currently has 14 responses. Leave a comment

Written by Michelle (Thyroid Cancer Patient)


Dear Thyroid,


Goodbye. You know you left me with no other choice than to end things with you. You changed. At first it was the little things I started noticing. You gave me clues. Of course, when it got to the point that I needed to find out if my suspicions were true, you pulled it together enough to hide your true intentions. You let the doctor and me believe everything was “normal”. You lied to all of us.


After that first intervention to confront you, you were quiet for a bit, a little more careful to cover your tracks. Or maybe I just wanted to believe things were okay between us. Then you started getting sloppy. A little more bold in your malicious actions.


I gave you a year to get your act together, truly believing the story you told the doctor when he ran his tests on you. But my intuition won out. Again, we went to get you checked out. You were good, a real deceiver. You had everyone fooled, but not me. This time I was on to you.


I gave you three months, then we went to see another doctor. This time, your true prescence was felt. This doctor caught you off guard, called you out of hiding. Discovered the unhealthy entity you were becoming. Puffed up and proud you were. Brazen and bold. The doctor made me look in the mirror and confront you. This doctor didn’t buy your story. We called you out.


First the ultrasound. I still believed in you at that point. Denial, I guess. Well, you gave us enough suspicion to investigate you further. Next, the biopsy. That made you mad. You never caused me pain before that. Were you angry you weren’t able to hide anymore? You really changed, didn’t you? You were growing into an entirely different thyroid than the one I’d known for 38 years. Shocking. But at the same time, not. I had my feeling. I listened to my instincts. I wouldn’t take no for an answer and kept digging for the truth.


Well, now you’re gone. I cut you out of my life. It’s only been five days and I feel so much better. A weight gone, literally.


I’m so excited to start my new life without you. I know things might be difficult from time to time, adjusting to this change of living without you. But I’d rather be without you. I’m healthy now. With the support of my family and friends and an amazingly compassionate team of doctors, I am moving on to a better, more fulfilling life.


It was good while it lasted with you. I hope you found peace. Someday, maybe thyroids like you won’t hurt people anymore.

~Michelle


(Bio),  I am a 38 year old female in Los Angeles. I first suspected about 18 months ago that I might be hypo-thyroid. Blood tests were “normal”. Exactly a year later, with intensifying symptoms I requested a re-check. Again, “normal”. Listening to my intuition, I sought out an endocrinologist. He poked and prodded and found a nodule. Again, “normal” blood tests. But before the results even came back, he sent me for an ultrasound, followed a few weeks later by an FNA biopsy which was strongly indicative of papillary cancer. Four weeks later, a total thyroidectomy and removal of the central compartment lymph nodes in a three-hour surgery. The nodule was between a grape and walnut in size. I had no difficulty breathing or swallowing. No visible indications until the doctor made me swallow in front of a mirror. Then it just looked like an “adam’s apple-ish” kind of thing moving up and down. I had ever worsening hypo-symptoms with “normal” levels and an intuition that wouldn’t let me stop searching for an answer.


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14 Responses to “I Love You, But I’m Leaving This Relationship for a Healthier One”

  1. Joyce Ann says:

    So glad you followed your instincts Michelle and pushed forth in getting a diagnosis and seeing a good endocrinologist. Hope your healing is swift and you feel well soon!

  2. Dear Thyroid says:

    Joyce Ann;

    Thank you for lending your support. I agree with you; by following her instincts, Michelle finally got a diagnosis.

    xo

  3. Bee says:

    Michelle- I hope your story convinces others that their instincts should be followed…many of us “know” there is something wrong but have trouble convincing a doc to keep checking. It’s so easy to just give up when you have thyroid disease because a lot of people (doctors) refuse to listen. I’m so glad you kept listening to what your body was trying to tell you. Here’s hoping for a specatular recovery…kepp up the good spirits

  4. Joanna says:

    I love the letter, Michelle. Intuition is a fabulous thing. I’m so glad you listened to your gut! How are you doing now? How was recovery from the surgery? Is RAI in your future?

    I’m so happy your burden has been cut out of your neck!

    xoxo,
    Joanna

  5. Lolly says:

    Hi Michelle,

    I too am so glad you stuck to your guns and didn’t let your thyroid win, even though it took sometime for someone to find the nodule if you hadn’t had persisted things could have been worse see normal results don’t always mean normal. Thank goodness you found a doctor who spotted it and did the appropriate tests scans and FNA.

    I hope you are recovering well after your surgery and this is the start of a healthy life thyless.Still early days yet you got some healing to do and probably follow ups will you be having RAI now or in the near future to make sure they have got it all or are they confident they have, that can be a difficult time because of having to stop medication prior to being nuked.

    I wish you all the best thank you for sharing your story with us and thank you for being so persistent and relying on your own instincts.

    Lolly

  6. Dear Thyroid says:

    Bee– You’re so right, when you know something is wrong, you have to keep fighting to figure out what it is. Though we want to give up, we can’t because we’re worth fighting for, even if the others think we’re crazy (ha).

  7. dearthyroid says:

    Joanna – Beautiful support and great questions! Looking forward to Michelle’s answers.

    xo

  8. dearthyroid says:

    Lolly – So damn true re: following gut/instincts. What I’m curious to know is how Michelle knew it was her thyroid. Pre-diagnosis, I didn’t know what a thyroid was, or what it did. If I found a lump on my neck, I’d think it was a lump in my neck unrelated to my thyroid.

    Looking forward to Michelle’s responses.

    Love the support, Lollylicious.

    xo

  9. dearthyroid says:

    PS: BEE, IT’S REALLY NICE TO SEE YOU AROUND. WE HAVE MISSED YOU TERRIBLY. XO

  10. Michelle says:

    Hi all! Thank you so much for your comments and support! I am now 6 weeks post op. My scar is looking great, thank you amazing surgeon! It’s as tiny as a cat scratch. I’m very very lucky… I’m feeling the best I’ve felt in almost two years! I just saw Endo on fri and tsh came down and we’re holding in “normal” range right now. My pathology report said 3 cm, confined to right lobe and all 30 some lymph nodes were clean. So since I’m under 45 and the tumor was well within the surgical margins, they are thinking we might not do RAI. But dr will decide in April. My energy is up, but I notice my left side of throat gets a little achey after a strenuous day. I’m on my feet all day, so I know when it’s time to rest! My symptoms pre-surgery were every classis hypothyroidism symptom, joint pain, extreme fatigue, hair loss, eyebrow hair loss, weight gain and no loss even with care and exercise. I have girlfriends with thyroid problems (one hypo, one hyper), so that was my clue into researching it, along with a Dr Oz segment that pushed me to seek out an Endo. Let’s get the word out! So few people realize our struggles and that this tricky little thyroid thing might be their trouble too! Thanks for your support and I’m happy to share my support with all of you! 🙂

  11. Dear Thyroid says:

    Michelle-

    Thank you so much for connecting with us and letting us know how you’re doing and feeling.

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how great you’re feeling, this is outstanding news, just terrific.

    Hopefully you won’t need the RAI.

    Agreed — we spread the word and make people aware/educate them, people will know what a thyroid is, what it does and that they very well might have a problem. Thrilled that you had friends with thyroid diseases; you knew the signs and you were pushy, which helped a lot!

    Bravo, thysistah.

    FYI – If you ever want to share your surgeon/endo’s info with other patients, please consider doing so in the forums. So many of us need great docs and a referral from another patient goes a long way. Here’s the link. http://bit.ly/4JqRMx

    Keep us posted on your progress.

    xo

  12. Angie Mangino says:

    What a creative piece of writing!

    Wishing you good health…Angie

  13. Michelle says:

    Hi all! As a footnote, I sit in the pharmacy typing this while they re-do my synthroid prescription. First it wasn’t brand specific, which I learned through thyca.org is VERY important for thyroid cancer patients because the strength can differ between brands, so you must stay on same brand unless dr changes it. Then they filled my old dosage amount, which I caught before I left the counter. As a patient, one really has to be aware of what is going on. Know your brand and know your dosage. Never assume it’s been filled right…

  14. Michelle says:

    And…I just learned different dosages cost different amounts…

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