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Friday, December 9, 2011

Defeating cancer one person at a time

Today I had my annual post-thyroid-cancer body scan. It’s a time for me to write about the importance of doctor visits and checkups. I’m not offering any breakthrough news, just encouragement to have a physical.

Although I’d had blood tests to check my thyroid levels, I never suspected I had a problem. When I had my annual physical, my doctor felt my throat, discovered a small nodule and ordered tests. After two months, various tests and a biopsy, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and advised to have surgery.
My son helped locate a doctor in Kansas City. I had two consultation appointments: the first doctor suggested we treat it aggressively with immediate surgery, the second suggested we take our time.
I am thankful I chose the first doctor because cancer had taken over my entire thyroid and several of my lymph nodes. While it's scary to know that cancer invaded my body, it's fantastic to know the doctor cut out those deadly cancer cells.

Since my surgery eighteen months ago, I’ve taken Synthroid every day. With it I’ve lost weight, have more energy than ever and I believe that the cancer is gone – at least for now. We all know that once cancer is in your body, it can rear up in other places at another time.

The moral of this story: go to your doctor, make sure he or she really checks you and if something is wrong and a solution is offered, take advantage of it.  If follow-ups are ordered, follow through.
Although we have much to learn about cancer, we’re lucky to live in a time of continuing medical advances. My mother-in-law died of thyroid cancer twenty-six years ago. I wish she would have had the treatment options offered today. I suspect she would have lived a lot longer.

Find out what medical issues you have and be aggressive in treating them. It’s your life; protect it.

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