5) You are not alone — I’m the only person in my family with thyroid cancer. Before I was diagnosed, I never knew anyone who had it. And while my friends and family are an amazing support system for me, they don’t understand completely. And I don’t expect them to. Unless you’ve walked this path, there is no way you could possibly know what it’s like. But there are other patients and survivors out there who have been down your path. Who understand, and can help you. Check out these amazing resources for more information and support:
ThyCa — ThyCa has been created and is maintained by thyroid cancer survivors. Since October 1995, they have been developing a network of services that link thyroid cancer survivors and health care professionals around the world.
Light of Life Foundation — The Light of Life Foundation was established in the spring of 1997 by Joan Shey, a patient herself. The mission of the foundation (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization) is to improve the quality of life of thyroid cancer patients through continual education of the lay public and the medical community, and by promoting research and development to improve thyroid cancer care.
Being diagnosed with cancer is completely life-changing, and thyroid cancer is no exception. I’ve learned that it’s key to educate yourself about your condition. Do your research, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or to stand up for yourself. Ultimately, it’s up to you to take charge of your own health and the care you receive.
I’d love to hear about your experience with thyroid cancer. Were you told it was the ‘good cancer’? What else do you feel other patients and survivors need to know?