Friday, December 16, 2011

Going "hypo"

For the past few months I've noticed I have an increase in pain, tingly hands and feet, severe exhaustion caused by my long bouts of insomnia among other strange little issues. For the past 6.5 weeks (since November 1st) I've been going hypothyroid to prepare for a whole body scan. I was unable to get Thyrogen as it is in shortage STILL, so my Dr's decided I could no longer wait for it and ordered me to go hypothyroid the old fashioned way.

For those of you wondering what it means to "go hypo" here's an explanation:

Everyone`s body requires thyroid hormone, a hormone taken in synthetic form once the thyroid has been surgically removed. Without this thyroid hormone, the body produces an increasing amount of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). An elevated TSH of at least 30 mIU/L is needed for the RAI treatment to be effective. To achieve this rise in TSH, we must stop taking our thyroid hormone replacement pills, or have our TSH stimulated by taking Thyrogen, a medication given by injection. Going hypothyroid by hormone withdrawal, involves stopping our synthetic T4  for many weeks prior to RAI-radiation treatment. During the time that T4 is stopped.  ‘Going hypo’ is a gradual process with the thyroid hormone changes occurring slowly over the weeks with out T4. The longer we are off of thyroid hormone T4, the more symptoms we experience and the worsen with each passing day.

When you go "hypo" these are the side effects you can anticipate.

  • Fatigue
  • Sluggishness
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Pale, dry skin
  • A puffy face
  • Hoarse voice
  • An elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Unexplained weight gain
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Muscle weakness
  • Heavier than normal menstrual periods
  • Brittle fingernails and hair
  • Depression

The first week or two weren't bad actually but after that I began going down hill. The only benefit I found was that since I hadn't been sleeping in months, the exhaustion from being "hypo" changed that and I was sleeping better. I also already had some of these side effects prior for one reason or another but they worsened and I developed many others. So it has been a long couple of months and next week I go for the Radiation and a few days later the scan. I should know more by early January.

Hoping and praying it's not spread, but preparing myself for the worst just in case. I've always had bad news so I'm not about to let my hopes get up only to have them dashed by a Dr. dishing out bad news.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Fun way to spend Halloween

I have a busy day today I somehow wound up with my Appointment on Halloween. How unfair is that? At any rate I must go. I've been feeling rather unwell lately (more than normal). So I called them to discuss it. I can explain how I've been feeling and see if they think it's worrisome. I believe it is and I believe they need to find a way to let me go hypothyroid so I can be scanned. My Dr's prefer to hold off on going hypothyroid in hopes that Thyrogen will become available but it's been in shortage for so very long. My health concerns are serious enough that I am going to demand that they figure it out and stop waiting.

I constantly worry that the cancer has spread while we've sat here doing nothing but wait for Thyrogen. Frankly I'm tired of doing nothing!

Today all that ends and I'm going in there guns blazing.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


For years I kept all my issues to myself. Always remaining tight lipped and bottled up. I talked with no one but my husband. One thing I have learned from having cancer is that it's ok to need help. Now more than ever I believe that knowing other people have walked your shoes and survived is very helpful. So many women have helped me though my struggles by sharing their stories with me. Whether it was Postpartum Depression/anxiety or cancer related. Every single person who has poured their heart out to me has helped me.

I suffer from depression and severe anxiety. 

Every. Single. Day. 

It all started after my Daughter "Roo" was born. In February 2008 the nurse called to come for a visit. "Sure thing! Come on over!" My husband was still home with me, having taken a month off to help me after a very difficult c-section. I remember greeting the nurse and welcoming her into my immaculate home. I had stayed up ALL night cleaning and making sure things were acceptable for her scrutiny. I was exhausted, and felt miserable but I knew it would pass so I plastered a big dreamy "I-love-my-life smile onto my heavily made up face. She sat with us, asking questions about the baby and her routines, and how my delivery was along with how I was healing. I spoke honestly about that stuff but everything else was a lie. When she asked if I felt down, I said no. When she asked if I was sleeping I said yes. When she asked if I had any unusual thoughts or feelings I said no. Then she moved to my husband and explained to him, not to me, what PPD was and what to look for. In other words she gave me the cliff notes version of what to keep hidden from everyone so they wouldn't know something was very wrong with me. Then she smiled, said everything looks wonderful, wished us well with our newly expanded family and went on her way leaving little more than a card behind. 

Months went by and I remembered every little detail she told my husband to watch for, and those were the things I stifled. If I needed to cry I went for a shower so I could cry without glaring eyes. If I was feeling anxious over unfinished housework I would lie in bed breathing slowly and quietly until I knew the rest of the house was asleep then I would get back up and take care of it keeping a watchful eye on the time so I could make sure to get back into bed no less that 30 minutes before the alarm was to go off. In my heart I knew a good mom can get all the housework laundry etc done AND be an involved and active parent who plays with their child, goes for walks, and attends mommy & baby classes and regular playgroup dates. So that's what I did. I played perfect mom during the day, and stayed up at night doing the chores. I rarely slept and that was ok, because I was honestly scared that "they" would take my kids away if I wasn't doing everything right. 

Eventually I began having a hard time holding it all together. I can remember standing at the door, baby upstairs screaming and I was begging my husband to please just stay home. He brushed me off saying he needed to make money and couldn't stay home. He walked out the door and I crumpled to the floor sobbing. I sat there for hours before I realized that if I left the baby crying any longer the neighbors would call "someone" and "they" would take her away from me. 

It got so bad that after living like this and hiding what was wrong for 8 months I had an emotional break. I totally lost it. After all was said and done I took to my local mommies forum and wrote this anonymously:

Hello- I have been feeling very out of sorts lately and I don't know what to do.
I am a wife and mom 2 two kids. THey are the bright spot in an otherwise bleak day. My infant cries non stop and I can't even step into the kitchen to get a drink without ear piercing sobs. I cuddle my baby and spend lots of time playing and singing etc but by the time DH gets home I really need a break from it and I ask nicely for a few minutes to myself to get dinner made in peace. My problem is that until recently I have been keeping up this front and faking that I am great when the truth is I am far from it. I am stressed out about so many things that I don't know what the biggest issue is anymore.
My home life is horrible because of outside contributing issues from other family members. (My husband and kids are wonderful and I love them so much!)
Money is tight and I am scared of not making my payments.
I never get a good nights sleep and I am constantly do everything while I get no offers of help. Example: last week I broke down and asked DH if he could bathe the baby and he asked why I hadn't done it earlier that day. I was super busy with groceries and the baby and dinner and housework so I thought it could wait until DH was home. I begged him to just give me a break. I didn't have the energy to di ti myself and I wouldn't have enough time in the morning to do it. He said no problem he'd take care of it. I went out for a walk with a friend for 1 hour (stopped at the store for lunch things at DH's request while walking). When I got back I watched tv for a bit then headed to bed. I asked Dh ihow her bath was, he said he didn't get to it. I was so angry I went to bed and quietly cried out of hurt and frustration.
A week of the same thing goes by, yesterday the baby refused to eat anything all day this led to a trip to the clinic to be sure all is fine. I am in there for over 2 hours. The baby screamed the whole time. I was litterally at my witts end. When DH got home from work I broke down in tears and begged him to help me. I explained that I feel like I am drowning and no one is there to help me. I even said that if he didn't start helping me more then he would ge tthe opportunity to see what its like to do it all himself, because I was ready to take a knife to my wrist. GASP!!! yes I said it, I really didn't mean it but I needed him to get it. I don't know whay I said it but out it flew.  Then all of the sudden I couldn't breathe and I was having extreme pain in my chest this went on for about 20 minutes, I was close to going to the hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack. 
I am normally very composed and "together". But the facade is begining to crack.
I booked an apointment with my dr. but she can't seem me for a couple of weeks. I know most of my problems are common but I was always able to deal with them, but now they seems so much worse and harder for me to cope with.
I just don't know what to do to get back to the old me.

I had had my first major panic attack. I truly thought I was dying and that the world was closing in on me. I am very blessed to have had an amazing woman reach out to me to suggest that it could be PPD, and either way she would love for me to come to a meeting that she was running for moms struggling after having a baby. I went twice, sat in my car scared to face and admit what I had known all along. I was sick, severely broken. I never even got out of my car those first 2 times. I drove straight back home. The 3rd time I got to the door and was about to turn back for my car when the door pulled open, and a woman was standing there. She knew right away who I was an hugged me long and hard. I just stayed in her arms crying for what seemed like forever. It was instantly comfortable. I didn't speak much at the first meeting but I heard storied from the other women, some were like me and others were very different. But we all had the same thing in common, something changed in us after our child was born. I attended those meeting for a very long time. So long that I felt funny going because my DD was over a year old. They helped me through Dr's appointments, medication change after medication change and all the does increases that went along with them. They were my strength when I had none of my own.

Eventually I found the medication that made me feel closest to my old self and was doing much better for about 6 weeks. Then in June 2009 I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer, sending me back into a spiraling mess.

My life has never been the same. What has changed was the diagnosis, after 2 years with the PPD/PPA label, my diagnosis was changed to generalized depression and severe anxiety. Along with that came visits to a therapist and psychiatrist to help me to worth through old unresolved issues, and to learn my triggers and some coping mechanisms, and I'm on the edge of a new diagnosis. I still struggle, I still feel like much of my life is under a blanket of fog but thanks to one person reaching out to me way back then I was able to connect with other people suffering like I was and the world seems a little smaller, and I felt a little bit less alone in my struggles.

In light of the rash of suicides I want to urge you to be proactive with your friends and family and even people you may not know well. Many people suffer in silence, walking around with a big smile and lots of happy words when they are deeply hurting. If something seems wrong it probably is. Please take a moment and offer your help. YOU could be the one voice that saves a life in crisis.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

September is 
Thyroid Cancer Awareness

It is a cause that is very close to my heart because I have been battling it since I was diagnosed in June 2009. So rather than tell you about my cancer (you can read it here) I want to dedicate this post to awareness. I want YOU to know what you need to do to be proactive. 

I know what you're saying... "But I'm already busy buying daffodils, planning a 'stache for Movember, Hosting a Girls Night In, Running for the Cure, and feeling my boobies, and the list goes on." 

I completely agree! With so many people being diagnosed with so many kinds of Cancer it's really hard to keep on top of all the initiatives to keep us safe. Cancer awareness can be a full time job, but I promise you this; as someone who has had it for over two years, spending time on awareness and self checks is NOTHING compared to how much of your life you can lose if you yourself are diagnosed. Sadly if you ignore your health and choose not to play a  proactive role in your well being the only alternative is playing a reactive role, and dealing with it when it might be too late.

Beause my story is one of Thyroid Cancer I am urging you to please do this for me:

Check Your Neck!

There are many ways to do this. One is a self exam. Easily done in 5 minutes. FIVE minutes!!! There is no excuse please do it. Right now. For me. If something's not quite right you'll know.

The second is to schedule an appointment with your Dr and request that he or she take a few minutes at your appointment to check your neck for you.

If you are in the Greater Toronto Area, I urge you to come down with your family to Thyroid Cancer Canada's event "Neck Check". They will have Drs. Irving Rosen and Raymond Ng on hand to do a check of your neck and answer your questions. It's happening THIS Saturday at Sherway Gardens Mall between 9:30am-6:00pm. Click here to register.

If you are in Calgary AB there's an event for you too!

Wanted to let you know about our event in Calgary AB Canada:
Neck Check Run/Walk
for Thyroid Cancer Awareness

Where: Calgary, AB
Date: Saturday, September 24, 2011
Time: 9:00 am
To register go to:

I also have a favour to ask; please take a moment to share this, tweet this, like it, whatever you need to do to get the word out there. Everyone needs to know!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cancer Drug-Thyrogen in continued shortage

It's been a while since I updated on the Thyrogen shortage happening in Canada. I am including all the letters so that new readers can see the situation from beginning to the current announcement.

I am now at a point that I will be making an appointment to speak to my Dr's about allowing me to go "hypo" under close medical observation. Hypo is not a safe option for me because I have a heart condition, however sitting here with cancer still in my body for months and months of doing nothing is (in my opinion) also not a safe option. I stress constantly that the cancer is growing and that I'll get terminal before Thyrogen is available. Now I know that seems dramatic, and scary, but it's where my mind goes and I can't help having these kinds of fears. I just want to move forward in my treatment and at least feel like we're doing something, anything to keep moving in the right direction.

I am really disgusted that this shortage is continuing this long. Does anyone even care that people like me are sitting here with CANCER doing NOTHING to get better? They need to get their shit together and get this shortage solved. AS it sits now We could be waiting until spring of 2012. If my hunch is correct, we'll get  ANOTHER shortage letter at that time.

Now for the letters the first is Dated Nov 2010 with the most recent being July 2011. For the current status please skip right to the last letter.

Monday, August 15, 2011

So excited to share!

I have huge news! I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. Let me just get it over with:

ShesConnected Conference 2011 - I'm Going!

"She's Connected" is an exclusive conference with Canada's 200 top digitally connected women, and brands who want to connect with them. Some of you may have heard of it and other are probably thinking "huh?". This conference is a really big deal to me. I have so much to learn from the amazing section of women I have been chosen with. I also have lots to share with them. This is not a conference you can easily buy your way into by purchasing a ticket. It is invite only, and I am humbled to have been grouped among women of this caliber. The speakers are amazing this year with my personal favorite being Celebrity Chef Christine Cushing she truly is "Fearless" in the kitchen. I could learn a thing or two from her. 

Ok, I could really go on and on about this, but suffice it to say; this conference is important, it's a huge event and I still can't believe I was selected!!

For more info on the conference click here: She's Connected

Now I have to figure out what I will wear! Anyone wanna help me come up with conference outfits for a plus size woman??

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

No more cancer

In the last post I expressed my health concerns and I am very fortunate to say that the tests came back conclusive. It's not a new cancer! It's still yucky and I'll have to decide which treatment to go with but I was diagnosed with a menstrual disorder called menorhagia/hypermenorrhea. Basically it's excessive and prolonged bleeding. Which is why it gets so bad that I went severely anemic and required hospitalization and a blood transfusion. 

So now what. I am given the choice of 3 things:
1.) Try an IUD to see if it regulates the bleeding- in many women it does.
2.) A uterine abalation
3.) A hysterectomy

After having gone through so much already; medically speaking I think I am leaning toward trying the IUD it's less invasive, but not guaranteed. The only sure thing is the hysterectomy and I'm not ready to deal with everything that comes along with that. Major surgery (again) followed by early menopause doesn't seem like my best bet right now, although it looks quite likely at some point if the IUD does work as well as we're hoping.

Now to find out if insurance will cover the cost of the IUD, theyre over $300 otherwise. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Where I'm at

As you may have read in the last post I've been having some medical issues lately. To be specific I have bleeding for 2.5 months now. It began like every other period, only it didn't end when it should have, it just kept going and going, getting heavier and more brutal to the point I was hemorrhaging. The blood was thin, almost like water, and I was soaking through tampons in 20 minutes. I have had a terrible backache that just won't go away and had been hospitalized on Easter for a severely swollen left leg. Finally I went to my Dr. to describe all the issues, he sent me for tests. Luckily the bleeding had stopped by last Thursday, just in time for me to do the blood work. Monday I went for ultrasounds including a trans vaginal ultrasound. I was in the office, in pain, feeling uncomfortable and awkward but knowing it needed to be done. Monday after I got home I got the call that I needed to go in right away for the blood work results. I asked if it could wait until they received the ultrasound results. I didn't want to go for 2 separate appointments. She told me she would check with the Dr and call me back. When she did she was adamant that I must come in right away. So in I went, not knowing what to expect. AS I sat there the Dr told me that she hadn't yet received the ultrasound results but that the blood work revealed something very urgent. My Hemoglobin was dangerously low and likely even lower that they were on Thursday. I was told to take copies of the labs and head straight to the ER. ON the way out the office manger yelled for me to wait because my ultrasound had just come in and she would have the Dr review them and see me in a couple minutes. I was called back in 12 minutes later. She told me that several things were found. First they could see I had gall stones that were not yet bothersome but would likely require surgical removal at some point. Second, that I had some cysts and fibroids, ok, so far I am not worried. Then she dropped a massive bomb on me. My endometrial lining is grossly thickened. Which means one of two things. First possibility is Endometriosis. They find this a bit unlikely because it should have been noted when I was pregnant with Roo, but it was not, also I have none of the classic symptoms of Endometriosis, like the severe pain that goes along with it. The second , is uterine cancer. My symptoms coincide with this possibility so needless to say I am scared to death. I will have to have a biopsy to confirm, but all likelihood is that, at minimum I will require a full hysterectomy.

On the way out I was reminded to head straight to the ER.

 I did, and was pleased that things moved very quickly. They tested my hemoglobin and it had fortunately risen by 2 points. So they sent me home telling me that if the bleeding started again to come directly back. By the next morning it had started and was as bad as it was before. I set things in place to have someone watch my kids so I could head off to the ER. I slowly got worse and worse as the day went on. My hemoglobin had dropped by 4 point since 24 hours prior. They were very concerned and ordered a transfusion right away. I was given two units of blood and it took forever. It was cold and a bit painful. but my husband was with me holding my hand and my parents (long separated) were united in their concern for me. I saw the worry in my dad's eyes and the helplessness in my moms as she brushed the hair of my forehead and tried her best to comfort me.

We're all scared, but all I can do is wait until the biopsy is done. Then I'll begin making plans depending on the diagnosis.

That's where I'm at.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

hiding out of fear

Well I know I've been kind of absent from everything, school, family, social media... The fact is I've been hiding. Trying to avoid crying or getting angry. For over 2 months now I've had some medical issues that when combined are looking like my cancer may have spread. It could be side effects from not having a thyroid and not having my meds regulated still after all this time. But my doctors are concerned, which makes me scared. So I was scheduled to have some very invasive tests done and they begin tomorrow.

I'm not sure why I do this. Just when I need people the most I pull away and hide. I wish I was better at asking for help, I wish I was better at letting people in when things are rough. I'm not good at these things.

Tomorrow I have a bunch of blood drawn so they can start looking at my Thyroglobulin (Tg) again. but the real facts will come after my tests on Monday. It's not pleasant and I wish I could avoid it but frankly uncomfortable tests last a short time, the discomfort you feel from having cancer is much worse so better to just get it over with. I've hated waiting to have the tests done but now at least I'll have answers.

Again it could be nothing but the feeling I have in my gut is just like the feeling I had in the beginning, right before I was officially diagnosed with cancer.

Sadly as I was looking at the calendar to mark Mondays appointments off I realized something. By the time I am getting the result it will be my 2 year anniversary since the day I was diagnosed. It was June 30th 2009. For some reason once I recognized that date was close last year, I fell into a rough patch of depression. I am scared that I am at the beginning of the same slide right now.

I spent a large part of the day crying today, my crying turned to rage. I know now that I am angry again.

Angry that I have cancer
Angry that not all that long ago I was told there was only a trace amount of cancer showing on my scan.
Angry that it has ruined a lot of parts of my life.
Angry that it nearly destroyed my marriage.
Angry that my treatment is on hold because the drug company fucked up and the drug I need has been on shortage for a very long time.
Angry that my cancer might have spread
Angry that I have to be scared for the rest of my life (even once I am cancer free)
Angry that I have had cancer for almost 2 years when many people with the same cancer are cleared in a much faster time.
Angry that I feel so angry, when I have been blessed with so much in my life.

I am so sick and tired of being scared. I just want my life back. It's my life!!!!!!!!!!
Is that really so much to ask and pray for?


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Check your neck

Today is World Thyroid Day.

Did you know the butterfly shaped glad had it's own day? Well I did, but I have become a bit of an expert when it comes to the thyroid. Having had Thyroid Cancer for nearly two years I have made it my mission to know as much as I can. You can read my story here on my blog, you can google thyroid cancer or you can ask around but let me save you some time and tell you a few things you likely don't know.

FACT: The fastest growing cancer among women is Thyroid Cancer

FACT: Many patients, especially in the early stages of thyroid cancer, do not experience symptoms.

FACT: The symptoms can mask themselves as common issues such as a cold. The symptoms included: a lump or nodule in the front of the neck, hoarseness or difficulty speaking, swollen lymph nodes, difficulty swallowing or breathing, and pain in the throat or neck.

FACT: Thyroid Cancer is only one of many issues people struggle with when it comes to their thyroid. I blog specifically about Thyroid Cancer and the resulting Hypothyroidism but here is the whole list, click to read more about each one:

Congenital Hypothyroidism
Graves' Disease
Hashimoto's Disease
Postpartum Thyroiditis
Thyroid Cancer
Thyroid Nodules

I want you to check your neck today! Then make it a part of your regular medical routine. When you "feel your boobies" remember to also check your neck!

Here are the simple steps to check your neck:

1.) Stand in front of a mirror, so that you can see your neck without any obstruction. Take off scarves, neckties, turtlenecks, so your view of your neck area is clear.

2.) Stretch your neck back, chin toward the ceiling.

3.) With your neck still stretched back, drink a glass of water.

4.) Check your neck, looking for any enlargement in the thyroid area.

5.) Feel the area around the thyroid to see if you can detect any enlargement, bumps or lumps.

6.) If a problem is detected, see a doctor


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My blog and I are stylish!

I just found out that It's Not The Good Kind won me a stylish blogger award! Love that! Thanks Robin! I am truly honoured!

Check it out here!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cancer Stories - Remembering my aunt

Submitted by: Tunde Nyarfadi. Tunde is Natural Light Photographer in York Region.
Twitter name: @TNy_Photography
Follow her: TNy on Facebook

"Hi, I am here to share my story of  how I have been touched by cancer. I am lucky, touch wood, fingers crossed, I do not have cancer. I am really blessed and lucky to say this, unlike many other people.

I was about 18 years old when I found my aunt, my father's sister, had brain tumor. She was only 37 years old, young, beautiful woman. I do not have much memory of speaking to any of may family members about it a lot. It was something really scary to think about, something awful I did not want to deal with in any way. I tried to block it out of my mind and just pretend it is not there. Thinking of it now, I feel like I was a coward.

My aunt was always a bubbly person, she had 2 children she left behind. Those children needed her. She needed them too.

I do not like to go to hospitals, really, who does? I do not like to go to funerals. I actually refuse to go to funerals. You may ask why. Allow me to tell you.

After my Aunt had a few chemo therapies and was taking really hard drugs, she did not look like herself at all. One day I visited her at home after she got out of the hospital and I was shocked, Was it the same person I saw? Was this woman my aunt, I wondered as I stood in the doorway petrified. I did not want to move closer to her. She did not know who we were. She was sitting in a armchair in her living room, with a scarf on her head. She lost all her beautiful hair. The scarf was more than an accessory. It was covering up more than just a head. Her face was all swollen.

She had some sort of a furry thing on the arm of the chair and I remember her calling it a cat...she was delusional. That was the moment when I decided I do not want to see her like this. This person in front of me is NOT my aunt, it can not be. This is when I knew I did not want to remember her like that. I wanted her to be in my memory as when she was healthy. That is all, healthy, not young, not beautiful, not old, not ugly, just a healthy person.

I saw her in my dreams a few times just sitting in her chair, her head covered with a scarf. Shortly after she passed away I went to England to be a Au-pair. I stayed with my father's godmother who looked very much like my aunt. When I arrived at her house with my uncle, she was sitting in her kitchen. She just washed her hair and had a towel on her head. She looked like my late aunt. When she got up to great me I did not cry happy tears to see her,. I had tears in my eyes because I saw my father's sister in her.

I did not go to her funeral. I do not go to funerals. It is not a lack of respect, it is a way of protesting against death, that I have no control over, but at least I can remember people the way I want ....they way when they were happy and alive."

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cancer Stories - Becoming a mom without a mom

Submitted by: Marci Warhaft-Nadler. Marci is the creator of Fit vs Fiction, She travels the country inspiring young men and women to be who they want to be, and not who they think they're supposed to be
Twitter name: @Fit_vs_Fiction
Follow her: Fit vs Fiction on Facebook

"I was about 1.5 hours into my flight from Montreal to Vancouver, when a flight attendent reached over my lap to grab the"empty" coffee cup from the passenger seated next to me. Unfortunately, the cup wasn't empty at all and I ended up being covered with spilled coffee! I think the flight attendent was expecting a reaction from me, I just don't think she was expecting the one she got.Instead of being angry, I started to cry, REALLY cry; actually I started bawling my eyes out! She looked at me like I was a bit insane, my reaction seemed a bit over the top. What she didn't realize however, was that I wasn't crying because I'd have to spend the rest of the flight covered in wet coffee or because the coffee had stained the brand new maternity dress I was wearing.

I was crying because I had just come from seeing my mom for the last time before Breast Cancer would her away from me.I knew the Cancer was back and it was aggressive, but she had kept from me just how Bad the situation was, because I was pregnant for the 3rd time, after suffering through 2 miscarriages, and she did not want to risk upsetting me. My mom was a single parent most of my life and we were as close as a mother and daughter could be. She was my hero and my best friend and she wanted so badly for me to experience the gift of motherhood and did not want to upset me.

When she couldn't keep things from me anymore, I got the call to come home and I left on the first flight available. I had just enough time to tell her I loved her, show her ultrasound pictures of the grandchild she'd never get to meet and tell her he'd be named in her honor. Saying goodbye to her was devestatingly painful and I was afraid that if I let myself truly believe what was happening, it would be too much for me to handle. I feared that if I started crying, I wouldn't stop and was trying to be as brave and strong for the son I was carrying as I felt I needed to be.

When the poor flight attendent accidentally let the coffee spill from the cup, it was like every emotion just came pouring out of me with it. I was crying for the mother I lost but still needed.

It's been 13 years and I miss her every day,I have 2 sons now and we talk about their grandmother often, they know how loving and fun she was and how she's watching them from Heaven during every soccer game they play or Tae Kwon Do match they win.

A friend of mine lost her mom to breast cancer 25 years ago, I lost mine 13 years ago and have a friend battling it now. Still waiting for a cure....."

Marci and her mom, Shirley

Sunday, April 17, 2011


After careful thought about the direction I would like this blog to go, I've decided I would like to expand. I would like to add a section dedicated to sharing other peoples view on cancer and how it has affected them. It does not have to be Thyroid Cancer.  

What I am looking for: Guest bloggers, who are willing to contribute their story. The details of how they were affected by cancer. These days so many people have a "cancer story" and I would like to create a section where others can read different perspectives. If you have, or had cancer, if you have had a friend or family member with cancer, your story can help someone going through it right now. We all know how it can feel isolating and by sharing your story you can help other to feel less alone. What I need are REAL stories, filled with emotion, what you felt/feel, how you reacted, what you have learned.

Please email me your submission to
Include the following information:
Your name (or online identity): 
Your blog:
A photo (avatar of you or a photo that represents your story)
Twitter name:
Your story:

Once the new section has been created, your story will be included. Thanks for helping me with this new section of my blog. I assure you, your story will help others.

I have to talk about it

I've tried to keep all health issues off this blog except for the cancer itself. Now I am beginning to believe that one of the issues I've been struggling with is directly affected, and I have to talk about it.I touched on it in a couple of post but never really worte about it in detail.

Depression. I know you see that word and instantly get uncomfortable. Even the word makes me uncomfortable. I'm sorry that there is such a stigma attached with that label. It makes people view me differently and if make me view myself differently.

Depression was always something I worried about. It runs rampant in my family,even if some haven't been diagnosed and treated, many have. I always knew deep down that my happy days were numbered and that eventually it would get me too. Then I had my daughter, "Roo" life was perfect, I had my boy and now my girl. I got up every day looked at myself in the mirror and called myself a fake. I recognized the face in the mirror but not the person. The person I saw was smiling and happy and doing it all! Housework, errands, kids/family and doing it with ease. The person that I knew was a fraud. None of it was real. Just beneath the surface of that smile was an angry woman, hating herself, the circumstances and life in general. I internally wished my husband would realize something was terribly wrong with me, but yet I made choices that kept the dirty secret hidden. In the shower I cried sobbed until my bones ached. then I got out, got dressed nicely, applied just enough makeup to cover the dark circles under my exhausted eyes. Giving myself a pep talk in the mirror, a reminder that if I didn't keep it all together "they" would take my kids away. Afterwards I walked out of the bathroom dressed and composed and ready to fake my way through another day. Not knowing that carefully crafted facade was days away from a hairline fracture.

During a conversation with my husband I let my guard down for a split second and asked him to stay home. He laughed it off told me not to be silly and headed to work. I sat down and cried. The facade had cracked ever so slightly. It was a small crack but one that was ready to blow. A few days went by and once again I felt like I needed help but didn't know how to ask for it. I asked my hubby to please stay home with me. Again he explained that financially we couldn't afford it and that he couldn't just stay home because I wanted him to. Out of frustration I snapped. The rage flew out, the anger took over and I warned him that if he left something bad might happen. I have no idea what that meant. I wasn't thinking about self harm or hurting our child, but I needed him to know that something was wrong with me. He was so shocked and upset that I would even say such a thing. He told me he thought maybe I should go see my Dr. I didn't. What I did was the one thing I enjoyed most. I wrote about what happened and how I was feeling on a local "mommy forum". What happened next was the best thing imaginable in my situation. The person who replied was so caring and compassionate. She really seemed to understand what I was was feeling. She urged me to come out to a support group for women dealing with Post Partum Mood issues. Deep down I knew that was what was wrong with me so after a few attempts to go I finally made it. I walked through the door and wept in the arms of the woman who was running it. I got real advice and people understood me, I felt safe there. Eventually I did go to my Doctor and was diagnosed with Post Partum Depression (PPD) and anxiety. Over time we tried different meds and finally after a very long struggle with PPD I started to get better. People commented that it was nice to see the old me again, nice to see me smile, just nice to be around me again.

6 weeks after that fog began to lift I was slammed with the news that I had cancer.

Nearly 3 years after my diagnosis of PPD and PPA I am still struggling with it. No longer does it fit into the Post Partum category. Now it's just clinical depression and anxiety. I am in a scary place right now as the "experts" are trying to work on my diagnosis and meds. For me it's a chicken vs. egg situation. We all know that the thyroid plays a huge role in our mood, so what came first? The depression or the cancer, could the cancer have caused it all? I'll never know. but I know I'm still angry, and I still hurt, and life is a struggle, but one that I am willing to fight for. I'll never give up. I've been through too much and survived to just give up.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I can feel it

After dealing with having cancer for nearly 2 years, and losing my zest for life I am finally starting to see that I'm on my way back! I have interest again! Not necessarily in anything specific just in being alive in general. During my illness I had a complete loss of interest in everything. I know how this sounds, but yes, I even lost interest in my social life, my children and even just being alive. I guess I just kind of gave up everything to focus on having cancer. Not beating it, just having it. My life got very dark and meaningless. I pulled myself out of bed each morning out of obligation. I had kids, I had things I HAD to do, but when the day was done and my family was asleep, I let go and cry, ALL the time. I felt sorry for myself, felt sad for my kids and how confusing it all is for them, took pitty on my friends who were already very busy and were now making meals, taking me to appointments, babysitting for me and spending their time worrying about me. I wrote letters to loved ones telling them things I wanted them to know in the event I would die. I thought about all the things I hadn't yet done that I wish I could have, and turned it into a list of things I should have done.

So for me to look at the past couple of months I can recognize the signs. I AM WINNING! Not in the crazy-ass Charlie Sheen kind of way, but in the way that tells me and people around me I am on my way back. I am no longer just a cancer patient, I am still working on kicking cancer, but My Dr's have told me I am almost a sure thing now! Tests are showing only trace amounts and it's looking really good that I will be better soon! I had treatment scheduled for March, due to a medication shortage of one of the drugs I require, I've been pushed back to July but after that I am hoping to hear the words I've been fighting for! Cancer Free!

Remember that list I mentioned? Well, it's now been retitled. It's now called "Things worth living for" and include so many amazing things! Some as silly as make mud pies and jump in puddles with Roo & give dating advice to Aussie, but it also has big ones, like start a business, change up my style to find a new "look", speak in public, and beat cancer!

How do I know I am bouncing back? I see it in my interest in looking forward. In recognizing I have a future to plan for now! I am getting up and caring how I look, I am on the floor playing like a fool with my toddler- "Roo", I am talking about College options with my teen- Aussie and not just for him, but for ME too! We're both going!

Speaking of school, I never graduated from high school (read about it HERE) it was a sore spot for me, but I made the decision to go back and get my diploma (this is on my list!). Take something that bothered me and rectify it. This is another sign that the old me is returning (or perhaps a new version of the old me is currently evolving). I have spent the past couple of years relinquishing all responsibility for making decision to "Hubs". I think I shocked my family by working this one out and making the decision completely on my own.

The final tip that I know I am bouncing back, is that I am actively seeking like minded people to surround myself with. How can I not become great if I am surrounded by it constantly! Surely it's bound to rub off right? They say that positivity is infectious, so I wanna catch it! I think I already have! Can you tell?

I might have cancer, but I've NEVER been more alive!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gone is my song...

Ever have a song that seems to push you through tough times? I do... well did. It seems I no longer have the need for the song anymore. Just listened to it and had no more positive response to it. Guess it's just a reminder of the bad now. Or better yet, a realization that I am getting better. Just gotta let it go.....

I AM GETTING BETTER!!! (that felt good...)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Thyrogen shortage

So after tonnes of digging, I knew I would find something in writing about this shortage. There is nothing to be found on either Genzymes website nor ton the Thyrogen website. I as a patient requiringthis drug find it somewhat shady that this info has to be a dirty little rumour floating around. So you don't know anything for sure until you go to your pharmacy to fill your script only to be told some genaric info about it not being available. Then what? Treatment is rescheduled? Cancelled?

So I finally got my hands on the info, the letter is addressed to healthcare professionals and was dated in Nov 2010. Causually mentions a the delay will be for a "short period" and advises Dr's to "consider this when scheduling patients".

I spoke with a local Thyrogen rep, who told me I will not be able to fill my script until AFTER May when shipments resume. She could not tell me the reson for the shortage. Her carefully scripted answer let me with more questions than answers.

Here is the letter:

What's your take on the issue?


Edited on Feb 15 2011 to add this recently found letter with a slight bit more info. Thanks to Thyroid Cancer Canada for posting it

Friday, February 4, 2011

Before and After cancer photos

Just thought I would share a pic of me before my diagnosis:

Me before cancer
Me a couple of weeks ago

Raising Funds and Awareness

Because of my currently ongoing battle with cancer, one of my passions now is helping out where I can to raise funds and awareness for cancer and cancer research. Without our help a cure will never be found.

One of the ways I got involved this year was by teaming up with an organization called Road 2 Recovery. Road2Recovery is an annual event that supports cancer and cancer research. I attended their big fundraising gala and was photographed for their yearly calendar. The calendars are $20 each! What a steal eh?! They can bepurchased from me directly or here:

Wanna see? I am in pink pictured with one of my dear friends. I have since cut my hair and coloured it so I look quite a bit different but rest assured that is me and I would LOVE to be your miss January! lmao

My Cancer

So at my last BIG appt, I went in expecting the worst news, because that's usually what I get. Instead my Dr. told me she had GOOD NEWS! She said the cancer is almost gone. The levels are so low, in fact, that they were almost undetectable. I wanted to cry.

What that means for me is that if all goes as plans I will need:

*one more time suffering one the Low Iodine Diet.
*Two more injections of Thyrogen
*One more dose of RAI
*another Whole Body Scan

and then I'll have more info, hopefully it will result in my first ever CLEAN SCAN!

I need it soooo badly. I need to kick this cancer's ass and get past it.

My year in review

Since so much time has passed I'll give you the cliff notes version of what's happened this year.

*I continued going through treatments, and worked really hard to get my meds regulated. From a thyroid standpoint I think I am finally there (or at least really close).

*My depression is another topic. I still fake my way through many a day, but I am more open about it with the people who matter most. I admit it's a challenge I feel like I am failing at. However I am taking ALL steps neccesary to get it under control.

*I still have cancer BUT it's almost gone!!!! I'll blog about that sepreately.

*My sister got married!!! Yay!! When I was struggling to keep my mind on things not cancer related her wedding filled that need! I planned the best wedding shower ever (In my opinion of course!) Check it out if you are so inclined. Here is the post from my other blog. and some of the DIY prep I kept occupied with here in this post

*I'm still not back to work, and I've really struggled with what to do with myself once I hear those all consuming words "Cancer Free"! Keep reading to find out what I wind up doing.

*Hubs got a great new job! I'm so proud of him! He's kept this family afloat while I was ready to give up.

*Roo and Aussie are doing well. I adore them. They are what pulls me through a rough patch!

That's about it... for now.

Thank you.

I've been gone a long while. I need a break. I needed to stop waiting to die, and let myself live. The year has been rough in many ways. My grandfather passed away after his battle with lung cancer, a friend who was like me in many ways (young wife and mother) lost her battle with cancer, but not before making me realize that I was wasting my life by wallowing in the sadness and anger I had. She was the one who gave me that shocking wakeup call that if I did die, my last time on this earth would have been completely wasted and my family and friends would remember me as a quitter. The moment I read that email from her I stood up to cancer and took my life back. Not long after that another friend also lost her battle. It began getting really hard watching people fight so damned hard only to lose in the end. Good people, brave people and people who even in the midst of their own illness took time to help me see what I was doing to myself.

To Julie and Sandra I will be eternally grateful for your words of wisdom and advice. I wish you were both still here to see your children grow old. One thing I can't get passed is how unfair it all is.

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