It’s hard to believe that 20 years of my life have passed by since I was rolled into the operating room to have 1/2 of my thyroid removed “just to be sure”. It was March 1, 2000 when I allowed the medical community to convince me that I would be better off without my thyroid gland because they couldn’t make a diagnosis and the test results showed that there were abnormal follicular cells.
I had no idea what a thyroid gland was or why it was important. The internet was much more limited and I didn’t have the skills I have now. I trusted that my doctor would not do anything to me to harm me. Boy was I wrong and this surgery was the beginning of 6 years of hell. I was supposed to go in for a partial thyroidectomy. The plan was to take 1/2 of my gland since this is where the nodules were. When I woke up from the surgery the surgeon was there telling me that they took 3/4 of the gland because it “looked bad”. If any of you have to go through this without a diagnosis I recommend that you make sure that they do a frozen section during the surgery so you don’t endure what I did. The pathology report came back 2 weeks later and it was Papillary Thyroid cancer and it had spread to my lymph nodes. This meant that I would have to go back in for surgery to have the rest of my thyroid gland removed. Lovely….. I would have my next surgery on April 12, 2000. During this time no one would check my thyroid hormone levels and I would begin my spiral into hypo hell. As I stated earlier I had no idea what a thyroid gland was or why it was important. I didn’t know that without this gland I WOULD DIE. How could they have missed telling me this? The doctor told me “you will take a little pill for the rest of your life – it’s no big deal”. To all who have had their thyroid removed and have struggled through recalls and shortages, bad thyroid medications, fighting to find a doctor to treat you correctly and prescribe desiccated thyroid you know that it is a VERY BIG DEAL. It was a good thing in my journey that I did not know what I would endure. The second surgery would be my 3rd since November 5 when I had a C-Section for the birth of my first child.
I had my second surgery on April 12, 2000 as planned and the rest of my thyroid was removed. My ENT who did my surgery admitted to not knowing how to treat this and said he would ask his radiologist friend. Again, naive me thought everyone was working to help me. He arranged a meeting with this doctor for the end of April. Keep in mind that at this point I was now 2 mos without thyroid hormone and the remaining 1/4 gland for the first 6 weeks was a “hashimotos” gland so I suspect it wasn’t functioning well. I don’t know my thyroid numbers because my OB / GYN only tested TSH which was 2.6 and T4 which was at the bottom of the range. I would be scheduled for my first RAI (Radioactive Iodine) ablation the end of May dependent on my TSH. No thyroid hormone was given or levels tested. At the end of that first week in May, I woke up one morning and was so dizzy that I could not get out of bed. I had to get my husband to come home. I did not trust that I could get up and get my 6 month old son out of his crib. I called my doctor and they told me that I had to wait to test because I need to to get to a TSH of 100. The ENT told me that I had a calcium deposit in my ear and that was causing my dizziness and gave me exercises to dislodge it. This was not the problem I would find out later. After another week I was suffering so badly. I could hardly keep it together. I slept every time my son slept and fell asleep by 8 pm and woke up at 8 am the next day. I was crying and pleading for them to help me. The doctor finally agreed to test my TSH and it was at a 150. The office then scrambled to get my RAI scheduled. It was scheduled for May 26.
The RAI was awful and the lack of care from the doctor another issue. I won’t go into details here but know that I fired this doctor, went to an endo who specialized in thyroid cancer only to fire him after he belittled me and took joy in my pain and would give me RAI #2. I would next find another Endo who would treat me for 3 1/2 years until he gave me my 3rd and final RAI. The emotional abuse from the doctors was unbelievable. The way they marginalized how you were feeling, push you off on nurses, refuse to talk to you, give you 4 mins for an appointment, refuse to test hormone levels and holding medication hostage was nothing like I’d ever endured.
The story does have a good ending. I eventually (6 years later) was able to get an appointment with Dr David Brownstein, MD. He was the first doctor to offer me hope. He walked with me through 3 hard years of amalgam removal, chelation, detoxing, increasing nutrition levels, hormone balancing and more. I am happy to report that in 2009 my markers for thyroid cancer were gone and I have been cancer free ever since. I am so thankful that God sustained me all those years until I found a doctor to help me to heal naturally. Not only do I have my life back but I also gained a friend in Dr Brownstein. We share a common love of iodine – the nutrient that saved my life. I now have a support group over almost 24,000 members where I teach what I learned about the need for iodine and how it can help with glandular and breast issues. If you would like to join us on Facebook you can click the link here.
So 20 years later, I look back on those years and am thankful. I wondered at times if I would live to see my children grow up. My son is now 20 and a sophomore in college. My daughter, a senior in high school and heading to college in the fall. My husband and I just celebrated 24 years together. Today I took my 50th ride on my Peloton. I took Ally Love’s class Sunday’s With Love where she showcases one virtue each week. Today’s virtue…. Discipline. I almost burst into tears when she talked about discipline being what you do when no one sees you. No one will understand what it took to heal. I don’t know how (but for the grace of God) that I kept up with all the supplements, sauna times, coffee enemas and more during this time. My children were 3 and 5 when I began this journey. I was exhausted but I wanted to live. Discipline – I had it and I’m thankful I did. I have a wonderful life once again. I am blessed.