Thyroid Cancer Update

Hey everyone!

I just wanted to write an update on how I’m doing. I’m now 11 weeks post TT (total thyroidectomy), and I’m really feeling quite well. My balance that I struggled with a lot at first is so much better, as well as some left-over shakiness from low calcium. I’ on 130 mgs of Nature-throid that I take in two doses, 1 grain (65 mgs) in the morning, and 1 grain in the afternoon, around 2 pm.

I would say that I’m still a bit tired sometimes, but I would equate it to the normal tiredness that I’ve felt for years. Not debilitating by any means, and I’m back to all of my regular activities, even taekwondo, although not full throttle — yet!!

If you’ve had a thyroidectomy, let me try to explain a few things to you that can help you on your journey.

Why did I decide NOT to take synthroid or levothyroxin, and instead chose natural desiccated thyroid “NDT”. 

When I learned that the common treatment for metastasized papillary thyroid carcinoma is surgery, I knew I would need replacement thyroid hormones for the rest of my life. I tried natural protocols, but even my naturopathic doctor said at the stage mine was at, it might be better to get control of the cancer with surgery,so after wrestling through that decision for months, I decided to do the surgery.

It is sometimes very difficult to find an endocrinologist that will prescribe NDT, and of course, when I asked the endocrinologist assigned to my case about NDT, her answer was a flat out NO! It’s not regulated, blah, blah, blah. Friends, that is simply untrue, and NDT has been used for over 150 years. Until the pharmaceutical industry got their hands on making a T4 only med, and paying for the studies to say it was the best med, everyone had to use NDT.

Now we’re seeing tons of people with thyroid problems that feel horrible for the rest of their life because not only will doctors not do complete thyroid panels to check ALL the thyroid levels, but a lot of them do not link the complaints of their patients with inadequate thyroid hormones. Depression? Here’s a depression med. Pain all over your body? You must have fibromyalgia, so here are some more pain meds and depression meds. Can’t get out of bed because you’re dying of tiredness? Well your thyroid levels are fine, so it’s not that. Must be something else. On and on the balogney goes.

I see people on the thyca (thyroid cancer) groups complaining of symptoms that never get resolved for years!! Pain, tiredness, weight gain, muscle pain, join pain, depression, rage….oh how it grieves my heart!

I didn’t want to join in their misery, and to tell you the truth, I was terrified to have my thyroid removed. I’m a natural girl too, so it went against everything I believed before. I still believe to this day that the body can heal itself, but we can’t totally discount the gifts and knowledge that God has given to medical doctors either. We do need a hand up sometimes.

Whew, what a long rant hahaha!!

But anyway, back to NDT. After researching for months before my surgery, talking to my naturopathic dcotor about what his patients have experienced, and reading thousands of posts on thyroid cancer forums, I knew for sure that I wanted to be on NDT. I dismissed myself from the care of the first endocrinologist and found one that would prescribe NDT. 3 months out from surgery, and I’m still very pleased with my decision.

I haven’t had depression, anger, my female hormones are still balanced (I worked hard on that for several years before surgery), my adrenals don’t seem to be as stressed, I haven’t gotten sick once since my surgery and I had been sick all the time beforehand, I get through my very busy days just fine, and only slightly more fatigued than I used to be. I know my levels won’t be right for a while, because I’m still having a few hypo symptoms, but I’m very pleased that I never had to suffer long term like so many people I’ve run into.

Why does NDT work so well for so many? I’m not discounting others that have had success with their other meds, by any means, but by far, many people have seen great relief of their hypo symptoms with NDT because it’s a broad spectrum of thyroid hormones, 5 to be exact, where the synthetics are just one thyroid hormone, T4. Armour (which I don’t take because they changed the fillers and some people have had reactions to it), Nature-throid, WP, and the like have T4, T3, T2, T1, and calcitonin in them. Some people will still need to add a bit more T3 in a separate med, like Cytomel, but to make it easy on your body, and not have to make it try to convert T4 into T3, works for me and many others.

Yeah….I’ve had others tell me that I have no room to talk because I’m only 3 months out from surgery, so I don’t know anything. Maybe I don’t but I sure can’t discount the testimony of thousands of others that have experienced horrible health due to T4 only, then improved health with NDT. Maybe my bubble will burst tomorrow or the next day, but I’ve lived in fear, waiting for 3 months for the bubble to burst, and it hasn’t, so I’m leaving the fear behind and trusting God along with a lot of really smart people’s knowledge that have blessed me so much in this journey! I pray that I can be a blessing to you as well.


My Personal Struggles

Papillary thyroid carcinoma total thyroidectomy
1 day after TT!

You can live your best life even through real life struggles. How do I know? Well in January of this year, I was faced with the possibility of having cancer. Me? I’ve lived so healthfully for quite a while now, trying to do the best job I can at taking care of myself, and not having any symptoms of ill health that I was aware of.

Still, when I went to my doctor in January for a yearly checkup, he noticed that my neck didn’t look right. After feeling around a bit, he said that I had a thyroid nodule, and that it should be biopsied. But, in his opinion, he said that usually they are only cancerous in 1-2% of cases.

Am I the lucky little Irish girl or what??? After an ultrasound and some dubious results that looked more bad than good, and after waiting two months to get into an endocrinologist for a biopsy, I got the results on May 30th: Papillary Thyroid Cancer.

Now you must know that papillary thyroid cancer is a slow growing cancer, and thyroid cancer in general has a high cure rate, but removing the thyroid can send a person into a tailspin since that tiny little organ controls a lot of how we live our life — energy, whether we feel healthy, heart rate, metabolism….a big bunch of everything that makes us feel as if we are a healthy person or not.

As in any shocking news, there’s a bit of emotional upheaval, lots of research, trying to talk to others who have a similar story, finding out what to expect, and if you’re me, balking against everything the establishment says if you know there might be a better way 🙂

I did a thorough body cleanse and radical diet change from February to March, so I felt that I had given things a fair chance to change. The hard part to deal with was all the advice to cure the cancer naturally. I’m a HUGE proponent of doing everything naturally, but as you know, sometimes you need some radical medical help, and with the advice of my naturopathic doctor, lots of prayer and seeking as much wise counsel as possible, I went ahead and had a total thyroidectomy on May 18th.

The final pathology report came back with 2 large cancerous nodules on each side of my thyroid that had escaped the thyroid capsule a bit and aso infected at least one lymph node. I’m very sure that I did the right thing, and am well on my way to recovery now 13 days post-surgery!

I will update as I can on my progress. Except for the tiredness from surgery and having to adjust to thyroid medication, my moods are stable, I believe I’ve found a very good endocrinologist that actually listens to his patients, and I’m on NDT (natural dessicated thyroid hormones — I’ll explain why I fought for this in a later post). This is a new journey for me, but as I look at other survivor’s stories, I can see that life can be a big struggle for many who do not have the help that I have. My naturopathic doctor has assured me that I can do well, and I do feel that the nutritional help he has given me, along with having a great endocrinologist, and having great resources to point me in the right direction from the very beginning are an instrumental part in why I’ve felt so well in not even 2 weeks from my surgery.

Don’t let your struggles discourage you from living a healthy life! Grab your cape, and be super!!! 🙂

Superwoman -- a few minutes before surgery :)
Superwoman — a few minutes before surgery 🙂