Thyroid cancer won’t stop me from living. I am the woman who will be known for never giving up and lighting lights for others in the darkness of this world.
Hello, my name is Jennifer Croucher, and I am from the United States. A couple of weeks before my 35th birthday, I found a lump in my neck, went in, and had my family doctor check it. She felt it as well and sent me for an ultrasound. That came back suspicious, so I was sent for a fine needle aspiration biopsy. That terrified me. I had it done, and it came back positive for papillary carcinoma cancer. I was told it was the “Good Cancer.” I was scheduled for surgery to remove my entire thyroid, and it turned out that it was covered in cancer and that cancer spread to my lymph nodes and invaded my vascular veins. Eleven days after my total thyroidectomy, I went back in for a center cervical radical neck dissection. I had to prepare for radioactive iodine. Six weeks off my medicine was a nightmare, and then I had to do 2 weeks on a low iodine diet.
Before my radioactive iodine treatment, I found new lumps, and I had new nodes that were angry so my RAI dosage changed to a higher dosage to try and kill the cancer cells. My life changed in an instant, and no one could prepare me for that. No one told me how I would have to have labs and tests the rest of my life and because I also was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, my cancer markers are being masked by it, so they rely on imaging for my cancer treatment, which means repeat tests and preps for the rest of my life. I do not consider any cancer “Good cancer.”
I prepare for round 2 of treatments in December, and I can honestly say this experience has been a roller coaster of emotions, but it has also opened my eyes to see life in a new perspective. I am just a woman embracing life while chasing it in the midst of my cancer battle. Well, the battle isn’t mine it is the Lord’s, and I know I will beat this because I am a warrior, and I have a new love for the life that I have been blessed with. Our tomorrow is never promised, so I now live life to the fullest, and I make the best of each day. There are more bad days than good, but I have no regrets. I will continue to smile, love, live and laugh through it all because I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I am still trying to find my new normal; maybe I will, maybe I won’t, but only time will tell. Until then, I will be right here kicking cancer’s butt. I am not a sob story. I am an inspirational story of how I smiled through the pain and laughed through the scary times in my life. I am the woman who will be known for never giving up and lighting lights for others in the darkness of this world.
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