Since I’ve shared much on the blog about both mine and Kramer’s cancer journeys, and about life as a widow, I get questions and notes from blog readers all of the time asking questions or leaving comments. Just this last week, I had three related to my being open about my thyroid cancer. I get some asking about Kramer’s lung cancer and I get notes from recent widows. I appreciate getting the notes. Each note is a confirmation that I did the right thing about being open and sharing.
Sharing isn’t always easy but I am so glad that even though at times, it’s hard, so much benefit still comes from it. Whenever we can connect with someone who might feel the way we do…have experienced the things we did…have had the same fears and uncertainties, we feel supported. We can look and say, “She is working her way through widowhood, maybe I can too.” We can say, “I need someone else who knows what I might be feeling to hear my words and understand.”
I am so touched by the letters, notes, and comments I get asking questions or sharing fears. I wish I could wipe all the fear and anxiety from you that goes with hard life things but I can’t…so instead, I try to be a sounding board. I try to be the ear many of you need who can relate to your experience more than your close friend can because she too is dealing with how your circumstances might affect her and doesn’t have the life experience to be that sounding board.
I know that there are MANY more of you dealing with some of the same things I’ve dealt with but you aren’t the type of person that writes or leaves me a note, but still would like the information. So today, I’m writing a little more about thyroid cancer for those who have asked questions and for those who want to ask…and for those who might have a friend or family member experience it.
The medical quoted info in this is coming from Mayo Clinics site.
“The increased incidence of thyroid cancer is worldwide. The incidence of thyroid cancer has increased dramatically during the past three decades and it is now the fastest-growing cancer in women. Almost all of this increase is in papillary thyroid cancer.
For unclear reasons thyroid cancers (like almost all diseases of the thyroid) occur about 3 times more often in women than in men. Thyroid cancer can occur at any age, but the risk peaks earlier for women (who are most often in their 40s or 50s when diagnosed) than for men (who are usually in their 60s or 70s).”
I think the first thing I need to tell you is that there are two main types of thyroid cancer. There are others as well but they are rarer and sadly more aggressive.
Papillary thyroid cancer. The most common form of thyroid cancer, papillary thyroid cancer arises from follicular cells, which produce and store thyroid hormones. Papillary thyroid cancer can occur at any age, but most often it affects people ages 30 to 50. Doctors sometimes refer to papillary thyroid cancer and follicular thyroid cancer together as differentiated thyroid cancer.
Papillary is the most common. 80% of people who get thyroid cancer have this form. This is often hereditary.
Follicular thyroid cancer. Follicular thyroid cancer also arises from the follicular cells of the thyroid. It usually affects people older than age 50. Hurthle cell cancer is a rare and potentially more aggressive type of follicular thyroid cancer.
Follicular is the next most common. 15% of people who get thyroid cancer have this form. This is not hereditary. It is more aggressive and can spread to the lungs and bones.
I have follicular, the second most popular kind, so sometimes, my experience is different than what someone else might have experienced especially if they have papillary.
My cancer was found after… Continue reading