In January of 2007 I was diagnosed as having thyroid cancer and had my thyroid removed in March of 2007. I also had radioactive iodine therapy for good measure as well. I remember the nurse advising me about the side effects from the radioactive iodine which can cause drooling to occur if the iodine remains in the Saliva Glands. I immediately asked her to wait just a minute as I hurried outside to where my husband was waiting. I informed him that I might just drool after this treatment. My husband is a great guy, he smiled and said - it's okay, I would love you anyway - hence I continued with the procedure. Looking back, I realized I would have done so anyway because I had two children anxiously waiting for me at home.
In my case, it took four years to get this Cancer diagnosis which allowed time for the cancer to grow and spread. I remember attending physiotherapy sessions and being told to stand up straighter against the wall because my severe neck and head pain was thought to be caused from poor posture.
When my thyroid was removed, I commenced the journey of finding the correct dose of medication that would eliminate my constant fatigued state. I was also prescribed steroids which resulted in an immediate 35 pound weight gain.
In January of 2007, I was still very ill. A scan revealed that some of the cancer still remained and had spread towards my larynx. I remember the Specialist in London advising me that my Larynx might have to be removed. I was in shock and asked him if I would still be able to sing? He replied, "Not like you used to" and he realized that I didn't quite understand the ramifications of one losing their larynx.
I left the hospital and remained determined that my cup of life was still going to be half full. I pulled off the road and called the music store in Owen Sound. I explained my problem and the fact that I might be speech impaired and how important it was for me to make a recording so that my children could still hear me sing.
I made the recording, commenced more treatment and I am happy to report that I only have to go to London for further follow-up once a year.
I am a Thyroid Cancer Survivor. I will add that I now travel more, it reinforced the fact that life can change in one half- a moment, I wear my passion and I am grateful to my co-workers, husband and girls for seeing me through this journey.
Life is grand.
2015 Update Muriel is once again finds her fighting thyroid cancer and she remain positive and focused on living her life with optimism and joy.
Muriel posted her story in the comments sections of January 14, 2014 blog post on Thyroid Disease. She graciously agree to allow me to share it more widely.