What cancer were you diagnosed with?

21, Papillary Thyroid Cancer

What has helped support you?

I have had incredible support from all my family and friends. Macmillan has also been amazing. I joined an online forum specifically for Thyroid cancer patients. If I ever felt the need to speak to anyone or ask any questions I would, and still do, post in this. I have also joined Facebook groups for Trekstock and Shine Young Adult Cancer Support.

Rebekka's Story

June 2017, I went to see the doctor for unrelated reasons. It was just by chance she pointed out my neck was slightly swollen. She examined it and told me it was probably nothing to worry about but she still sent me for an ultrasound scan. She explained to me that it could potentially be a goiter – a swelling of the Thyroid that is normally harmless.
It wasn’t until the end of August I had my ultrasound scan. The technician was asking me all sorts of questions such as whether Thyroid problems run in the family. I answered no and I just knew something wasn’t quite right. He left the room and came back shortly after and explained to me I needed to go for further testing. He also told me to try and get in touch with my doctor the same day to get my results. It was the very next day I was seen to. It was explained to me that the lump was in fact not a goiter and they couldn’t quite tell what it was from the scan. I think they were aware that it was cancerous but obviously they can’t tell you that from just one scan. I was then referred to an ENT specialist.

My consultant sent me for blood tests, a CT and an MRI scan as well as a biopsy of the lump. These tests were spread out just over a week. I waited another week to find out my results, which of course came back telling me I had Papillary Thyroid cancer.

Since then I have had my surgery which consisted of a thyroidectomy (removal of the full thyroid) and a left neck dissection as several of my lymph nodes was affected. My treatment plan for after the operation was to have Radioactive Iodine (RAI). This is to ensure all cancer has been killed. I was informed that this would get everything and I would be okay. The pathology results of a tumour from my surgery indicated that the cancer was very aggressive. This means that the RAI may work, but it also may not and I could require further treatment. Also, because of how aggressive it was there is also a high chance that it could have spread outside the Thyroid and lymph nodes.

I have my treatment date set for the near future and I am just hoping that it will be good news.
I am remaining positive and just want to share my story in the hope it will help other people on the same path as me.

Read Rebekka's blog here