What cancer were you diagnosed with?

Metastatic Papillary Thyroid Cancer

What age were you diagnosed?


What has helped you to thrive?

I’m lucky to have had supportive family and friends around me throughout the whole process. Staying strong for them, especially my mum, was the most important thing for me, and it really helped me through the tougher days I’ve had.

I’ve also had help & support from Trekstock and Macmillan which has really kept me going – it’s great to hear other people’s stories and know that you’re not the only person going through a difficult time.

Fran's Story

Sometime towards the end of 2017, I found a lump on the left side of my neck. It was squishy and I was able to move it around fairly easily so I thought it was most likely to be something harmless. All the same, I thought it best to get checked out at my local GP.

I got swept up with the whirlwind of Christmas and New Year so it had taken me a few months before seeing the doctor. They told me it was most likely to be nothing but referred me to the hospital to have further tests and checks.

I had a number of ultrasound scans and painful biopsies to see what was going on, all of which were over a 6 week period. At the end of it came a diagnosis. Papillary thyroid cancer. I had two tumours, and my cancer had spread into the lymph nodes surrounding my thyroid gland.

In March I had a total thyroidectomy surgery to remove my thyroid gland and a left neck dissection to remove the affected lymph nodes. I then had a special form of radiotherapy called Radioactive Iodine to kill the remaining tissue and any cancerous cells that may have been left. I’m currently in recovery and am waiting for the precious words ‘all clear’.

I now have to take hormone replacement medication for the rest of my life thanks to my cancer, but I’ve promised myself it won’t defeat me.

I want to help as many people as I can in my situation, and to raise more awareness of thyroid cancer in particular as it is so rare. I hope my story inspires other people to reach out and ask for help from Trekstock – they’ve been great for me!

Fran's beautiful image is from the project "Image from Behind The Scars by Sophie Mayanne" 
To check out the other amazing beautiful images by Sophie head to @behindthescars_ on Instagram for new stories from the series: