In 2013, I was a healthy 31-year-old. I had just had my birthday in March. I went for my annual check-up. My stomach had been swelling, so I thought I might have been pregnant. 

My doctors confirmed that I wasn’t pregnant, but they didn’t know what was wrong. For months, I spent every other week hospitalized while I got bigger and bigger. Finally, in November, four interns and a 5th-year medical student figured out it was my thyroid. Test after test, I found out it was a thyroid storm which was causing edema. 

On November 21, 2013, I had emergency surgery to remove my thyroid. The doctor told my mom that she didn’t know how I was alive. My thyroid had been crushing my esophagus, literally. 

Fast forward to 2020. I now have to take levothyroxine daily and vitamin D every 2 weeks, but I’m doing much better.

30 Stories in 30 Days

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month. As part of that theme, we will post stories written by thyroid cancer survivors, caregivers and medical professionals for our 30 Stories in 30 Days campaign. We hope their perspectives and insight will help others along their journey.