Edwin Rodriguez

Throughout your journey, do what you can to stay positive and keep faith.

This past year, I contracted COVID-19. Luckily, I experienced a mild case and recovered smoothly. After recovering, I wanted to check in on my health more thoroughly. I visited my general doctor and told him I had noticed a goiter in my neck. He sent me to another doctor who performed a biopsy on the goiter. The biopsy results did not reveal anything suspicious.

I was told I could have the goiter removed if I wanted to, which I was glad to hear, because I just wanted to get rid of it. I went in for the operation, and when I woke up, the doctors told me they had found cancer. Hearing the word cancer was really frightening for me because my mother passed away from colon cancer. The doctors explained they were not equipped to do the necessary surgery at their facility and referred me elsewhere.

“My surgery was three months ago, and since then, I feel like a new person.”

My new doctor and I discussed surgical planning. A few weeks later, I had the surgery. Shortly after, I returned for a follow-up visit where I had the tape over my incision removed. Seeing my scar for the first time was definitely scary. However, the surgery itself was painless. The only symptom I had was numbness on the right side of my shoulder up to my neck. After surgery, I received radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment to get rid of any remaining cancer. In preparation for this treatment, I went on a strict diet. 

My surgery was three months ago, and since then, I feel like a new person. Just two days after surgery, I was in the park walking four miles. I have continued doing this everyday. I no longer feel the fatigue that I once felt walking up and down the stairs as a construction worker. Without the lump in my neck, I feel more confident and better about my health. The only long-lasting effect I’ve experienced is the daily pill I now have to take for the rest of my life. But that doesn’t bother me. The pill is cheaper than a cup of coffee, and I take it along with my other daily supplements. I feel great and am living a cancer-free life. There is no stopping me now. 

“I feel great and am living a cancer-free life. There is no stopping me now.”

Going to all of my doctor’s visits, I couldn’t believe how many people were experiencing the same problem as me. For anyone who does have symptoms, my advice is to get them checked out. Timing is everything, so taking care of any issues right away is critical. Along your journey with this disease, do your best to stay positive. My faith in God is what kept me hopeful and kept me from never dropping the ball.