As many of you know, last year I had Thyroid Cancer, AKA Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma. September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month and a new campaign has started called #Scarfies4Thyca . The idea is to take a selfie, wearing a scarf, (selfie + scarf = scarfie) to encourage people to check their necks for abnormal lumps and bumps that shouldn’t be there and get them checked out.
Unlike other thyroid conditions, Thyroid Cancer doesn’t very often carry symptoms, other than a lump. In later stages of Thyroid Cancer or if the tumour is large, symptoms can occur, which are developing a hoarse voice and having difficulty swallowing. Usually however, there are no symptoms. This is because, unless you have an underlying thyroid condition as well, the thyroid continues to function, even with a tumour growing on it.
I had a lump on the left side of my neck, for two years. I assumed it was a gland. Silly, I know. But when my lump suddenly got bigger and I started to find swallowing difficult, I knew I had to see a doctor. People could see my lump, travelling up and down my neck as I swallowed, from the other side of the room!!! I had no issues with tiredness, weight gain or loss or any of the other problems associated with thyroid disorders, so I knew it had to be Cancer.
I was right. I had a hemithroidectomy, followed by a total thyroidectomy, followed by radioactive iodine treatment. I was coined “Radioactive Mum” by the media. Now I’m not going to pretend that my treatment was pleasant, but I am still here. The thyroid cancer is gone. I lived to tell the tale. I am a survivor.
That is why, I want each and every one of you reading this, to take part in #Scarfies4Thyca to help raise awareness of Thyroid Cancer and encourage people to check their necks.
Here’s how to get involved (no donations necessary)…
1. Check your neck. If you have any unusual lumps – book in to see your doctor.
2. Take a selfie of you wearing a scarf (a scarfie).
3. Post it as your profile picture on Facebook and/or Twitter throughout September using the hashtag #Scarfies4Thyca
4. Nominate 5 friends to do the same
Note: If you have the time – Jump onto a photo editor (eg, PicMonkey) and add the hashtag to your picture, to encourage even more people to get involved.
HUGE kisses from me, to everyone who gets involved in this. If you are a friend of mine, you’ll know how much this means to me. And if you are a blogger and choose to blog about it… I’ll love you forever!
Here is my Scarfie for thyroid cancer awareness
– You should just about be able to see my scar above my scarf, where the surgeons cut out my 6cm malignant tumour and my thyroid…
Big thank you to Kate, one of my readers and fellow Thyroid Cancer Survivors, for letting me know about #Scarfies4Thyca