As cancer survivors, we all have our own stories based on our personal experience with cancer.  Through my cancer diagnosis, treatment, battle and follow-up tests,  it has been very healing to share my story through posts on this blog.  And I know that there are so many other stories out there to be shared.  With that in mind, I have added a  “Cancer SURVIVOR Stories” page to the blog for other cancer survivors to share their stories.

Share YOUR Cancer Survivor Story! I am always looking for more stories to add to the Cancer SURVIVOR Stories section of the blog.  If you are a cancer survivor who would like to be a guest writer and share your story, please send an email over to me at lifebeyondcancer@jenniferbridge.com with “Cancer Survivor Stories” in the subject line.

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide, community-based, voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives, and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy, and service. www.cancer.org

The American Institute for Cancer Research is the cancer charity that fosters research on diet and cancer prevention, interprets the evidence, and educates the public about the results. www.aicr.org

American Society for Radiation Oncology ASTRO’s mission is to advance the practice of radiation oncology by promoting excellence in patient care, providing opportunities for educational and professional development, promoting research and disseminating research results and representing radiation oncology in a rapidly evolving healthcare environment. www.astro.org www.rtanswers.org

Association of Cancer Online Resources ACOR is a collection of online communities designed to provide timely and accurate information in a supportive environment. www.acor.org

Bloch Cancer Hot Line consists of a group of individuals who have had cancer who are available to talk with newly diagnosed cancer patients, promptly upon diagnosis. www.blochcancer.org

CanCare is made up of cancer survivors of more than 50 different types of cancer volunteer for CanCare to provide emotional support to those currently facing a battle with cancer. A patient is matched with a CanCare volunteer for one-on-one emotional support based on a variety of criteria including cancer site, treatments, age and gender. www.cancare.org

Cancer Hope Network provides one-on-one support to people undergoing treatment for cancer, and to their families. This support is provided by training individuals who have recovered from cancer, and matching them with cancer patients currently undergoing a similar experience. www.cancerhopenetwork.org

Cancer Research Institute CRI is dedicated exclusively to the support and coordination of laboratory and clinical efforts that will lead to the immunological treatment, control, and prevention cancer. www.cancerresearch.org

Cancer Support Community provide professional programs of emotional support, education and hope for people affected by cancer at no charge so that no one faces cancer alone. www.cancersupportcommunity.org

Cancer Survival Toolbox is a free, self-learning audio program that has been developed by leading cancer organizations to help people develop important skills to better meet and understand the challenges of their illness.
www.cancersurvivaltoolbox.org

Cancer.Net, formerly People Living With Cancer (PLWC), brings the expertise and resources of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the voice of the world’s cancer physicians, to people living with cancer and those who care for and care about them. All the information and content on Cancer.Net was developed and approved by the cancer doctors who are members of ASCO. www.cancer.net

CancerCare provides free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer: people with cancer, caregivers, children, loved ones, and the bereaved. CancerCare programs—including counseling and support groups, education, financial assistance and practical help—are provided by professional oncology social workers and are completely free of charge. www.cancercare.org

Caring Connections, a program of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO), is a national consumer and community engagement initiative to improve care at the end of life.
Click here for more information from Copingwww.caringinfo.org

The Coalition of Cancer Cooperative Groups is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life and survival of cancer patients by increasing participation in cancer clinical trials.  www.CancerTrialsHelp.org

Coping® with Cancer magazine is written by and for the cancer community. A wide variety of professionals share their knowledge and experience in easy-to-read, relevant articles, and patients, caregivers, and survivors share their strategies for coping. www.copingmag.com/cwc

Imerman Angels connects a person fighting cancer with someone who has beaten that same type of cancer, completely free of charge. This one-on-one, mentor-type relationship is provided to anyone needing support during his or her battle with cancer, anywhere across the country and worldwide. ImermanAngels.org

Journey Forward‘s computer-based tool enables anyone diagnosed with any type of cancer to have their medical history, cancer treatment summary and a post-treatment survivorship care plan captured in one place.
www.journeyforward.org/professionals/survivorship-care-plan-builder.htm

Kids Konnected provides friendship, understanding, education, and support for the children who have a parent with cancer, or have lost a parent to cancer. www.kidskonnected.org

The Lance Armstrong Foundation unites people to fight cancer and pursue an agenda focused on prevention, access to screening and care, improvement of the quality of life for cancer survivors, and investment in research. www.livestrong.org

Life Beyond Cancer is a life coaching program for people who are ready to move forward and start a new chapter in their lives.  This program is offered to individuals and groups.  All life coaching sessions are conducted via telephone.  If you are ready to live life beyond cancer, set up a free intro life coaching call today. http://www.readytochangelifecoaching.com/Life_Beyond_Cancer.html

National Cancer Survivors Day is held annually in hundreds of communities throughout the world on the first Sunday in June. It is a symbolic event to demonstrate that life after a cancer diagnosis can be a reality.
www.ncsd.org

The National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship advocates for quality cancer care for all Americans. NCCS believes in evidence-based advocacy for systemic changes at the federal level in how the nation researches, regulates, finances, and delivers quality cancer care.  www.canceradvocacy.org

National Comprehensive Cancer Network improves the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of oncology practice so patients can live better lives. www.nccn.org

National Lymphedema Network is an international non-profit organization providing education and guidance to lymphedema patients, health care professionals and the general public by disseminating information on the prevention and management of primary and secondary lymphedema. www.lymphnet.org

OncoLink was founded to help cancer patients, families, health care professionals and the general public get accurate cancer-related information at no charge. www.oncolink.upenn.edu

The Ulman Cancer Fund For Young Adults provides support programs, education and resources, free of charge, to benefit young adults, their families and friends, who are affected by cancer, and to promote awareness and prevention of cancer. Click here for more information from Copingwww.ulmanfund.org

Vital Options International is an international organization working with the patient advocacy and professional oncology community throughout the United States and Europe. Its programs enable patients and their loved ones to interact directly with leading worldwide oncology opinion leaders regarding the latest advances in cancer treatment, research, advocacy, and public policy issues www.vitaloptions.org

The following is from the Stand Up To Cancer website:

We used to have such crazy dreams.
The kind of dreams that brought us together, made us not mere mortals, but a movement.

We used to dream we’d get to the moon.
And we were crazy enough, fanatical enough, relentless enough, to get there.

We dreamed we’d split the atom.
Make smallpox and polio whispers from forgotten history books.
Make technology infinite, individual.
Connect the world.

All the unbelievable and the impossible,
all the can’t do and the never will, we overwhelmed them, we overpowered them, we conquered them.
They said no and we, well,
We said yes.
We stood up.
We stood up and changed the world.

Stand up when everybody else sits down
Stand up when it’s easier to turn away
Stand up for everyone who can’t rise anymore

When the answer seems impossible, stand up
When the dream is right within our reach, stand up
When the powerful refuse your call, stand up

The moment is now and the time has come to stand up.
One out of every two men
One out of every three women
will face these diseases we call cancer.

Our sisters, our brothers, our fathers, our mothers,
our husbands, our wives, our children.
Our very best friends and those we’ve yet to meet.

One person every minute, one person in a moment gets lost, gets stolen, gets taken away.

We are a tapestry of lives touched and brought together by a terrorist we can actually find. And in the time it’s taken to read this, three more Americans have died.

Unforgivable.

This is where the end of cancer begins.

When together we become a force unmistakable.
A movement undeniable.
A light that cannot dim.

When we take our wild impossible dreams
And make them possible
Make them true

When together we rise as one
When we stand up
When we Stand Up To Cancer.

I met with my doctor yesterday afternoon.  He went over the results of the blood work and neck ultrasound with me. My levels look good!!  There were a couple of lymph nodes that we are watching, but they look normal on the scan.  Once again, I am cancer free!!!

My levels of calcium and vitamin D were a little low.  I should be taking calcium and vitamin D pills daily.  My doctor smiled at me and said “Take the damn pills.”  So this is something that I will start doing on a regular basis.

My doctor also told me to get Thyrogen shots and blood work to make sure we are not missing anything. Hmmmm…what? This caught me off guard.  I got Thyrogen shots during the low iodine diet to help my body prepare for the radioactive iodine treatment, but I did not know that it could also be used to further test my levels My understanding of Thyrogen is that it tricks your body into thinking that you have gone off of your thyroid medication.  This sure beats actually going off of your thyroid medication for a couple of weeks.  (I have not had to do this, but know many people who have done it.  More power to you!)  Anyway, when I got my Thyrogen shots in May 2009, I was amazed to find out that my insurance company covered it.  Each shot is around $1,200!  Two are required to get the job done.  So I was extremely grateful to my insurance company for covering the shots.  Now, I am supposed to get the shots again?

What a great topic to blog about!  I am going to do some research to learn a little more about Thyrogen.  I plan to write another post about my findings soon.  This opened up the door in my mind about the Thyroid Cancer SURVIVOR blog.  There are still many topics that I would like to write about here.  I’m going to do a “brain dump” to name a few.  Here is my random list:

  • Life beyond cancer
  • Preparing for tests and doctor visits
  • Affirmations and Mantras for cancer survivors
  • Being an advocate for your health – Ask questions, Speak up, Second Opinions, Feel heard
  • Health insurance coverage
  • Thyrogen
  • Calcium and Vitamin D post thyroidectomy
  • Swallowing food post thyroidectomy
  • Voice post thyroidectomy
  • Hot and cold flashes
  • Fertility with RAI (Radioactive Iodine)

That is all that comes to mind for now.  I would really appreciate your feedback, experience and input on any of these items.  What has your experience been?  What other items would you like to see posted on this blog?

Thank you!!!