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

Knowledge is power. One important thing I’ve learned during my journey down the cancer road is that I am my advocate for my health.  I am the one responsible for asking the questions and doing my homework.  There is no such thing as too much information and knowledge when it comes to cancer.

The medical field is constantly making changes to guidelines, procedures, recommended medications and more. Our doctors should be up to date on this information, but many of them are not.  Find the ones that are current on what is going on in the medical field.  As a patient and cancer survivor, it is also my responsibility to make sure that I learn all that I can about my medical condition.

As a thyroid cancer patient, I read things like the Revised American Thyroid Association Management Guidelines for Patients with Thyroid Nodules and Differentiated Thyroid Cancer and tried to stay awake while doing it.  There is a lot of good information in there.  I suggest you skim over it if you have been touched by thyroid cancer.

This is just one example.  There is a world-wide web of information out there.  Be sure to do your research on reputable sites.  Unfortunately there is a lot of bad information and fear-based opinions out there as well.  I found that when I stay on professional sites, I get the beneficial information that give me the knowledge that I need.

When I was first diagnosed with thyroid cancer in October 2008,  I started doing research on the internet.  It didn’t take long before I was totally overwhelmed!  There were so many horror stories, unreliable sites and negative blogs about thyroid cancer.  All that stuff was bringing me down. So I did something about it.   I started this blog to bring the cancer community together by sharing hope, spreading awareness and information about thyroid cancer.  These are all good things for sure. 😉

Through my research and net surfing, I came across the site for ThyCa (Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association).  It is one of the best resources that I have found for people diagnosed with thyroid cancer.  There is a range of  information and resources for people who are touched by thyroid cancer in some way. 

I definitely recommend getting involved with one of the local ThyCa support groups at http://www.thyca.org/sg/local.htm.  I went to my first ThyCa meeting in November 2009 and met a wonderful group of people that really understood how I felt, what I was going through and what it was like to be a thyroid cancer survivor.  It was also amazing to share my experience with other ThyCa members that were just starting on their journey.  Thyroid cancer brought all of us together and ThyCa support meetings give us the chance to help one another. 

I’m writing this post to remind everyone touched by thyroid cancer that there are good resources like ThyCa out there.  So don’t get discouraged. (Easier said than done at times, I know.) You are not alone on this ThyCa journey.  Hold on to hope and reach out for help!

Knowledge is power!  Below are some websites I have found to be helpful.  They have good information about the thyroid, thyroid cancer, radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment, low-iodine diet (LID) and other thyroid cancer related topics. 

   

ThyCa: Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association http://www.thyca.org/  If you’re looking for yummy LID recipes be sure to visit Thyca Low Iodine Cookbook 

 

Thyroid Cancer Songs  http://www.thyroidcancersongs.com/index.html  These fun songs are sure to lift the spirit and remind people with thyroid cancer that they are not alone.

 

Thyroid Cancer Site http://thyroidcancersite.com

 

American Cancer Society http://www.cancer.org 

 

Relay for Life http://tinyurl.com/jhurelay4life

 

 American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists http://www.aace.com

 

American Thyroid Association  http://www.thyroid.org 

 

 http://www.thyroid.org/patients/brochures/ThyroidCancer_brochure.pdfhttp://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/thyroid  

 

http://www.mythyroid.com/thyroidcancer.html

 

http://www.cap.org/apps/docs/reference/myBiopsy/papillary_thyroid_cancer.html

 

http://www.hormone.org The Hormone Foundation 

  

http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk/help/default.asp?page=5437#recover Life after thyroid cancer 

 

http://www.thyroid-cancer.net Johns Hopkins Thyroid Cancer Center  

http://www.thyroid-info.com Unbiased News, Books and Support 

 

http://www.dearthyroid.org Literary thyroid support community 

  

http://checkyourneck.com  Light of Life Foundation 

 

http://twitter.com/tcancersurvivor  If you’re on twitter, follow me! 

If you have helpful thyroid cancer sites to add, please post them in the comment section.  I will add them to this blog after reviewing them. 

 

Thanks in advance!

Surviving thyroid cancer has taken me on such an awesome journey.  One inspiring outcome was the  motivation it gave me to move forward with many things. Becoming a Life Coach is one example.  I started another page called “Life Coaching – Moving Forward” that I hope helps others to move forward.  Please let me know what you think about it by clicking on the above link.  Many blessings and thanks to you!

open dock

Warmly,

Jennifer Bridge
Life Coach
Ready to Change Life Coaching
jenn@jenniferbridge.com
www.readytochangelifecoaching.com

anything-is-possible

What ANYTHING will YOU make possible?

 

believe

Believe it and Acheive it!

 

be-the-change

 What change will you be in the world today?

 

thoughts-become-things 

Are you giving your energy to the good thoughts?

 

i-can-be

What “Only as…” will you add?

LID diet

In order to prepare my body for the radioactive iodine (RAI) treatment and scan, I had to go on a low-iodine diet (LID). I must admit that I was not too thrilled to find out that I was going to have to greatly limit my diet for over 2 weeks by going on a low-iodine diet (LID).  But in reality that is such a short amount of time when I compare it to the remaining wonderful years of my life.  Plus I’m doing it so that those cancer cells will be zapped away once and for all! 

So I got fired up, made an adjustment to my attitude and started searching online. I had to be on the LID for 18 days.  That is 54 meals and lots of snacks…Yikes!  One low iodine diet food item at a time.  To my surprise, it was not too easy to find things to eat at first.  Sure ThyCa lists recipes on their site, but I didn’t want to have to spend hours in the kitchen preparing dozens of meals. 

In an effort to save YOU time and worry, I have put together some lists.

Food products with no or low-iodine that I used:

  • Condiments: Kosher salt, Pepper, Mrs. Dash, Heinz No Salt Ketchup, Thyca red wine vinaigrette
  • Trader Joes No Salt Wheat Bread
  • Trader Joes No Salt Corn Tortilla Chips (surprisingly good)
  • Yehuda Matzos (Jewish unleavened flat bread)
  • Trader Joes Steal Cut Oatmeal – I added blueberries and sweetner for taste
  • Trader Joes No Salt Peanut Butter
Fruits and Veggies:  There are so many fruits and vegetables to pick from in April/May, so that made things a bit easier for me:).   However, with so many to select from, it got a bit overwhelming.  Below are some ideas for snacks or sides that I used.  Hopefully some will work for you!
  • Mashed Butternut Squash – Cut a butternut squash into cubes. Boil a pot of water with a bit of Kosher salt.  Put the squash into boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes.  Drain and put the squash into a bowl.  Add honey, cinnamon and sugar (or sweetner) and mash away!  It is so good and goes great as a side dish for lunch or dinner.
  • Celery and Trader Joe’s no salt peanut butter (Good snack)
  • Snow Pea Pods (Enjoyable, crunchy afternoon snack)
  • Baked apples with cinnamon
  • Frozen Grapes (A sweet, cold treat)
  • Fruit salad – grapes, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries & any other fruit you desire
  • Homemade Guacamole (Avocado, finely chopped onion, chopped tomato, lime, kosher salt, cilantro) with non salt tortilla chips
Additional Food products with no or low-iodine that I read about, but did not get a chance to use:
  • Nature’s Path called Manna Bread in a range of flavors
  • Manischewitz unsalted potato chips
  • Newman’s Own Unsalted Organic Microwave Popcorn
  • Terra Unsalted Hickory BBQ Potato Chips
  • Mr. Spice Honey BBQ Sauce
  • Mr. Spice Thai Peanut Sauce
  • GottaLuvIT Raspberry Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Gotta Luv It Sweet & Tangy Italian Dressing
  • Health Valley No Salt Added Split Pea Soup
  • Trader Joe’s Low Salt Items – Low salt is NOT low iodine, however I found this to be very helpful.  As it turns out, many of the products on their list were low iodine.  Just read the ingredients carefully and you’ll see what I mean.

Helpful Low-Iodine Cookbooks:

Post-LID Suggestion:

I suggest putting together a schedule of LID meals for the week.  I did NOT do this the first week and felt totally overwhelmed.  Planning in advance made things much easier.  I made a list of LID meals for the second week and it made a world of difference. 

If you are about to embark on the low iodine diet journey, I wish you the best.  I reminded myself on a regular basis why I was on the LID and it always helped to put things in perspective.  Changing my diet for a few weeks to beat cancer is a small sacrifice for the big gift of remission. 

Sending you hope, strength, patience, positivity and prayers…