First, I'd like to thank you for stopping by to read my story.
I'm Diann, 25 years old from San Diego. In May, while getting ready for bed one night, my mum and I found a small lump in my neck. I did not present with telling symptoms except for a lymph node that continued to grow in size.
I was referred to a specialist and found nodes in my thyroid. After five months of ongoing tests including ultrasounds, blood tests and rounds of antibiotics, there was no change to the size of my lymph node. More swollen lymph nodes began to appear.
In October, a biopsy was performed on the largest lymph node in my neck. This was followed by an MRI. On Thanksgiving weekend, my family was given news that no parent ever wants to hear, I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer.
I was referred to California and saw specialists and had further testing. After a CT scan, doctors confirmed my diagnosis of thyroid cancer. The CT scan showed that my cancer had spread from my thyroid to many of the lymph nodes in my neck. I would require immediate major surgery to remove the cancer in my thyroid and throughout my neck (thyroidectomy and lateral and bilateral neck dissection).
We traveled again to San Diego where I underwent a thyroidectomy and full neck surgery on November 27th. The surgery lasted over 10 hours and put my body through a lot. After surgery, my family learned that my cancer was much more aggressive and invasive than initially shown on the CT Scan.
It had encased my thyroid as a mass and spread to many major organs and nerves in my neck. My carotid artery and many nerves were encased with the disease. As a result, my recovery was a bumpy one spending time in the CCU and constant care units for 5 days until I could breathe on my own and my calcium levels in my body stabilized.
I'm home in San Diego and recovering from surgery with family and growing stronger each day in preparation for my next treatment. I'm limited in physical activity, in eating including what and how to eat, and requires many medications.
I have a long road ahead and will require many more trips from my home to Hospital in California for treatment, scans and check ups. My next course of treatment is to undergo Radioactive Iodine treatment after Christmas to fight the cancer in my body that the surgery could not remove.
As you can imagine, the toll on my family is immense including the financial impact of a diagnosis such as this. We are reaching out to our friends and just about anyone who wants to help, as cancer is such a disease that can't wait, so we are short on time.
Any donation that you can make will help us to save her life. Will you make a small $5, $10, $20, $50, $100... gift today for me to recover? We thank you all for your support and prayers during this difficult time.