When Kenna was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 26, she didn't know where to turn. Through her participation on IHadCancer, she met Ledyame, a 36-year-old survivor who was able to help her navigate the world of thyroid cancer and taught her what to expect throughout treatment. Read more about their friendship.
For people outside of the cancer world, thyroid cancer is sometimes referred to as "the good cancer." But for those who are fighters, survivors or supporters of this cancer, that's the last thing that they want to hear. Even if they look fine, people don't understand because you may not show any physical side effects. They want everyone to know that there is no such thing as a good cancer - cancer is cancer, and each diagnosis has it's own set of challenges.
For Kenna, who was only 26 years old when she was diagnosed, her biggest challenge was depression as the result of isolation from treatment. She was a new mother who had never been exposed to The C Word, and she wasn't allowed to be near her newborn son. She couldn't find anyone who was going through a similar situation because everyone in her support group, which only met once every other month, was over 45 years old. She was having a really hard time, not only with her diagnosis, but with just connecting with others...until she met Ledayme.
Ledayme was a 36-year-old mother of three grown children, and a thyroid cancer survivor. Even though her ordeal was over at the time in which Kenna's was beginning, she had a lot of knowledge to share with Kenna. She really understood that thyroid was NOT the good cancer, and she experienced the same isolation, radioactivity, mother issues and the trouble explaining her diagnosis to others.
It was invaluable for Kenna to receive so much insight on what to expect. One of the topics that they discussed the most was how people just didn't understand. Thyroid cancer makes you tired, but you may not necessarily "look" tired, so it feels as though people don't really believe you. Ledayme warned Kenna of this, and told her that it's okay to be tired and that you can be as tired as you claim to be because only YOU know your own energy level.
Even though she wasn't able to have this type of support during her diagnosis, Ledayme felt grateful for the opportunity to pass her knowledge along to someone who really needed it.
Are you a thyroid cancer survivor or fighter? There are many others on IHadCancer.com. Connect with them today!