How One Woman Was Diagnosed With Thyroid Cancer - Indoors Beauty

How One Woman Was Diagnosed With Thyroid Cancer

How One Woman Was Diagnosed With Thyroid Cancer

Jessica Alexiou was working as an expert dancer and well being and health coach in 2018 when she started to really feel like her physique was breaking down.

“I began having some actually weird signs. I used to be gaining weight quickly. I believe I had gained 25 kilos inside a month and a half,” Jessica tells POPSUGAR.

Then got here the sudden hair loss. “One day I awoke, went to go wash my face within the sink, and I observed elements of my eyebrows have been falling off as I used to be rinsing my face.” In the bathe, her hair began falling out in chunks as effectively. “I’ve naturally curly hair, and all curly ladies know, it is regular to lose some hair within the bathe,” Jessica says. “But this was irregular quantities of hair.”

When Jessica advised her major care physician of her signs, she ran some bloodwork and instructed exercising extra and consuming much less. When that did not work Jessica thought the signs could be hormonal and associated to her IUD. So she went to see her ob-gyn and requested her to take it out.

But when she did, “[the doctor] mainly advised me that it was so warped, that my physique was rejecting it or attempting to expel it,” Jessica mentioned — however the healthcare supplier could not clarify why.

Over the following two years, Jessica would go to varied docs looking for solutions.

“It was this sport of me going from physician to physician to physician to physician, and docs simply me as if I used to be loopy.”

Meanwhile, she started to expertise further signs — together with debilitating fatigue. “At some level, I started to really feel very fatigued,” Jessica says. “I bear in mind going into work being on like eight to 9 hours of actually peaceable sleep and nonetheless feeling like I could not operate within the mornings, like I used to be exhausted. I’d by no means skilled something like that earlier than in my life.”

She additionally developed ache on the appropriate aspect of her neck, and a particularly swollen lymph node. When she went to see her major care physician, she referred her to an ear, nostril, and throat specialist, who identified Jessica with acid reflux disorder and Eustachian tube dysfunction, “a situation the place the tubes that join your center ears to your higher throat change into blocked,” based on the Cleveland Clinic.

Jessica was prescribed antibiotics and steroids and advised to return again in a couple of weeks to see issues how improved. But two weeks later, Jessica returned with no enchancment to her throat and a brand new symptom. “I began having ringing in my ear at evening. When I’d lay down my ear would ring and it nearly felt like I used to be listening to an ultrasound in my ear,” Jessica says. “It was maintaining me awake and it was concurrently freaking me out.” When she requested the ENT for imaging he mentioned she did not want it, and that it could most likely go away on this personal.

That’s when Jessica took her well being into her personal arms.

At this level, Jessica needed to step away from her profession. Her signs have been debilitating, and she or he’d gained round 75 kilos. “It was actually bodily painful to bop,” she says. She devoted most of her free time to researching potential causes for her points.

“I used to be that individual that was attempting to unravel this as a result of I felt like docs weren’t serving to me. I felt like they have been gaslighting me to be trustworthy,” Jessica says. When she Googled her signs, “every little thing was pointing to thyroid illness,” she tells POPSUGAR.

So on the finish of 2021, she went again to her major care physician together with her medical historical past and analysis, decided to get imaging carried out.

“I mentioned, ‘I would really like a thyroid ultrasound,'” Jessica mentioned. But her PCP was hesitant, having felt her neck. “She’s like, ‘I do not really feel something. If you had a thyroid tumor, or a thyroid nodule, I, I’d have the ability to really feel it.'” At one level, her physician even instructed that the her neck ache was being attributable to the gallon water bottle she carried round.

But Jessica wouldn’t take no for reply. Again, she instructed an ultrasound, asking the physician to place it in writing if she was going to denying her imaging.

It was then that her PCP agreed to order the testing and Jessica discovered that she had a thyroid tumor that wanted to be evaluated. “In that second, l felt so vindicated, as a result of it took so lengthy for me to get solutions,” she tells POPSUGAR. But she wasn’t ready for the following piece of reports that she’d obtain: additional analysis of the tumor confirmed that it was cancerous.

In that second, Jessica felt a whirlwind of feelings: pleasure, as a result of the most cancers was on the less-severe finish of the spectrum; delight, in herself, for pushing her healthcare suppliers to lastly give her the care she deserved; but additionally anger and frustration, as a result of it had taken years to obtain a prognosis.

“This may have been found a lot sooner had docs simply took me critically,” Jessica says.

After being identified with thyroid most cancers, Jessica had remedy to assault the cancerous nodule.

At first her endocrinologist instructed that she get her thyroid eliminated totally, which Jessica was hesitant to do.

“From all of the analysis I had carried out, I knew the thyroid is concerned in so many issues that your physique requires. Not simply your weight — it regulates metabolism, but it surely additionally impacts your blood stress, your calcium ranges, your temper. So many issues,” Jessica says. Removing it totally appeared fairly drastic.

So she requested if there was an alternate. Her physician instructed she get half eliminated in order that she nonetheless have the opposite half to control. And at that time, Jessica determined that she wished to do her personal analysis to determine some various choices.

That’s when she discovered by way of a Facebook group about radiofrequency ablation (RFA), a minimally-invasive process the place, based on UCLA Health, “a small needle electrode is inserted into the thyroid nodule utilizing ultrasound steering. Heat generated on the needle tip destroys the goal tissue.” She reached out to a specialist about RFA to see if she was a candidate.

In November 2021, Jessica had RFA, and and since then, “actually all of my signs have resolved,” she says. It took a couple of month to recuperate from the process and a 12 months for the tumor to completely shrink and her signs to vanish totally, however they did. She began shedding weight, her hair grew again, the fatigue light, and all of these debilitating signs went away.

“I simply really feel and felt like myself once more,” Jessica says.

Today, she’s in remission and is targeted on dwelling a balanced way of life.

“[The] primary factor is managing stress,” Jessica says. “A whole lot of occasions thyroid points are exacerbated and even attributable to stress and trauma.” So she all the time makes positive to have an outlet if she’s feeling overwhelmed, whether or not that is train or taking a while to herself.

She additionally tries to prioritize a nutritious diet. Not essentially chopping out sure meals, “however simply being conscious of nourishing my physique with greens and protein and entire grains, not skipping meals and never depriving myself as a result of the thyroid additionally will get stressed if you do skip meals and also you’re not likely balancing your diet.

Maintenance appointments are additionally essential. Jessica has commonly scheduled visits together with her physician every year to be sure that there aren’t any regrowths and will get bloodwork carried out each couple of months.

Overall, Jessica says she feels extremely grateful. The expertise has taught her that “nobody is aware of your physique higher than you do,” she tells POPSUGAR. “Your physique will all the time talk to you if one thing’s improper.” And this lesson has trickled right down to her household, too. Having watched what Jessica went by way of, “now they’re asking for the exams that they want.”

And as for her dance and health profession, Jessica is again full-time working and coaching different girls to be in contact with their our bodies by way of motion and train. “It seems like residence,” she says.

Image Sources: Courtesy of Jessica Alexiou and Illustration by Ava Cruz

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