Lessons I Learned
By guest writer, Angela Mazza, BSN, RN, CHC
What group of hormones affects your weight, energy, digestion, mood, and brain?
If you guessed thyroid hormones, you probably know or have experienced some kind of thyroid issue. According to the American Thyroid Association, one in eight women will have some sort of thyroid issue! September is thyroid cancer awareness month, so I figured I share some lessons I have learned as a survivor of thyroid cancer and living without a thyroid.
For me, I became aware of my thyroid issue when I found a nodule on my neck. At first I questioned myself. Was I really feeling a lump in my throat? Or was I just paranoid? For a few months, I did this dance questioning myself back and forth. Finally I went to my primary doctor and he confirmed that it was a nodule that I needed to get further examined. Lesson learned: Always trust yourself.
My next step was sonograms and biopsies. As soon as I had my sonogram, you could see on the screen the textbook image of cancer of the thyroid. That image drained the blood from the face of pretty much everyone in the room around me. I knew just by looking at my husband and the doctor, cancer. A biopsy confirmed it. Next steps were surgery for thyroid cancer and radiation. During the whole ordeal my husband was my rock. My medical team were compassionate and took the time to explain everything step by step. Thyroid cancer often has a good prognosis but no cancer is good. It is traumatic and life changing. Please don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise! Lesson learned: Have an amazing support team!
Most individuals who have their thyroid removed (a thyroidectomy) will experience hypothyroidism, often this can be chronic. I experienced a wealth of symptoms for years while I struggled to get my low thyroid function under control. I was totally exhausted, had shooting pain in my legs and hands, felt like I couldn’t think! I was moody, had palpitations, suffered with heartburn, and felt hot one minute and cold the next. It sucked! I knew I was not going to accept this as my new normal, so I made changes slowly. That is all I could handle with the thyroid exhaustion and three young children, really small changes. But do you know what happens when you make a change, even a small one? It builds. It catches fire and ignites and before you know it good things follow. Now I am able to share my knowledge with my clients as a holistic health coach. I see them create those changes and transform themselves everyday. It is awesome! Lesson learned: Start small and keep going!
Today, I am feeling great and better than ever! But I know that living without a thyroid is a lifelong battle. After all, the body is always changing. As we age our hormones may decrease, sometimes increase, can stay the same or even break down (metabolize) slower. This depends on the body system and the hormones associated with it. I had to get in tune with what my body was telling me it needed. Once I started really listening to what I needed, I started to heal. Lesson learned: Listen to the wisdom of your body and give yourself the love you deserve.
If you do your research when it comes to thyroid disorders, you will often receive the message that thyroid diseases are manageable with medical attention. They are but all too often individuals are suffering with various symptoms for years. This is why I am on a mission to improve the lives of individuals with a thyroid disorder. I want to raise awareness when it comes to our health, we have the power to create change. You are an amazing individual and deserve to live your life to the fullest. Get the support you need and trust yourself!
Here is the URL for the event!
If you’re ready to make a change, join me for my 5 day free virtual event to Overcome Thyroid Fatigue and Ignite Your Energy.
Angela Mazza is the founder of Angel Holistic Health Coaching. A certified health coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, she is trained in all life stages. Angela is also a licensed, registered professional nurse, with over 20 years experience in various settings including the hospital, home care, and most recently the NYC school system. As a mother of three and a cancer survivor, she is passionate about empowering individuals & families to take simple steps to help prevent degenerative diseases and manage chronic conditions in order to embrace life fully. She specializes in helping individuals with thyroid issues reclaim their health and energy.