Lindsey on treatment

Lindsey walking through the hospital corridor
Lindsey walking through the hospital corridor

Lindsey had to go through both surgery and radioactive iodine treatment when she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2014.

It all went very well but Lindsey struggled with the isolation. ‘The worst thing was not being able to hug my children.’

Lindsey's story

After the diagnosis I had to go back to the doctors and basically have my whole thyroid removed, which was an incredibly scary experience. I was terrified. I know I shouldn’t have been, but I was just thinking that I was about to die. That was how I felt and I couldn’t shake it. I was thinking the worst until I got more information.

I was struggling with my mood more before the surgery. I was just depressed with it all and feeling scared and sorry for myself. But the surgery actually went really well. They also took some lymph nodes to check whether it would spread. I was feeling very nervous about it coming back. I had this feeling that I couldn’t get rid of it and it would come back eventually and kill me. I was most scared about leaving my children behind. 

The Macmillan nurse I had was just a life-saver. She was so personal and really cared. She gave me her personal mobile number and told me that I could call her at any time. It felt great to have that support and connection. 

After the surgery I had to have radioactive iodine treatment, which meant swallowing a tablet being kept in a hospital room for two days. I became radioactive and wasn’t able to see my family. I was literally on my own for 48 hours and it was a little bit lonely, even if I could speak on the phone. But it gives you the time to think about everything as well and reflect on things and it did go quickly. 

The worst thing was when I came out of hospital and I had to stay away from my two children because I was still radioactive. That was really, really difficult – not being able to give hugs and kisses to my two children. 

Ronnie was old enough to understand that I couldn’t cuddle him. But my daughter was only one and she just wanted to be with her mummy all the time. That was really, really difficult. I just hid in the bedroom so she couldn’t see me, and that made it easier.

Watch: all about Lindsey's experiences

Watch: all about Lindsey's experiences