Me and my husband David were in a restaurant having lunch and he was the one who noticed that I had a lump on my neck. I rushed off and had a look and saw it myself, so I went and booked an appointment with the doctor and he referred me to the hospital for further tests.
At that point I’d had no symptoms whatsoever. I didn’t even feel the lump; I’d not even noticed it in the mirror. It was only after someone else pointed it out to me that I realised how big it was and all of a sudden I noticed it was actually pressing on my windpipe a little bit.
The doctor said he thought it was something called a goitre [a swelling of the neck due to enlargement of the thyroid gland], but that he’d refer me to the hospital just to double check.
I went to the hospital and had quite a few tests, which all came back inconclusive. But because the lump was on my neck and quite visible, I just wanted the lump removed anyway.
So I went into hospital to have the lump removed. The operation was fine really, and then I went home and just got on with my life. And then two weeks later, I got a phone call from the hospital and that’s when they told me that it was cancerous.
Then I got a voicemail telling me that I should ring the doctor and make an appointment. I didn’t do it that day. I got a call the day after asking me why I had missed my appointment. I was very confused. I also noticed that people were talking to me differently and it was a bit strange. Then the doctor came on the line and told me, down the phone, that it was cancer.
I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to cry and I was just really scared. And all of a sudden things just started going through my head, and I wanted to ask so many questions on the phone. They answered most of them, but there were still so many worries and unanswered questions.
The doctor explained that I was going to be alright, but in my head I just didn’t know what kind of thyroid cancer it was – he didn’t tell me that. So I went straight on Google and diagnosed myself with the worst kind of cancer and the outcome was just bleak. That’s what I thought.
A few days after I’d found out I had cancer, I was really frantic with worry and the doctor put me in touch with the Macmillan nurse Marie. She answered all my questions from there.