14 episodes

Join thyroid cancer survivor Jessie for conversations with guests exploring people’s experiences with thyroid cancer, what gave them strength through the process, and what wisdom they want to pass on.

Support through thyroid cancer Jessie Larson-Wu

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Join thyroid cancer survivor Jessie for conversations with guests exploring people’s experiences with thyroid cancer, what gave them strength through the process, and what wisdom they want to pass on.

    Surgery experiences with Carmen Waltz

    Surgery experiences with Carmen Waltz

    In this episode, Jessie talks with Carmen, who has been through 3 surgeries related to her thyroid cancer diagnosis. She talks about her experience of having to self-advocate in order to get diagnosed (with papillary and follicular thyroid cancer) and then experiencing lymphedema and nerve damage from surgery. She talks about the improvement she has been feeling after her most recent corrective surgery and what she found helpful throughout the process. Carmen talks about asking for help from others, questions she found helpful to ask her doctor, and focusing on life beyond her thyroid.  Carmen and Jessie also discuss some tips they found helpful related to surgery, such as eating soft foods after, massaging the scar (if possible), and asking questions after surgery.

    Everyone's experience with surgery is different, so be sure to consult your care team about specifics for you!
    For support groups (local or online), please visit: https://www.thyca.org/sg/
    Please note: This podcast is unedited and represents the opinions, experiences and views of those speaking. Please consult your own medical doctor(s) or therapist for all matters involving your health and medical care.

    • 57 min
    The LID diet and RAI with Daria and Becky

    The LID diet and RAI with Daria and Becky

    Happy thyroid cancer awareness month! Becky Johnson and Daria Jerauld join Jessie for this episode where they discuss the low iodine diet (LID) and radioactive iodine treatment (RAI). Becky and Daria lead a LID support group through ThyCa and discuss resources they recommend such as the LID cookbook. Becky and Daria provide an overview of LID,  numerous tips around how to navigate the LID period, and discuss their experiences with RAI. Daria went through RAI in 1996, Becky in 2010 and Jessie in 2021 so they share their various experiences with the treatment. 

    Links to resources discussed in the podcast episode:
    -LID cookbook/app: https://www.thyca.org/pap-fol/lowiodinediet/
    -LID support groups: https://www.thyca.org/sg/sig-lid/
    -ThyCa conference (Oct 13-15 2023): https://thyca.org/support/conferences/



    Please note: This podcast is unedited and represents the opinions, experiences and views of those speaking. Please consult your own medical doctor(s) or therapist for all matters involving your health and medical care.

    • 50 min
    Thomas Drayton

    Thomas Drayton

    Listen in to Thomas's story this month, as he shares about being diagnosed with stage 4C medullary thyroid cancer in 2020 after having not been to the doctor in about 6 years. He shares about the difficult process of diagnosis, along with being told that he has metastasis in his spine/hips and that he has the HRAS mutation (which doctors have told him impact the ability for them to treat him). He is honest about continuing to have difficult emotional days, but has also found ways to cope with his diagnosis (he shares about finding others diagnosed with MTC, his support system, and cycling). He has plans to cycle across every US state before he dies, we are cheering for you Thomas!
    **Please be aware that Thomas shares in this episode about getting a bone biopsy without sedation (minutes 13:34-15:50).
    Please note: This podcast is unedited and represents the opinions, experiences and views of those speaking. Please consult your own medical doctor(s) or therapist for all matters involving your health and medical care.

    • 53 min
    Maya Strom

    Maya Strom

    Maya, who happens to be the medical provider who discovered Jessie's cancer, joins Jessie for this episode. Maya shares about her story of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer over 8 years ago shortly after giving birth to her second child. She talks about the grief her family experienced with her cancer diagnosis coming only 2 years after her husband's diagnosis with his own cancer, coupled with her own grief of having to end her breastfeeding early in order to go through RAI treatment. She shares about how being a medical provider impacted her experience of cancer treatment, about how necessary she feels it is for people to be able to slow down to process a cancer diagnosis when it comes, and about how much she struggled to adjust to thyroid medication after her thyroid was removed. 
    Please note: This podcast is unedited and represents the opinions, experiences and views of those speaking. Please consult your own medical doctor(s) or therapist for all matters involving your health and medical care.

    • 47 min
    Helga Yang

    Helga Yang

    Join Jessie and Helga for this episode as Helga tells her story of being diagnosed with papillary and tall cell thyroid cancer 6 years ago. Helga is an engineer and cyclist with a sense of humor and a love for storytelling. She talks about some of the bumps in her road of experiences with muscle weakness for several months after RAI and difficulty with bone healing after a bike crash (which her doctors told her was likely due to her thyroid hormone levels). She also shares about the supportive roles of being physically active, her faith, and 2 friends who were role models of positivity for her. Helga is in the persistent disease category for thyroid cancer and also has a congenital heart condition that can cause sudden death, which has put her persistent thyroid disease into perspective. Helga tells her story about timing when it comes to dating relationships, with some difficult life experiences coming up around the beginnings of relationships. Helga also discusses her belief in self-advocacy with medical providers and being partners in the process (which involves dialogue and openness). 
    Please note: This podcast is unedited and represents the opinions, experiences and views of those speaking. Please consult your own medical doctor(s) or therapist for all matters involving your health and medical care.

    • 46 min
    Brittany McKelvey

    Brittany McKelvey

    In this episode, Brittany shares her story about being diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer at age 13 after losing her voice and then going through a full thyroidectomy followed by 2 additional surgeries for an implant to create a functioning voice for her. She shares about what it felt like to be given this diagnosis at such a young age for both her and her parents, with the added challenge of not knowing any other teens with this diagnosis. She also shares about the impact of being told she was "strong" by others, the pressure this created for her emotionally, and how looking back she wishes she shared more of the difficult emotions that she felt at the time. She is now a facilitator of the ThyCa teen group and is a science policy analyst for a cancer research company.

    Link for ThyCa support group for teens: https://www.thyca.org/sg/sig-teens/
    Please note: This podcast is unedited and represents the opinions, experiences and views of those speaking. Please consult your own medical doctor(s) or therapist for all matters involving your health and medical care.

    • 40 min

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