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Thyroid cancer

A place for people affected by thyroid cancer to support one another, ask questions, and share their experiences.

Recently Diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer, what do I tell my kids?

Scott0268
Posted by

Hi.

Where do I start well from the start I guess and any help would be appreciated.

In January 2020 I found a swelling in my neck on my right side. After seeing my GP I was put on two week wait to see the ENT specialist. From there I went though the Ultrasound scans and biopsy then bloods. It's can back that i was in the middle of the ball park with both the size of the mass and the thyroid count. Fast forward a few weeks and I was told I was to have surgery to remove the right hand side of my Thyroid glad. Unfortunately my surgery got cancelled this was in March. I managed to get it rearranged a week later and then I was lucky to have the operation due the Covid-19 situation. Lucky it went ahead and on Tuesday 29th April I got a call from the Hospital and it was confirmed I have Thyroid Cancer, I have a Very Rare strain of papillary carcinoma, so rare that they want to do a case study on the surgery, treatment and recovery.

Now I was kind of expecting it to be cancer due to my surgeon ore warning me after my operation not to be shocked if it was.

Lucky I'm a very positive person, always happy and always smiling. And this won't chance this I know I'll overcome this and beat it.

However here is the bit I'm not going to be good at, I have two boys a 8year old and a 5 almost 6 year old. They live with their mum as I am divorced. How or where do I start with explaining this to them. I'm strong person but I'm Kent to be Thier the dad the strong one that they look up to. I don't want to show them any weakness.

Sorry for the long post.

Thanks in advance for anyone who takes the time to read or respond to this post .

Remember keep smiling, be strong we all have future.

Always Smile never give up the future is there for us all.
Lass
Posted by

Hi there, 

Welcome to the forum, though I'm sorry you need to be here! 

Before I go into more details, would you mind sharing what sort of papillary cancer it is? I just don't want to give you any information that might not be accurate to your case is all. 

Thanks in advance, and I hope you managed to get some sleep! 

Lass

Xx

I have no medical training, everything I post is an opinion or educated guess. It is not medical advice.

Scott0268
Posted by

Unfortunately I dont remember the Strain. it was something I wasnt able to pronounce, haha, all I know it's very rare. Sorry I don't have more on that I have a consultation this Thursday so hopefully I'll be able to find a bit more

Always Smile never give up the future is there for us all.
Lass
Posted by

Heya!

Ok, so I've had a Google to see what strains there are and how they differ from your bog standard papillary thyroid cancer, and most seem to behave in exactly the same way but maybe have a higher rate of recurrence than the bog standard one. So for now, that's what I'll be thinking while I'm writing this up, but it might not be 100% accurate depending on exactly what strain you have. Hope that's ok!

So, first off it sounds like you've had a very straightforward and normal route through diagnosis, which is great. No surprises or weird things going on there! Papillary thyroid cancer is one of the two most common types of thyroid cancer, and is usually treated very successfully with a 99% survival rate. Even with the different strains there are, it's usually treated really successfully, so you're right to be positive and have the mindset that this will be beaten.

The thing that might be a bit weird to get your head around is that you might have already beaten it. Quite often, once the lump is removed then that's the cancer gone, and there's no more treatment needed. So people are given a cancer diagnosis and the all clear in the same conversation - which can mess a mind up! You've not mentioned if they want to do anything else to you, but I presume you'll find out more today at the consultation, so we'll stick a pin in this bit.

I just want to address the bit where you say you're always happy and smiling and you won't let this change that fact. That's great, and is definitely a good way to go through this, but there may come a point where that changes. Everyone deals with a cancer diagnosis in different ways, and some are never negatively affected, some have an initial wtf moment and have a bit of a crash, for others it's a bit delayed and the shock and wtf'ness come in at a later date. There is no right or wrong way to deal with it, so long as it's legal and healthy lol, so just take what comes and don't feel ashamed or wrong if you do have a bit of a crash somewhere down the line.

Now, as for your boys, I understand that Dad's want to be heroes to their children, but I think it's healthy to show children, especially boys, that Dad's aren't invincible, and that it's ok to be ill, have problems, cry, show emotion, etc etc. Men need to know it's ok to be sensitive, have problems, and talk about what's going on with them as it makes them more well rounded adults. I think it will be easier to know what to say, once you find out more today about how you're moving forwards with this. If you have a look HERE then you'll find a booklet that MacMillan have written and provided about talking to children when an adult has cancer. You can order it if you want a hard copy, or you can download it and read it on your device.

Personally, if I had kids of that age to explain it to, I think I'd go down the route of saying that Mummy had a bad lump in her neck, but the doctors have taken it out and now I just need medicine to make sure it doesn't come back. So keeping it honest, but simple so that they can understand it - while leaving out the word cancer, because I think at the ages your boys are at, that word might be too confusing for them as they may have picked things up about it from TV or other kids.

I hope all of that is of some use! And good luck with the consultation today!

Lass

xx

I have no medical training, everything I post is an opinion or educated guess. It is not medical advice.