Thyroid cancer survivor: MD Anderson took me from hospice to hope

In January 2017, I was diagnosed with anaplastic thyroid cancer. The disease was so advanced that I was given only a few weeks to live. So, when I first started my battle against cancer, I was just hoping to gain a bit more time. I never dreamed I’d still be here today. Yet here I am, almost two years later. I am completely cancer-free — and I have MD Anderson to thank for it. I knew very little about thyroid cancer or its treatment before I was diagnosed. Even now, most of the medical stuff is over my head. But one thing I do understand is hope. And I found a lot of that at MD Anderson. My anaplastic thyroid cancer symptoms I had a lot of swelling in my neck for several weeks before my diagnosis. I was also unusually tired and irritable. I thought it was just weight gain at first, so I didn’t go to the doctor. But when I started having trouble breathing and swallowing, I went to a local emergency room, near my home in Indiana. The doctors there performed a CT scan, which showed a large mass in my neck, as well as several cancerous lymph nodes. The tumor was so big that it had completely surrounded one of my carotid arteries and almost flattened my windpipe. That made breathing difficult and swallowing even harder. Why I came to MD Anderson The size and location of the tumor made surgery impossible. My local hospital is great and its doctors are talented, but their experience with my type of cancer was extremely limited. They...