'As the first few months went by, the fatigue continued. It was difficult to know what was the expected tiredness of being a new parent over what was more than normal. '
Magia was diagnosed with thyroid cancer while pregnant with her beautiful daughter after a routine investigation revealed something unexpected. This is her story...
When you become pregnant you feel protected, like nothing can impact you while you grow your magical baby inside you. The idea of an illness like cancer is as far away from your mind as you can ever imagine.
During my pregnancy I began to feel incredibly fatigued; far more so than I would ‘expect’ to feel during pregnancy. All our thresholds are different, but this felt much more than what I was led to expect. My pregnancy proceeded and I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. As the first few months of her life went by, the fatigue continued.
It was difficult to know what was the expected tiredness of being a new parent over what was more than normal.
Whenever I had appointments with health professionals, I always wanted to ask about it, but with such brief appointment times and so many other questions to ask I just never had the chance to.
In a strange way, this was then taken out of my hands, when I began to develop a lump around my thyroid. This lump, as it turned out, was an early sign that I suffered from Hashimoto’s Disease. I now knew that the fatigue was much more than normal and there was a cause. The routine investigations to confirm Hashimoto’s and explore the lump (goitre) on my neck, drew the team’s attention to something else.
I had Thyroid cancer!!
I still find it hard to fathom that the body, in the same space of time that it created and grew a new life, was also developing something that can kill too. I had options to undergo surgery, which I did, and to follow this with radio iodine treatment. I have thus far declined this because my cancer is low risk, but more importantly I would be radioactive and would have to be away from my daughter and I wouldn´t be able to breastfeed her anymore. I treasure every moment with my daughter and don’t wish to interrupt these precious early times with her while she is so young.
Thyroid cancer is sometimes, mistakenly, referred to as the ‘good cancer’ to get, if you get any cancer at all, because of the high curative rates. But let me tell you: no cancer diagnosis is ever good. It puts the fear for your life into you and that can never be played down.
If I can share a message with anyone, whether its other women in pregnancy or after having a baby, or any medical professional it is this: even if your instinct tells you it will be okay, get it checked anyway!
Do not dismiss fatigue as simply baby blues or sleep deprivation because there may just be a medical reason for it too.