If I have any one message to tell the world it is this – be vigilant with your own health, nothing is more important than one’s own life!

Here are some statistical facts about thyroid cancer according to the American Cancer Society:

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for thyroid cancer in the United States for 2014 are:

About 62,980 new cases of thyroid cancer (47,790 in women, and 15,190 in men)
About 1,890 deaths from thyroid cancer (1,060 women and 830 men)

“Thyroid cancer is commonly diagnosed at a younger age than most other adult cancers. Nearly 2 out of 3 cases are found in people younger than 55 years of age. About 2% of thyroid cancers occur in children and teens. The chance of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer has risen in recent years and it the most rapidly increasing cancer in the US. Most of this is the result of the increased use of thyroid ultrasound, which can detect small thyroid nodules that might not otherwise have been found in the past. Still, at least part of the increase is from finding more large tumors as well. The death rate from thyroid cancer has been fairly stable for many years, and remains very low compared with most other cancers.”

neck check

This is why it is vitally important that you ensure that your doctors are doing all the necessary screenings and above all get your neck check at EVERY visit. If you are not, demand it as your doctor is not doing their job! I really try to encourage others that if your doctor is not meeting your needs and not really listening to you and your concerns, then they don’t deserve to be your doctor. If you don’t fight for yourself who will? You are your own best health advocate and know you own body best. They key is educating oneself on things you need to watch for. If it had been stressed to me the importance of proper follow-up with my doctors and had I known the warning signs, my cancer could have probably been found much sooner and resulted in a better outcome.

The other message I would give to others is to embrace life each day as though it is your last. Make every day count and don’t let a day go by without letting those who mean the world to you know just how much you care about them. Life is just too short. You never know if there will be a time when you will talk to those you care about for the last time and not even know it. That makes me reflect on the senseless shooting tragedies in Aurora, CO and in Sandy Hook, CT. Those who lost loved ones will never get the chance to say what they really wanted to for those who meant the most to them, that opportunity was taken right out from under them and my heart goes out to all those families affected. So, I strongly urge you to take a moment today, and hold your children, your spouse and other loved ones a little more tightly and cherish that moment as that moment may slip away before you know it. There is a quote that I am very fond of which I would like to share:

Life is not measured
— Anonymous

We never know how long we have on this earthly life which is why we need to cherish and make every moment count! Every day is a precious gift we are given which I do not take for granted as I know it can be taken from me at any given time. What matters is what we choose to do with that gift and to make the most out of what we are given. For me that choice is to give unto others and why volunteer work is so important to me, especially to those fighting cancer. It is by reaching out and touching lives that our life has meaning and purpose.

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