Yasmin Browning

Hi everyone, my name is Yasmin and I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer in 2009.
My journey started in late 2008 I had just taken voluntary redundancy and I was going on a holiday
to India and went to the doctors to have my vaccinations.
The nurse there noticed that I had a goitre on my neck which I had no idea was there and referred
me to my GP.
I didn’t think much of it and went off on my holiday and when I returned in February 2009, I went to
see an Endocrinologist at my local hospital. I was sent for an ultrasound scan and fine needle
aspiration which confirmed my diagnosis which came as a bit of a shock.
I was told I needed a total thyroidectomy to remove the tumour and was referred to a fantastic
surgeon in London (where I lived at the time) and this was completed in April 2009.
In June 2009, I had radioactive iodine treatment to follow up on the surgery and was in hospital for 3
days. I remember drinking lots of lime cordial squash to flush my body as quickly as possible!!
In between all this as I was not working, I was going to my local hospitals cancer support centre
which was really helpful as they had counsellors, free reflexology treatments and yoga classes but it
was not Thyroid Cancer specific, so I felt a bit unique.
After treatment finished, I started a new job and life returned to normal. I had follow-up scans, and
everything was fine but after 2 years, I had a strange tingling feeling in my neck which my surgeon
checked and decided I should have a second dose of radioactive iodine.
Since then, I have had regular scans, blood tests and a few adjustments of my Thyroxine medication
but everything is fine.
At no point throughout this experience have I felt unwell, but I do remember feeling frustrated
about waiting for surgery as it seemed like a long time.
Initially I was self-conscious about my scar and would wear a lot of scarves to hide it but that soon
went away, and I no longer notice it or care that I have it.
When I moved to Wales in 2017, I was so pleased to find this group as I had never met anyone else
with Thyroid Cancer before. Everyone is friendly and kind and it’s so nice to know that support is
there if needed. I have now become more involved with the group and attend the meetings every
other month where we discuss how we can help patients, how to use any funds raised and any new
fund-raising opportunities. This also led me to becoming a buddy for a fellow patient and helping
with the group Facebook page which is there in addition to the website and Twitter page to provide
information and an easy way to get in touch with us.