Ashleigh, Papillary Thyroid Cancer, by Georgia Brizuela

When I heard the 'C' word I wasn't angry, upset, or scared. I was relieved, in a way, that finally, after five years of wondering what was wrong with me, I had a diagnosis. 

When it finally came time for the operation I was told that I would have one small incision near my ear and one above my collar bone. But afterwards I remember seeing my mum's heartbroken face, with tears streaming from her eyes, and I knew I didn't look like the same daughter she had hugged and kissed nine hours earlier. The nurses didn't want me to see myself and I didn't understand. After asking and asking one nurse finally handed me a mirror... I froze. 

I had two tumours removed, my whole thyroid removed, 72 lymph nodes removed – 13 of which were riddled with cancer, and the surgeons had also dissected and removed bits of cancer from my oesophagus, voice box and vocal chords...the doctors were amazed that I was speaking the next day. The following year I was told that after all the treatment I would most likely not be able to have children. But in 2009 my partner and I welcomed our son into the world - Seth Cooper. And then our second in 2011 - Tyler Morgan.

Scar Stories Ashleigh Thyroid Cancer by Georgia Brizuela.jpg
Whenever I look at my scar I feel a sense of amazement and power. I feel proud at how strong I was through it all and what odds I beat. I can say to myself that I am a SURVIVOR!