On this episode of WE Have Cancer, fellow cancer podcast host Jess Thomas Nelson shares how her life has changed since being diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer in January 2020. Since then, she’s learned that practically everyone has been impacted by cancer in some way, and has become passionate about sharing her guest’s cancer stories with the world.
Jess Thomas Nelson is the host of the My Cancer Story Podcast, which she started shortly after her thyroidectomy in February 2020. In her own words, “I’m not famous and you wouldn’t know me from anywhere, but I too have been affected by cancer.” She has always loved the practice of acupuncture and utilized both eastern and western medicine while recovering from her surgery last year.
Table of Contents:
The Power of the Cancer Community and Sharing Cancer Stories
After starting My Cancer Story, Jess was blown away by people reaching out eager to share their own stories with the world. She’s learned that everyone in a person’s life is affected by cancer, and nearly everyone knows someone who’s had cancer.
How it Feels to Hear “You Have Cancer”
On Christmas Eve, Jess’s endocrinologist told her the nodes they’d found were most likely thyroid cancer. She kept the news from her family until after the holidays, not wanting to burden them with the weight of her diagnosis. But after she did share the news with her close family and friends, she was moved to see how many people in her life stepped up as proud caretakers and supporters.
Sharing My Cancer Story with the World
While lying on the acupuncture table, I got the idea to start a podcast. Jess felt that her story was fairly quick and painless in comparison to the experiences of many others, and she knew she wanted to create a space for folks to share those experiences. She says COVID-19 and quarantine pushed her to start since it was already harder to connect with members of the community in person.
What’s Next for My Cancer Story?
Jess’s podcast began with one episode per month and quickly grew to one episode a week. Even though sometimes the episodes can get heavy, Jess knows she wants to keep sharing these powerful cancer stories with the community.
Recovery with Integrative Cancer Care
Jess became interested in integrative medicine and integrative nutrition a few years before her diagnosis. When she was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Cancer she went to her acupuncturist for help with her meridians and endocrine system.
My Life Without a Thyroid
After Jess’s thyroidectomy, she shares it took a while for her endocrinologist to find the right synthroid dose, and that she had to wait at least 30 minutes before having coffee or eating meals, had to become more mindful of her alcohol consumption, and tried to remember to take all her vitamins. While the adjustment may have been difficult at first, now all the timing considerations and medications are simply a way of life.