THE BLOG
07/30/2013 12:44 pm ET | Updated Sep 29, 2013

One Year Since My Cancer Diagnosis

In July of 2012, I was diagnosed with Metastatic Papillary Carcinoma Thyroid Cancer, Hypothyroidism and Hashimoto's Disease. Prior to hearing the news, I had never even heard of any of these diseases before, and being hit with all three diseases at once was horrifying.

For many years I was misdiagnosed. Last year I knew something wasn't right when I was suffocating, couldn't swallow water, and had hoarse voice. For two months I suffered. Unfortunately, the endocrinologist who happened to be the chief at my local hospital misdiagnosed me and brushed me off. Listening to my gut instinct, I decided to make an appointment at another hospital. I was not going to let this doctor win this time.

In August 2012, I had to undergo a total thyroidectomy ( complete thyroid removal), which was followed by a Low Iodine Diet and Radio Active Iodine treatment. During my treatment I stayed at local Hope Lodge, NYC so I could go back and forth to treatment. Treatment was difficult as I had many side effects and till this day I am struggling with many of them. Not many people realize that without a thyroid it is difficult to function. Who knew this tiny little gland could cause so many problems? Most of my days are spent in bed because I don't have the strength to move. We need better care. We need more doctors who can research, investigate and treat Thyroid Cancer. Finding the right doctor is very difficult; I am a year out and I am still searching for the best endocrinologist. Essentially, I'm looking for someone who will listen to me, do standard blood testing every four weeks, and guide me to lead a good quality of life. Right now I am currently fighting an infection from my salivary glands.

Once you are diagnosed with the "C word" your entire life changes forever. I have to be on medications for the rest of my life to survive. If I don't take two of them daily it can be fatal.

I am urging you to get your neck checked! You can do so by talking to your regular MD.

Did you know that?

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 60,220 new cases of thyroid cancer in the U.S. in 2013. Of these new cases, about 45,310 will occur in women and about 14,910 will occur in men. About 1,850 people (1,040 women and 810 men) will die of thyroid cancer in 2013.

Websites that really helped me during diagnosis because I didn't know anyone or anything about this disease:

Never give up! Live life to its fullest. Tell your loved ones you love them every day. Enjoy life. Most of all stay positive even when you feel like you can't. I honestly didn't think I had the strength for this but I did it! I am a Survivor. I am thankful I am alive.

I want to thank my family and friends for supporting me through this difficult time in my life.

I also want to thank my boyfriend for always standing by my side, guiding me and supporting me. I would be so lost without you. Ti amo.

Check out Danielle's blog here.