Hanna’s Story

Site created on December 3, 2019

Thanks for visiting Hanna's CaringBridge website. We hope this will relieve some of the pressure on Hanna to have to relay updates to everyone. 

Hanna was diagnosed with papillary thyroid carcinoma (thyroid cancer) last month (November 2019) and is now starting the road to recovery. Hanna recently had a surgery called the "sistrunk procedure" to remove the cyst/tumor in her neck and will soon need to have her entire thyroid removed. The thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that is responsible for metabolism and many other body regulations that affects every system in our bodies. Thyroid cancer is much more prevalent in women, and typically appears before the age of 50 (Hanna is 29). The unique aspect of Hanna's case is that the cancer traveled outside of her thyroid and into her neck, creating a thyroglossal duct cyst. Most of her doctors have claimed that they have never seen this type of cancer behave this way; it only occurs in 1-2% of patients with thyroid cancer. 

As of now, we do not know what all her immediate treatment entails, so we are anxiously awaiting the next steps. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts. 

For anyone wishing to help out, there are a couple ways to do just that! Links are in the “how to help” section.

Newest Update

Journal entry by Abigail Gray

I have held off on posting since Hanna was having some testing and imaging and things were kind of in the air waiting on results through the holidays. Hanna saw an additional doctor right by Christmas who seemed to be very knowledgeable and thorough. She was hesitant to recommend removing her thyroid as a precautionary measure, when there were no diagnostics to support doing so. This doctor did a really extensive ultrasound and biopsy of the cyst and module on her thyroid. She said that normal behavior of thyroid cancer is to spread into the lymph nodes and into the lungs. So she ultrasound all of these areas to see if they are indicative of this. 

Hanna had her follow up appointment the other day and the biopsies and ultrasound came back CLEAR. Zero cancer!!! It sounds like the cancer was contained within the thyroglossal duct cyst that Hanna had removed in November. She said that this situation is extremely rare, but all of the cancer was removed with the cyst. Thank god hanna pursues removal because if the cyst had ruptured, cancer cells could have leaked into her system and spread to wherever in her body. 

So what this means is that Hanna no longer needs to have her thyroid removed. She no longer needs to do the radioactive iodine. She now has a clean bill of health and just needs to follow up with her endocrinologist as directed to make sure the cancer does not return and to make sure the cyst and nodule on her thyroid remain harmless. I am so happy these are the results, it could not have been better!!!
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