My Thyroid Cancer Scar & Some Healthy Resources

Good morning! This is the second week in a row that I haven’t been able to keep up with my traditional Monday/Wednesday/Friday blog postings, but next week should be a more normal schedule. I have two finals this week and that is definitely throwing me off. Also, yesterday, I traveled to Santa Barbara for my 2-month follow-up appointment with my endocrinologist. It was the second time I’ve seen him since my surgery and it went pretty well. Here’s a picture of my scar, it is still red and elevated, but it is definitely getting better. The two red dots below the major incision scar are from the drains that were in my neck post-surgery:

The biggest issue I’m dealing with right now is my thyroid replacement medication because my thyroid levels were way off on a blood test I did last week. I’ve had some tiredness as a result, but my doctor adjusted my medication yesterday so that should be resolved soon. I was also very encouraged when he said that it is very, very unlikely that any cancer will re-develop because my tumor was so small and contained and, in the rare chance that that happens, it would be caught early so it likely will never be an issue for me. That discussion made me very happy. I will have my first ultrasound to look for any re-growth in about four months and I will let you know how that turns out.

I’m glad you liked my notes from Dr. Fuhrman’s Immersion two weeks ago. I have couple of resources to share that relate to a few things I learned there. During the cooking demonstration at the event, the chef said that he had done research to find nutritional yeast that is not supplemented with folic acid. The product he recommended comes from this website: http://natures-garden-health-center.myshopify.com/collections/nutritional-yeast-non-active-non-fortified.

I ordered two bags of the nutritional yeast and they arrived yesterday:

Apparently most nutritional yeast sold in bulk bins and many other sources does contain folic acid and that is what we are trying to avoid due to the disturbing research that shows a link between folic acid supplementation and breast cancer risk.

Then, another product that has come to my attention that relates to something that was discussed at the event is this tahini made from unhulled sesame seeds:

Blog reader Rebecca M. did the research to find this product (thanks, girl!) and I am definitely going to order some, here is the description:

“Max Sesame Tahini Spread is the only tahini on the market made using raw, sprouted, whole, un-hulled, USDA Certified Organically-grown sesame seeds for maximum taste and nutritional value. Our sesame seeds are sprouted and immediately ground whole using our cold-press chemical free process that best preserves the extraordinary properties of raw sesame seeds providing more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than any other tahini on the market!”

Or, I might just try making my own tahini from unhulled sesame seeds in my Vitamix, as long as it doesn’t turn out like my almond butter. :)

The last and most exciting resource I want to share with you is the new online magazine for Our Hen House that my friends Jasmin and Mariann have put together that was just published yesterday. I am so honored to have an article featured in the “To Your Health” section of the magazine; I wrote about how my cancer diagnosis inspired my activist spirit, please check it out here! And, if you are an annual donor of $100 or more to this fantastic non-profit, then you are considered a “member of the flock” and you can get my  brand-new Cream of Kabocha Squash Soup recipe that has never been published anywhere else:

It’s a keeper, for sure, so go ahead and make your donation to this fantastic vegan organization.

I’m going to be kind to myself and not promise another blog post until Friday, so, until then, have a happy, healthy rest of your week!

 

Comments

  1. says

    Do they have you putting anything on the scar or doing any scar massage? It’s looking really good! The silicone tape was what really helped mine flatten out.

    • says

      Hi Lori! I have been using the silicone sheeting as well. I’m also using vitamin E and doing massage on it. My doc says it should get better in the next few months. :)

  2. Christy says

    Carrie,

    You look beautiful!

    Did you ever have a chance to ask Dr. Fuhrman if chia seeds should be taken separate from medications to prevent binding (like flax does) ?

    • says

      Hi Christy! Thanks for following up. I asked that question on a Twitter chat with Dr. Fuhrman but later realized he didn’t answer it because it wasn’t on the topic for that evening. I’m glad you reminded me about your question. I just tried to search for it on the member center, but couldn’t find anything. I then google’d it and found some anecdotal stuff, but nothing that sounds scientifically-backed. My advice would be to ask your doctor about it and adjust your medication if necessary. Sorry I don’t have anything more helpful to report. :(

  3. Charlie says

    Hi Carrie- You look great! I have 2 similar scars, but for a different reason. About 3 years ago, I had 2 basal cell carcinomas removed by a Mohs procedure. This ended up being quite large because testing came back positive, so they deepened and enlarged the removal (silver dollar size). Dr. actually told me most people would mistake this for having my Thyroid removed. The scar stayed puffy and deeply colored for quite some time. It was only after starting a Nutritarian diet that it showed marked improvement. Today it is only visible up close, and coloring matches the surrounding skin completely. No puffiness, etc. It really comes down to improved healing and inflammation reduction. You are already way ahead in this regard!

    • says

      Thanks for the message, Charlie! That is so great that your scars are getting better and how awesome to think that your overall inflammation has been reduced, that’s terrific! :)

  4. Shosh says

    You look beautiful babe! I also recently read about the whole seed tahini and I’m gonna look for some over here across the pond. See you soon my darling! xxx

  5. says

    You know the first things I noticed in your picture? Your amazing smile! Holy pearly whites woman =) And your gorgeous glowing skin! Keep up your positive spirit and everything will continue to turn out well =)
    Thanks for the product info – will have to check the nooch out. I think I may try making my own tahini too (makes me nervous as I do not have the best blender).
    Will check out the online magazine too!

    • says

      Thanks, Kim!!! I’m not even sure that my teeth are that white, maybe it is just my photo editing software? :) But, thank you for the compliments. You are equally gorgeous, both inside and out. Have a great weekend! :)

  6. Oly Jacobsen says

    Lots of love, Carrie <3
    I'm busy taking care of myself these days, so don't comment a lot, but I'm still following you!
    Have a wonderful day! <3

  7. bee says

    Is the whole foods brand of nooch non-fortified? The one in the can (not bulk bin) doesnt seem to be fortified, but im not sure. Comparing the % of Bs of the canister WF brand vs the KAL brand shows huge differences in B concentration, with the WF canister being way lower (well under 100%). Is this one non fortified?

    • says

      Good question, Bee! I believe the chef at the Immersion said that the nutritional yeast sold in the bulk bins at Whole Foods is fortified. The only way to be sure would be to ask the manager of that department and find out the manufacturer and then ask that company.

      • bee says

        I know the bulk bin stuff is fortified, but if u go into the WholeBody seection where the nooch is, there is a canister of WholeFoods brand nooch. On the label, it just says saccharomyces cervasasi (pardon the butchered spelling) and doesnt list any added Bs…and if u compare the
        Label to the fortified KAL/red star stuff, the Bs are significantly lower. The clerks at WFs werent of any help, so i was wondering if u knew

        How does the taste differ of the bulkbin stuff vs the Natures Garden brand? How long does it take to ship? Lastly, is it expensive and worth the cost? (My computer broke so i cant access the site easily…ugh)

        • says

          Oh, I get it, Bee. Well, that is a good sign that the B vitamin %’s are significantly lower. I don’t think the ingredient label is an indication (strangely) and, to be honest, the only way you’ll really know is if you call the company. I guess I didn’t want to take any chances so that’s why I ordered the Nature’s Garden brand. It took about a week to arrive from my order date and it was $10 for 8 ounces.

          • bee says

            Yeah, ya cant trust labels these days…ill try the stuff u recommend. Im a nooch-newbie, so idk what to expect, but i hope its good! How much do u use per day and per meal?

            I cant see the label of that nooch…how many TBs is a serving and whats the protein? Does the nonfortifed stuff still have some Bs?

            Also, are there other “vegan essential” products/foods/staples u recommend?

            Im glad u are feeling better….u can barely see ur scar, but wear it proudly! Our scars are badges of honor given to us by Life…and are nature’s tattoos! Keep letting ur sunny aura radiate….ur story and drive is positively impacting more people than u think ;-)

          • says

            Hi Bee! I don’t use nooch that often, maybe 1-2 times a week. I’m guessing my intake is about 1 tablespoon per serving. I’m not sure what a true serving size is, though. I do recall Dr. Fuhrman recommending intake to be less than 2 tablespoons per serving. Thanks for the comment on my scar, I really like your positive words on it. :)

  8. Donna says

    You really do look like you’re lit by “candlelight”, but from within. You are radiant! Self-care really shows… Nobody would ever guess what a health scare you’ve just had. Glad to see and hear that you’re doing well and feeling positive with all this reassuring news from your doc. And as always, thanks for the great information…

  9. Sarah Orgass says

    I ordered some of the Max Sesame and some of their “Almindie” almond butter too. Wow. Sooooooo good. I opened both jars as soon as they arrived. The Max Sesame is much darker and richer tasting than the hulled sesame tahini’s. It’s truly amazing! And the Almondie is incredibly smooth and creamy. And since it’s made without the skins on the almonds it doesn’t give me such a bad headache!!! I’m in heaven right now with these new tasty treats. Thank you so much for the recommendations!!!

    • says

      Oh yay, Sarah, I’m so glad to hear you like the products! I ordered the Max tahini but it hasn’t arrived yet. Now I wish I had bought some of the almond butter, too. :) Enjoy!!!

      • Sarah says

        I just mixed some of the MAX tahini with water and used it as a sauce for a quinoa, shredded carrot, red pepper and green leaf lettuce bowl. Yum!!!! Simple yet delicious. You are in for a real treat. This stuff is amazing! I can feel the energy increasing in my cells :) Can I put in a special request for a blog post with what you do with yours? I’m sure you’ll have lots of better ideas!

        • says

          That’s so awesome, Sarah! You got me thinking now about creative uses for tahini. I have seen some dessert recipes that use it, maybe I will try something sweet? I hope mine arrives soon!

  10. bee says

    Do u have the phone number for the company of that nutritional yeast? I cant find it on their website and i havent received my order yet, so i wanted to call and see whats up. Sorry to ask u this, but i have scoured their website and cant find their contact info! Ugh. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Bee! I just scoured the website, too, and didn’t see a phone number listed. BUT, I looked in my trash folder for the receipt for my order and found this e-mail address: jen@naturesgardenwellnesscenter.com. So, I would definitely try shooting Jen an e-mail to find out the status of your order. I believe it took about a week for mine to arrive, but it was worth the wait. :)

  11. Steph K. says

    I was looking at one of your recipes and saw your mention of surgery. When I went back to find the post where you talked about it I saw that you had thyroid cancer and thought to myself “Wow, I have so much in common with this woman!”. I went vegan around the same time I found a lump in my throat and before I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I was 19 (35 now). I had surgery to remove the tumor and most of the rest of my thyroid, the rest was taken care of with radioactive iodine over a period of about three years. My cancer stayed contained in my tumor and I still have a strong belief that going vegan helped keep it from spreading from the time I found the tumor around Christmas until the following May when I had surgery. I was ovolacto veg before that for about 4 years. My scar is almost unnoticeable now :) I think one of the best things I did was keep it out of the sun the first summer after surgery. Scarves work great for this purpose. I’ve struggled with my meds too, off and on. The best thing that has helped me get the weight off from that has been ETL. Nothing else has ever worked for more than about 10-15 lbs. Also, I know what you mean about the “cancer survivor” thing. It still feels weird to me. I don’t think I’ll ever classify myself that way. It’s something that happened in my life, but it isn’t my identity.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your life and journey. It’s always nice to see people who are in a similar situation as mine thriving :D

    • says

      Hi Steph! Thank you so much for commenting! I’m also really glad to connect with someone who has had thyroid cancer and is thriving. I do know that the survival rates are excellent but it makes a huge difference to get input from real people, ya know? :)

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *