Please Pass it Along...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For a long time I wrapped a scarf around my neck to cover my scar. I didn't want to share it with others because I didn't like to look at it myself. It screamed "cancer" and to me that was the worst thing it could do.

This post is not about linen... it is about thyroid cancer. I am not writing it for myself, but for anyone you may know currently diagnosed with the disease. If you know someone who just left the endocrinologist's office with a "suspicious nodule," who needs someone to talk to, I'm your go-to person. I have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer twice - both while I was pregnant. I am healthy now because I found my answer in Dr. Michael Yeh at UCLA.

I am writing this because thyroid cancer keeps coming up.

I no longer hide my scar and it turns out that it is a conversation starter. Women see it and start asking questions because they too have thyroid concerns. They too have had cancer and aren't sure if their experience is over or just waiting for the next chapter.

Cancer is one of those words we avoid as much as we can. It is ugly and it hurts and it can leave us heartbroken. But in other cases it can teach us life lessons and strengthen us and even make us better people. I have seen both sides of the spectrum.

My dad lost his life to it, I rediscovered my life because of it. (I love this photo of my Dad and sister, Keli. I am on the left. 1980's)

I don't have all the answers...just the ones pertaining to my own experience. If you are pregnant with thryoid cancer, email me ( We can chat and I hopefully can help. (Here is my whole story on the UCLA Endocrine Patient Blog which I was asked to contribute to because of my diagnosis while pregnant - scroll down to "Heather Hutchins-Hays".)

This is what I love about blogs - they connect people - they offer support - and in the end they remind us we are not alone.


  1. I am so sorry about your father. I hope you have been able to find peace.
    I cannot imagine how frightened you must have been when you discovered you had cancer while pregnant. The world needs more people like you. What a gift you offer to others who are going through a similar experience...

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I am so glad you did so too can discover your lovely blog:) My condolences for the loss of your father. I hope you were able to recover from your cancer experience. How scary to carry around that knowledge during your pregnancy! I too also had thyroid surgery to remove just the left lobe. I had a 6cm in diameter cyst removed but was lucky enough it turned out to be benign.
    Kudos to you for reaching out and sharing your story:) All the best to you and your beautiful family.

  3. Hello Heather
    I am newly dx and would like to get some words of encouragement I emailed you hope you get a chance to reach out soon.