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  • Katie Perkins

A battle nobody else can fight for you

Updated: Aug 23, 2019

As a 22 year old, I had already achieved so much. I married my Best Friend (at the ripe age of 19... don’t worry that’s normal in Utah) I graduated college with an art degree alongside my husband. We got our first dog. We got real, adult jobs. We bought our first house (we bought a duplex.. so home owners and landlords) then I got cancer. Well I guess all along I had cancer. But then I got cancer. It wasn’t until that phone call in the stairwell at work that I actually “got cancer” because before... that only happened to other people... in one short three minute phone call. My life changed forever.

There were many things that changed for me. Suddenly, my fatigue made sense and my memory issues had a name. I was no longer Katie the artist, or Katie with the cute smile. I was suddenly Katie the cancer fighter. And that was heavy... I wasn’t even sure what papillary thyroid cancer was.. I didn’t know how I was going to fight it. I didn’t know anything but I knew I had to fight.

Because of some things that happened with my first ENT who diagnosed me, I decided I needed to find someone who was a better fit. And in walked Dr. Denys. He made me feel understood. He sat there with me as I held back tears and vomit while being told I was at stage 3. He valued my input. And made sure I was comfortable with every step of our game plan. He is the reason I made it. He is the one that made me realize the importance of being an advocate for myself. Because if we would have waited even a few months like my first doc suggested I might not be here today. If I would have been content with being pushed around and silenced. I might be DEAD. Let that sink in for a moment... if I just trusted this heath professional who is a complete stranger with my health no questions asked I would be in a very different place today. It’s because I listened to myself and my knowing that There was a better doctor out there for me that I’m alive today. I took control.

Ok, now fast forward almost one year from the day I found out I got cancer.... I’m down a thyroid, and I’ve done radiation. I take a pill daily and I’m still exhausted and always sick. I go into my doctor and he tells me it has nothing to do with my thyroid. Guess what my gut said? It said, “Listen, Katie, I know this guy is a professional but come on..” and I reached out to another specialist and he checked my charts and was surprised to know that I wasn’t taking my medications as I should have been. Because I didn’t know better! I was an advocate for myself and that helped my quality of life so much.That’s exactly what you need to do.

You found out you have thyroid cancer. Well that’s why you’re here right? Well now what? Don’t sit and let someone else take control. Take control of this, because this is a battle nobody else can fight for you. And never forget that you are not alone.

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