When she was diagnosed with papillary thyroid cancer at 22, Erin had her thyroid and two lymph nodes removed. Eight years later, while pregnant with her son Luke, the cancer returned.
Erin was first diagnosed with papillary thyroid carcinoma when she was a senior in college. A nodule found in a routine gynecologist’s appointment prompted her doctor to order an ultrasound and a fine needle biopsy. When cancer was diagnosed by a pathologist, Erin had surgery to remove her thyroid and two cancerous lymph nodes. Following her college graduation, she received radioactive iodine treatment and was given a clean bill of health.
When Erin was pregnant with her son eight years later, her hormone levels were monitored at a high-risk clinic. An ultrasound revealed three suspicious lymph nodes; subsequent on-site analysis by a pathologist revealed recurrent papillary thyroid carcinoma. While Erin had surgery to remove two cancerous lymph nodes, her carcinoma tested positive for a BRAF mutation, which means the cancer would be less responsive to the radioactive iodine treatment and more likely to recur in the future. Erin’s doctors continue to monitor her cancer growth every six months through a combination of blood tests and scans.
Erin’s husband, Cody, is a pathologist and has deepened her understanding of the nature of her cancer and the diagnostic role the pathologist and laboratory team play in care and treatment planning. She has a great appreciation for the many doctors and clinicians that work behind the scenes on her behalf.
Erin has worked in the commercial furniture and design industry since graduating college and now stays home with her son, Luke. She enjoys designing, crafting, watching movies and spending time with her husband and son.