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Shelly had a life-changing scare two years ago. Today on the blog she shares part of her journey and how getting out in nature helps her feel alive. Thank you Shelly for being vulnerable and sharing your story with all of us. You are an amazing example to women showing us how to fight for life and create the life we want.

“I’m ending my 2018 with a new beginning, 52 hike challenge! Two years ago I was feeling something kind of funny in my throat when I swallowed. I ignored it for a good month. I just figured something was stuck and would eventually go away. It didn’t hurt it was just bothersome. I was out with girlfriends and casually said something about it, right away one friend said it could be your thyroid. To be honest, I knew your thyroid was in your upper body but I thought it was like near your chest, not your throat. So needless to sat I scheduled a doctor’s appt. What happened next was kind of a whirlwind.. My doctor couldn’t see anything down my throat but did feel a little something on my neck, but nothing was visible to him. He sent me to have an ultrasound on my thyroid. The text sent me on my way and said I would receive a call. I have access to all my health notes and lab results online. I was able to look at the results before I received any call. Of course, I didn’t know what the results meant, but I googled everything! Everything pointed to thyroid cancer. I eventually got the call and was scheduled for a needle biopsy. Those results were not so great either, I was then scheduled with an oncology surgeon. His goal was to remove as little of my thyroid as he could to try to preserve my thyroid function and test the tumors to see if they were cancerous. The surgery took longer than expected the tumors were growing in my muscle tissue, vocal cords and some lymph nodes looked suspicious. I guess I was in denial, shock, disbelief or all of the above but I was not really prepared for the surgeons call 5 days later. He said there was “disease” found in your thyroid and in one of thirteen lymph nodes he removed. We need to yo come in tomorrow to remove your remaining thyroid. “Disease” is a code word for caner. I was officially diagnosed with Stage 3 papillary thyroid cancer. CRAZY two years later and still realizing all the important functions of a thyroid and dealing without one! I am blessed the cancer is gone. I am still trying to get back to “normal: the only way I know how… GETTING OUTSIDE!”