Angelica Aguilar

Age: Adult
Association: Survivor
Region: Los Angeles, CA
Cancer: Thyroid Cancer

"If I learned anything from this it’s for me to Abrazar la Vida: Embrace Life."

On June 1st, 2012, I was diagnosed with Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma. From that day on, I spend the next 20 months following up with my doctors having countless ultrasounds and bloodwork. Life was good after that as I slowly adjusted to my medication and returned to work and school. Finally, February 26, 2014, I got the news from my doctor as being “Cancer Free”!

Fast forward to late April 2015, I decided to go for a routine checkup with my specialist. She suggested I get an ultrasound because I was a bit overdue. Mid May 2015 comes along and I get a phone call from my doctor, asking if I had a moment to talk. She confirmed to me that a new nodule had been found on the left side of my thyroid and that it could be a possible recurrence of cancer. From June to January 2015, I went through the second round of lab work, ultrasounds, and biopsies.

January 2016 to June 15, 2016- I decided to turn over for help at the City of Hope in Duarte, CA due to insurance problems. I had my second total thyroidectomy which successfully removed my tumor, with the exception of a small portion of tissue that was wrapped around my vocal cords. I focused on my recovery which took almost two months. In the weeks to follow, I met with my doctors and they all agreed that my vocal cords were bruised and that they really hoped that after all the swelling would go away that my voice would come back. Three weeks after surgery, My voice came back! I had Radioactive Iodine treatment on Aug 17, 2016, and I am now on the road to recovery.

September 1, 2016- Two and a half months later, I got news from my endocrinologist, stating that my whole body scan came back clean with no evidence of disease. I feel that now I live life with a bigger purpose. Aside from the financial hardships, the emotional rollercoaster and the physical wear and tear, I must say that I AM NOT DEFEATED BY CANCER and cannot wait to move on with my life by continuing to work hard to fulfill my career goals, personal goals, my education and my dream of someday having my own family. I am truly grateful to my family and friends who walked me through this journey. If I learned anything from this it’s for me to Abrazar la Vida: Embrace Life.