Melanie's Radioactive Butterflies

The Story

I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer on December 2, 2019. 

Prior to this, I underwent months of doctor appointments and testing to determine what was going on. Luckily, this form of cancer is treatable and has an amazing success rate.

I underwent a total thyroidectomy and central neck dissection in February of 2020 with an extended stay in the hospital due to dangerously low calcium levels. The surgery went well and they removed all of my thyroid and as many lymph nodes as they could. Pathology later reported there were multiple tumors on my thyroid and cancer cells had spread to the lymph nodes.

I was left with surgical hypoparathyroidism, this is where my body cannot produce parathyroid hormone (PTH) which regulates your calcium levels. Since surgery, I've been taking approximately 20 pills a day to regulate my calcium,

In July of 2020, I took radioactive iodine (RAI) which kills thyroid cells in the body and was completely isolated for multiple days at a hotel. My last scan showed the uptake was extensive in my neck and lymph nodes but they will rescan everything in 3 months to see how effective it was.

On day 3 of my RAI treatment, when the worst side effects typically begin, I began to experience extreme chest pain. Over the past three weeks, I've experienced this pain and the only thing that has helped was drinking hot tea (and of course it's 100 degrees outside). To determine the cause I've had multiple doctor appointments, EKGs, and an endoscopy. The gastroenterologist found a large non-bleeding esophageal ulcer in an unusual location. I was given multiple medications to deal with the pain and discomfort and placed on a restrictive soft food diet for the next 12 weeks. 

The Reason

This page was created to help me cover the mounting medical bills. Since I underwent months of scans and tests in 2019, I maxed out my deductible and out-of-pocket costs for 2019 and then again in 2020 with surgery and RAI treatment. 

Certain parts of treatment are not covered under insurance, such as my hotel stay for multiple days. All these expenses start to add up and add up and add up.

Any amount will help and I will be forever grateful. I'm hoping to finish up my biological sciences (pre-med) degree by next spring and apply to PA school. This has been delayed due to symptoms and treatment. 

The Person

I'm Melanie Lynn! I'm 28 years old and I'm from Connecticut. I'm a dog mom to three crazy pups, you can learn more about them here).

I'm an artist in my free time you can check out my work here . 

I currently work full-time for an amazing non-profit that raises german shepherds to become guide dogs for those with visual impairments. 

I'm also a full-time student studying biological sciences in order to become a physician assistant (PA).


TLDR: I have thyroid cancer and ended up with multiple complications from treatment. I could use a hand covering expenses from medical bills.


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Melanie Yates 
Windsor Locks, CT

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