In January of this year, Dominique found a lump on the right side of her neck and before the week was over she had found a second smaller lump below the first lump. She went for tests for all the regular possibilities, such as mono, and infention and when these both came up negative she was sent to get an ultrasound as the doctor thought it was overactive lymph nodes causing the lumps. The ultrasound showed that the lumps were coming from her Thyroid, so now she needed to see a Specialized Neck surgeon to get a biopsy that needed to be done during an ultrasound as it is so close to her carotid artery. The results from the biospy came a week later, Dominique had cancer. Thyroid Cancer, so surgery was the next step.
She received a Thyroidectomy and neck dissection as the cancer had already spread from her Thyroid into some lymph nodes. A tumor had also attached to her voice box. After surgery, she had 2 weeks recovery time before going back to school, 6 weeks recovery until resuming regular activities and 8 weeks until her voice went back to normal. Dominique was then referred to the cancer clinic where she learned that she had an atypical form of Papillary Carcinoma with areas of Follicular Carcinoma that is highly aggressive. As most women under the age of 45 years do not normally have thyroid cancer over Stage 2, her cancer is not staged, but her oncologist doctor said it resembles stage 3 and 4 cancer. She also found out that about 12 lymph nodes were removed during surgery in which 6 had cancer and 3 had cancer cells attached, also the tissue taken and tested from her trachea showed more cancerous cells so the doctors are not confident that they removed all the cancer in the first surgery. Because of this, Dominique is now scheduled for a full body scan to determine how much is left and may have to have another surgery to get more of the cancer out. She will then have treatment (whether or not she has another surgery) that includes radioactive iodine - full body radiation, in which she will remain isolated for days after to ensure everyone's safety as she will be emitting radiation. Since her Thyroid was removed she has major life style changes to deal with as well and will have to be on medication for this for the rest of her life.
Dominique is just starting this journey through cancer, cancer surgeries, and cancer treatment and she has had such a positive attitude through it all so far and she continues to make many plans for her future - she will not let this diagnosis take over her life! This is the time she should be celebrating and planning her future as she starts University and plans to study nursing, then become a doctor in which she will specialize in surgery and children, so she can go help people in 3rd world countries with programs like Doctors without Borders! This was her dream and goal long before she was ever diagnosed with cancer and for her, this cancer is just another hurdle to overcome to get where she wants and if you know Dominique, nothing is going to stand in her way!!
We want to raise as much money as we can as there are a lot of travel and specialized meal plans that her and her family have to deal with, and pay for. She had plans to work as much as she could (as she has done every summer) to save for University and she may not be able to do that this summer, as it will depend on her treatment schedule and how she is feeling. We want to try to help relieve some of the stress by trying to raise some money to help with her future education as well, this way she does not have to be so concerned about not working enough to pay for everything.
We are hoping to organize some events or other fundraising projects to help Dominique, so stay tuned for updates. Thank you to everyone in advance who support Dominique, she appreciates beyond words, as does her family and friends. Any amount of support will help! Thank You!