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  • hey guys welcome back to my channel apologies  for the very long space between videos it uh was  

  • not planned and as you can see i'm not in japan  i'm in a very canadian looking house is because  

  • i'm in canada at the moment i'm  gonna be here for a little while  

  • um i thought about whether or not i wanted to make  this video i wasn't too sure because it's pretty  

  • personal and i thought maybe i could just pretend  like the last couple months didn't happen and  

  • get back into vlogging whenwas ready and not address it but  

  • the past three months have just been an absolute  [ __ ] show and the only things that helped me  

  • get through it mentally were watching vlogs  of people that went through the same thing  

  • or were going through the same thing and it really  helped me out like i cannot explain how much of  

  • a comfort it was to see somebody who was going  through the same thing um and handling it okay  

  • and just uh getting some idea of what it was gonna  be like for me but anyways let me explain what the  

  • heck i'm talking about so as you guys know i just  moved apartments in japan i moved to a new city  

  • i'm based in sendai now i just moved into  my new apartment in july and i was there for  

  • five days before all of this happened and that  was such a good five days i've got mauro back  

  • and i really like my new apartment and i was  just so thrilled to be there in a new city  

  • and really excited about making videos for you  guys and i talked a lot about wanting to make  

  • videos in sunday for you and i'm sure you're all  wondering why the heck i haven't uploaded anything  

  • well yeah five days after i moved in  i started having troubles speaking  

  • it i'm still having problems now you can  probably tell my voice is a little messed up  

  • but it's really hard to explain it kind  of just felt like i had to really put a  

  • lot of effort into speaking and i felt really  exhausted after trying to talk for more than  

  • a couple minutes at a time and i was also having  problems swallowing and breathing at times so i  

  • found a clinic nearby my new apartment and  i popped in there and i asked them to just  

  • take a look at my throat see if there's anything  weird going on there and they took some blood  

  • tests my blood tests were all normal so i wasn't  too worried and then i went in for an ultrasound  

  • which is just um it's not painful it's just to see  the inside of your throat and see what's going on  

  • and there's an ultrasound technician that looks  at a screen and will record that information and  

  • pass it on to the doctor the technician doesn't  normally tell you anything because it's not their  

  • place to do so as she was like scanning  my throat she was taking so many pictures  

  • of this one location and she said is this  the first time you're having this looked at  

  • and i was like yeah first time just started having  troubles with it um these past couple weeks and  

  • it just got so bad today that i thoughtreally should go in and get it checked out  

  • she was like okay well the doctor is going to  talk to you about this and that's just like ah  

  • that doesn't sound good i started to get a little  nervous i went back out to the waiting room and  

  • i sat there for about 20 minutes then the doctor  called me in and sat me down and right away he was  

  • like you have a giant tumor on your thyroid andwas like oh okay didn't see that coming i really  

  • i didn't know what to expect but i think i had  maybe expected something more along the lines  

  • of maybe your thyroid is swollen or irritated or  like enlarged i didn't expect to hear that i had  

  • a tumor and then he followed that up with  and there is a 95 chance that it's cancer  

  • and i was just like oh okay i was not prepared  to hear this today i had not mentally prepared  

  • to hear that i have a large cancerous tumor  in my neck today so i don't know i was just  

  • shocked it's hard to explain how i felt i was  terrified and the worst part is he didn't really  

  • tell me much else he said we'll have to do some  more follow-up tests on it to see what's going on  

  • but my clinic is very busy so i can't  get you in for another three months

  • i really can't sit on this information  for three months like that's probably the  

  • some of the worst news i could have heard  from you and now i'm supposed to just  

  • act like normal and go about my life for three  months wondering what the heck is going on  

  • and if i'm gonna be okay and that was just to do  some more follow-up testing so i just felt like  

  • this was gonna be such a long process and  i really wasn't comfortable with that so i  

  • left the clinic and i did some research on thyroid  specialists in japan and i phoned up a bunch of  

  • them before before i did this i had to quickly  teach myself all these japanese words to do  

  • with thyroid and thyroid conditions and  tumors and cancer all of this vocabulary was  

  • brand new to me because i had never had  to use these words in japanese before  

  • so i did that and i kind of prepared myself to  talk about it in japanese and then i called up all  

  • the hospitals that i could find and every single  one told me the same thing they're full and the  

  • soonest they can get me in is probably three or  four months down the line so i talked to my family  

  • and uh i asked them to do some research to see  what they could find in canada they didn't really  

  • have any luck finding anything in canada either  there wasn't really much information online and i  

  • didn't really feel comfortable making a trip all  the way to canada to see a doctor if i couldn't  

  • learn something about them online beforehand to  make sure it's a reputable place and you know  

  • it has good reviews so we kept looking  and i think about maybe a week later  

  • my dad found a place in florida of all places  that had amazing reviews online it was a center  

  • that specializes in thyroid disease and thyroid  cancer and surgery of the removal of tumors and  

  • thyroid glands so all they did was thyroid stuff  and the reviews on google were just stellar like  

  • everybody said that they just had the best care  when they went there there were even people that  

  • said other doctors had told them their cancer was  terminal and they went to this hospital in florida  

  • and they were able to cure it so everything  just sounded really great about this hospital  

  • and even though florida is probably you know  one of the last places that i want to travel  

  • right now with covid and everythingfigured it was worth it so i contacted  

  • the hospital and i put in like um patient  request form with all my information and  

  • i uploaded my ultrasound files and stuff  so that the surgeon could check them out  

  • excuse me and then i just waited to hear back from  them and this was like the most excruciating i  

  • want to say it was probably about 10 days of  my life just wondering if i would hear back  

  • from them if they would accept me as a patient  like i'm sure it's a pain in the ass for them to  

  • have to deal with somebody who's located on the  other side of the world it would be much easier  

  • if they could just take somebody in america i'm  sure but um then i got a call one day at 3am in  

  • japan time and the lady was like uh good evening  sharla and i say uh it's actually 3am here but hey  

  • thanks for calling and it was the surgeon  the surgeon herself called me up and  

  • she wanted to talk to me and ask me some  questions about how i was feeling and  

  • she would give me a recommendation as to whether  or not she thinks i should have surgery to remove  

  • the tumor or yeah just how i should go about it  from looking at my scans and from talking to me  

  • about my symptoms etc the surgeon told me there's  about a 50 50 chance that is cancer and she won't  

  • know until she removes the tumor and they're able  to send it off to a lab and examine it thoroughly  

  • that was kind of a relief to me because the doctor  in japan told me 95 chance so hearing 50 50 from  

  • the american surgeon kind of put my nerves like  at rest a little bit i felt a little happier  

  • with those odds even though they still kind of  suck and in the end we decided together that  

  • it would be best to remove it and she said they  could get me in in two weeks to do the surgery  

  • and i told her i might need a little bit longer  than that because traveling overseas is a bit  

  • of a process right now as we learned with the  morrow situation so i booked my surgery for a  

  • little further in advance to give me enough time  to get all my vaccine documents translated and to  

  • book flights and hotels and there's lots involved  luckily all of that prep went smoothly and um i  

  • took a flight to canada and i thought i would  spend a week with my family before heading down  

  • to florida just so that i could enjoy some time  with them without having to recover from surgery  

  • and then i flew down to florida it took three  flights from my hometown i had to go victoria  

  • vancouver toronto florida so i think i tooktotal of eight planes last week eight different  

  • flights i'm so sick of planes so sick of flying  but made it to florida it was hot as [ __ ] there  

  • and really humid i didn't know what to expect you  hear so many bad things about florida online but  

  • every single person that i talked to there was  so nice uh i have nothing but good things to  

  • say about the people of florida so thank you for  your hospitality the taxi drivers were awesome  

  • and the hotel i stayed at yeah they're all  really cool i was there for two days before my  

  • appointment just to get settled in and uh the day  of my surgery i woke up at 5 00 am i decided to  

  • walk to the hospital because i didn't know if  i could trust the taxi to show up on time and  

  • i didn't want to be late it was only about  a 40 minute walk or so so it wasn't too bad  

  • and when i got to the hospital there was a really  pretty rainbow outside yeah it just felt like  

  • a good sign everything's gonna go fine today  i was nervous as hell i was so nervous so i  

  • got signed in at the hospital and they brought  me into um my little room i had a private room  

  • there they did a whole bunch of blood tests on me  to check my thyroid hormone levels and some more  

  • thorough ultrasounds apparently they have some  really high tech ultrasound machines there so  

  • they checked my thyroid and they also checked  all the lymph nodes in my neck and under my  

  • chin area to look for signs of abnormalities  in my lymph nodes because the first place  

  • that thyroid cancer will spread to is your lymph  nodes so they did a really thorough ultrasound of  

  • my whole neck and they told me they didn't see  anything abnormal there so that was really good if  

  • it was cancer it appears that it is all contained  to my thyroid and it hasn't spread anywhere yet  

  • from what they could see after my ultrasound  scans the nurse brought me back to my room  

  • and she told me to remove all my clothes and put  on these special socks that she gave me and just  

  • wait on the bed for the surgeon to come in and  do like one final examination before the surgery  

  • and i was like oh so just completely naked except  for the socks and she's like yep completely naked  

  • put the socks on and just wait for the surgeon  so i take off all my clothes i put on these  

  • ridiculous yellow socks and i'm just sitting on  the bed naked waiting for the surgeon to come in  

  • she comes in and she's like why are you naked  did they not give you a gown and i was like  

  • no she told me to take all my clothes off and  wait for you and she's like no that's no you  

  • put your gown on here have a gown and she gave  me a gown it was really embarrassing um but the  

  • surgeon is so cool uh really really nice woman  she's hilarious and she took a look at my neck  

  • um you could see the tumor i don't  know why i hadn't noticed it sooner i  

  • the first doctor in japan made me feel so  stupid for not coming in sooner it was like  

  • why didn't you notice this it's huge how are you  not noticing this until now and now like looking  

  • back at the footage of it before my surgery yeah  it's very obvious but like i guess you don't  

  • look at your neck like that i don't know it was  kind of like under my under my chin area and you  

  • really only notice it when you're swallowing and  looking at it so i don't know all these years that  

  • it's probably been in there and i didn't notice  it they told me that it's about the size of  

  • a mandarin orange it's just so weird to  me um but the surgeon asked me to stand up  

  • and she'd made little markings on my  neck of where she would do the incision  

  • i told her not to worry too much about what it  looks like i really don't care i told her to  

  • just do her job i'm only worried about my healthdon't care how it looks aesthetically if i have a  

  • big scar there so be it it'll probably look cool  whatever and she was like no i care how it looks  

  • i'm going to position it in a place so that it's  in like a fold a wrinkle in your neck so that it  

  • won't be too obvious once it heals my sister was  with me by the way can't thank her enough i would  

  • not have been able to go through this whole  thing alone it would have been hell so it  

  • was so nice to have her there just through the  whole thing she helped me feel not as nervous  

  • and she was really really helpful like asking the  nurses questions that i might have forgotten and  

  • preparing everything and looking up info for taxis  and stuff um yeah i owe her so much thank you shea  

  • you're amazing i've had one two three surgeries  where i had to go under general anesthetic  

  • so i have experience with it before but it still  kind of freaks me out i don't know there's always  

  • the risk that you'll die or you'll not go to sleep  properly you'll be awake during your surgery or  

  • something horrible like that i don't know you hear  these horror stories so i was a little nervous but  

  • i felt really grateful that i was able to make  the trip to america to see this specialist  

  • so overall i was pretty happy to be there and  then they wheeled me into the surgery room and  

  • uh the nurses there were all super nice one of the  nurses came over she said it's party time here's  

  • your party hat she put on a hair net and now it's  time for cocktails i guess she plugged in the  

  • anesthetic and that's the last thing i remember  and then i woke up which felt like a second later  

  • and uh i was lying in bed and there was a male  nurse uh trying to wake me up and you could tell  

  • that he was getting a little like fed up with  waiting for me to wake up and all i remember  

  • him saying was god we've been trying to wake you  up for ages you just you just wouldn't wake up  

  • and i was just so groggy at that point i was so  confused there was another patient like on the  

  • other side of the room screaming and um yeah he  was thrilled to finally see me opening my eyes  

  • they wheeled me back into my my private room  and the nurse came in to see me and she asked  

  • me how i was feeling i said um i wasn't really  in any pain or anything i was able to talk okay  

  • that's one of the risks of thyroid surgery is  that they can damage your vocal cords in the  

  • process and some people lose their voice or have  their voice damaged permanently it was kind of a  

  • relief to wake up and try talking and have it work  okay my voice was a little raspier than usual but  

  • yeah i could talk all right and the  nurse asked how i was feeling i said  

  • you know i wasn't in any in much pain  or anything i just felt really nauseous  

  • i get nauseous really easily and she was  like okay let's go over to the bathroom  

  • and i made it like two steps that i puked all  over her it's horrible it's really embarrassing  

  • um i'm sure they're used to it but i felt really  bad everybody was so nice and i just felt so bad  

  • to puke on her the surgeon told me that the  surgery went very well they removed the tumor  

  • they also removed two of my lymph nodes that are  located behind the thyroid i believe because those  

  • are the first lymph nodes that the cancer will  spread to so they wanted to remove those and  

  • have those sent off to the lab for testing to  make sure that nothing had spread and i would  

  • be getting those results in about a week or so  they would phone me i was actually able to go back  

  • to my hotel in florida like right away i think  i woke up from surgery and maybe an hour later  

  • i don't know if time was processing properly for  me but it felt like maybe an hour after surgery i  

  • was already heading back to my hotel i was able to  eat properly which was cool i thought after having  

  • surgery on my throat i wouldn't be able to eat  or it would be extremely painful or something but  

  • yeah it felt like normal i was able to drink and  eat solid foods and there were no issues there at  

  • all and i felt really good the first day but then  when i woke up in the morning from the second day  

  • i felt like i was hit by a bus or something my  lungs were so painful this whole like chest area  

  • was really painful i wasn't expecting thatthought my neck was gonna kill me but i didn't  

  • even notice that and i was coughing up blood it  was just a mess my sister contacted the nurse and  

  • was like she's coughing up blood is that okay and  they said it's a normal thing that happens after  

  • surgery because while you're asleep they put  a breathing tube into your lungs so you can  

  • breathe under anesthetic um and sometimes that  will cause irritation and you'll be coughing up  

  • some stuff for a few days after your surgery so  yeah the hardest part was really just the pain  

  • in my lungs and getting up and walking around was  so hard it's really really painful but honestly  

  • that's my fault because i decided not to take the  prescription pain meds that they prescribed for me  

  • they sounded really strong and scary and i was  like i'll be fine but yeah i was in a lot of  

  • pain for about five days i want to say and then  it started to get a little better each day and  

  • i could like see the light at the end of the  tunnel um it's been about a week and a half now  

  • and i would say the pain is probably about 90  percent gone it still hurts when i move my neck  

  • this is about the full range of motion i havecan't look over i can't like look behind um and i  

  • can't tilt my head back but in general i feel good  no pain in my body or anything anymore it's just a  

  • little awkward to sleep and i have to be careful  when i'm like looking around not to turn my head  

  • too much yeah so after resting in florida for  two more nights i think two or three more nights  

  • um we took our flight back to canada three flights  i'm back to canada and i've just been at home  

  • resting with my family it's been really good to  see them even though this whole trip just happened  

  • out of nowhere and i wasn't planning on seeing  anybody of course it's really nice to be back here  

  • with my family after a very long one week wait  a couple days ago i heard back from the hospital  

  • they had my lab results and the tumor came back  non-cancerous it was just a really big random  

  • ass tumor that wasn't cancer i tested my lymph  nodes they tested the tumor and they didn't find  

  • anything so they told me yeah i'm good  to go i only have half a thyroid left now  

  • and hopefully the other half that wasn't uh  destroyed by the tumor will be able to function  

  • on its own and produce the hormones that my  body needs to survive you need your thyroid  

  • so if it can't handle producing those hormones  on its own i will need to take some hormonal  

  • supplements to make up for that but um the  surgeon said there is a chance that it'll be okay  

  • and she's actually confident that it will be okay  because the right side of my thyroid had been  

  • just taken over by the tumor and it wasn't  working anyways so the left side of my thyroid