Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The light of Cheryl and thyroid cancer



Lumière de Cheryl is the color of thread from Carrie's Threads that I used to stitch this ornament. The purple color fabric is for general cancer awareness.
This is what I know about Cheryl. She had thyroid cancer and had to have virtually her entire neck reconstructed as a result. She lived several years after her surgery and even saw one of her son's get married. But the "fake" neck collapsed and she died as a result.
Thyroid cancer isn't talked about much, so here is a little bit of knowledge for you:
Thyroid cancer is a cancer that starts in the thyroid gland. In order to understand thyroid cancer, it helps to know about the normal structure and function of the thyroid gland.
The thyroid gland is under the Adam's apple in the front part of the neck. In most people, it cannot be seen or felt. It is butterfly shaped, with 2 lobes -- the right lobe and the left lobe -- joined by a narrow isthmus
The thyroid gland contains mainly 2 types of cells -- thyroid follicular cells and C cells (also called parafollicular cells).
The follicular cells use iodine from the blood to make thyroid hormone, which helps regulate a person's metabolism. Too much thyroid hormone (a condition called hyperthyroidism) can cause a rapid or irregular heartbeat, trouble sleeping, nervousness, hunger, weight loss, and a feeling of being too warm. Too little hormone (called hypothyroidism) causes a person to slow down, feel tired, and gain weight. The amount of thyroid hormone released by the thyroid is regulated by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain, which makes a substance called thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
C cells (parafollicular cells) make calcitonin, a hormone that helps regulate how the body uses calcium.
Other, less common cells in the thyroid gland include immune system cells (lymphocytes) and supportive (stromal) cells.
Different cancers develop from each kind of cell. The differences are important because they affect how serious the cancer is and what type of treatment is needed.
Many types of tumors can develop in the thyroid gland. Most of these tumors are benign (non-cancerous). Others are malignant (cancerous), which means they can spread into nearby tissues and to other parts of the body.

8 comments:

Carolyn NC said...

This is probably one of my most favorite threads that Carrie's has. There's also a design for Cheryl (I forgot who did it), but it's a freebie and very pretty. I know Rene has stitched it - sometime in 07 or 08, I think. Your ornament is lovely!

Emily said...

I really like that you are giving us very detailed info about the various cancers and the colors associated with them. It is all very interesting. The ornaments are beautiful. Really like this one with the Carrie's floss.

crossstitchbibs said...

Beautiful ornament!!! I love that design to begin with but those threads make it outstanding!!!

Debbie Jo said...

Your ornaments are all very lovely and this is no exception.

Gabi said...

Beautiful ornament. And that chart Carolyn was talking about is called " Cheryl's Bouquet". It's a freebie in memory of her. I have it on my pc.

Fatema ( SL ) said...

Thank you for telling us about all these cancers.
Your work is also beautiful.
I didnt know Cheryl had thyroid cancer.
She was a great lady.

kaghos said...

very colorful, well done

Carissa said...

Beautiful! I have 3 online "friends" from the same message board that either now had or have had thyroid cancer and surgeries. Thank you for all you do Donna!