“I said,” Look at that strange email I just got, “recalls Price, an investigative journalist with NBC subsidiary WFLA.
A woman from another state saw a report from Price on the evening news a few hours earlier and discovered something that worried her, she said.
“Hello, just saw your news report,” the viewer wrote. “What bothered me is the knot on your neck. Please have your thyroid checked. Reminds me of my neck. Mine turned out to be cancer. Take care of yourself.”
Price, who had never noticed anything unusual about the appearance of her neck, said she didn’t think the message was worth taking seriously.
“He said,” You know, you said you’ve been feeling a little more tired than usual for the past few months, “Price said.” He told me to call my doctor and have it checked. “
Several weeks later, after receiving an ultrasound and a blood test, Price received surprising news: she had papillary thyroid cancer that was spreading to her lymph nodes. Her doctor recommended that she have an operation as soon as possible.
“I was told that I had a large lump in the middle of my thyroid that was pushing my gland so that it bulged from the side of my neck,” Price said. “The woman who sent me an email noticed that. Fortunately, she took care of it. “
On July 27, Price had an operation to have her thyroid removed at Tampa General Hospital. Her surgeon also removed 19 cancerous lymph nodes, she said, and she was relieved to learn that other than daily hormone replacement medicine, she didn’t need immediate follow-up care.
“It is a coincidence that someone noticed it on television and told her about it, but discovering it that way is really not uncommon,” said Gary Clayman, Price ‘surgeon and director of the Clayman Thyroid Center in Tampa, explaining a common symptom a visible mass in the neck.
“Victoria is lucky that this was discovered sooner rather than later,” he added.
A few days before the operation, Price posted a post on Twitter to alert WFLA viewers to her diagnosis and thanked the attentive stranger who may have saved her life.
“As a journalist, it has been full throttle since the beginning of the pandemic,” she wrote. “Infinite shifts in an infinite message cycle. We’ve covered the most important health story of a century, but my own health was the furthest away for me. Until a viewer emailed me last month.
“It turns out I have cancer,” Price wrote. “And I owe it to one of our wonderful @WRLA viewers for bringing this to my attention. I’ll be off work after tomorrow, but see you soon. “
She was stunned, she said, as her tweet quickly gained nearly 20,000 likes.
“I never thought in a million years that such a reaction would develop,” she said. “Everyone’s kindness, love and concern was overwhelming.”
Back at work now, Price said she hopes to start a foundation before the end of the year to raise awareness of thyroid cancer in young adults.
“I think it’s important to make this something that’s discussed more often, just like we talk about breast cancer and prostate cancer,” Price said. “My goal is to develop a platform for young professionals who may not see a doctor that often.”
Without that attentive viewer, Price said, she might have gone for months without knowing that she was facing a problem.
“What if I was an accountant working in an office? Or what if I worked at home alone? ” She said. “I’m lucky that a lot of people see me because of my job. It is very humbling to know that this person took the time to write me this little email. Your health is your wealth – without it you have nothing. “
Price remained calm when she found out she had cancer, she said, likely due to her journalistic background.
“It took me a few seconds to process it and then I said, ‘Okay, what’s the game plan? What are we going to do about it? ‘”She said.” TV reporters are leaders of chaos – we always have 30 seconds to airtime and cover issues that need to be resolved. I think it takes a little more to rattle me than the average person. “
The woman who discovered the suspicious lump on her neck is a mother with several children who doesn’t want attention for her potentially life-saving act, Price said.
“We exchanged texts back and forth and hope to meet at some point,” she said. “I am incredibly grateful for what she did. If she hadn’t sent this email, I might never have seen my doctor and the cancer would have continued to grow.
“I just want to thank her with all my heart for what she did,” she said.