In this episode, we hear from Judy O’Reilly.
Judy was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2011. Following surgery, Judy speaks about the frequent challenges, including adjusting medication dosages, hypothyroidism, and her energy levels hitting the wall during daily activities.
For Judy, the cancer diagnosis forced the conversation of talking about death with her children and husband. A singer and musician, the thyroid cancer and resulting surgery has caused vocal challenges.
Judy O’Reilly, MS is the founder and former facilitator of THYCA Atlanta. Prior to starting the once/month support group held at Emory University’s Winship Cancer Institute, Judy O’Reilly offered email and phone support. Judy began her involvement/volunteering with THYCA one year after diagnosis/surgery/RAI. Prior to thyroid cancer, Judy O’Reilly had been a music educator and an entertainer. She was the female vocalist for the Atlanta Blue Notes Big Band, as well as their Combo. As a solo performer (piano/vocals), Judy specialized in senior care facilities offering up an extensive selection of the great American songbook. Ms. O’Reilly resigned/retired from performing soon after a second surgery – a completion of a previous partial thyroidectomy – due to complications. In 2015 Judy began a return to entertaining as a volunteer in the grand piano lobby of the Winship Cancer Institute, Atlanta.