Trust it. It’s real.
Maybe my Dad dying, when he was only fifty-years-old, allowed me to entertain the possibility, I, too, might get cancer.
Breaking into tears, surrounded by girlfriends, on a run year before my diagnosis. Fearing; I might have it. Something wasn’t right.
Months past. But with gentle nagging from my accountability partner, I finally made an appointment. It wasn’t until the end of that meeting, I casually (and reluctantly) mentioned the strange symptoms I had been experiencing.
She ordered the tests.
After a colonoscopy (because of my family history) and an upper scope… I was squeaky clean. <deep sigh>
The anonymous doc, who did the procedure, asked, in passing, why we were doing this test? I told him my symptoms. He suggested an ultrasound.
I eventually called.
Thyroid ultrasound completed. Radiology reported nodules. Next, schedule a follow-up with an ENT.
I opted for a needle biopsy. (And, I thought natural childbirth was scary? Pfttt…)
Next, hurry up and wait…
The call came. Pupillary Carcinoma.
Perfect. Military orders had taken us 3,000 miles from home, and I had a spouse that would soon be deploying to Afghanistan…
I couldn’t believe it.
“At least it’s curable. A very good cancer to get,” they kept telling me. I didn’t feel entitled to be scared. Or mad. Or anything.
So, the surgeon cuts it out. I woke up with an incision across my throat and a secret fear.
I f’ing have cancer. I have two kids with special needs. What if…?
What followed was a series of deep lows. I knew I should be grateful. Every time I traveled to the Cancer Center, I was the lucky one with the easy one while others were in wheelchairs, losing their hair and/or emaciated. Fighting for their lives.
So I bottled it.
Here I sit. Three years later. Cancer-free.
I am only beginning to truly digest the gravity of how that diagnosis affected me: As a mother and wife. Moreover, how IT changed me.
I had f’ing cancer.
At least it was a good one…