Intuition. I knew I had cancer before I had cancer

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.

I knew.

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.

Weeks past.

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…)

That sucked.

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.

And now…

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…

Don’t Go!



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