Stupid Cancer

by Angela on September 18, 2012

I remember when my college best friend’s dad passed away several years ago, I heard her mom say that she was able to get through it by the grace of God.  That by knowing there was a greater reason things happen, gave her peace.  I truly believe things happen for a reason.  We may not know what that reason is right now, but it has gotten me through many moments in my life.

Like the past week.

Last week I had my annual gynecologist appointment.  Yes, it’s not something we talk about, but it’s something all us women go through (at least we should).  Well he found an “area of concern” near my original cancer site.  I can talk about it now because all is okay…didn’t want to put you all in suspense.  But for a few days leading up to my appointment with my breast surgeon, I wasn’t sure.  Logically it couldn’t have been anything.  My prognosis after all my treatments was good, I did everything I needed to do to keep the cancer from coming back and I was eating healthier and exercising more than I ever had.  But that small part of me (okay large part of me) that was worried overshadowed all of my positive thoughts.  A lot of “what if” scenarios ran through my head.

My parents went with me to the appointment today.  As much as the hubby wanted to come and as much as I wanted him there, it just made sense for him to stay home to pick up the kids from school.  He is my rock….literally too, like I mean he’s solid muscle like a rock, you can’t budge him.  Seriously though, if he couldn’t be there, my mom and dad were my close second and I am fortunate enough to have parents who would drop everything to come to my side. 

The drive to the hospital I was my usual, happy self.  I was cracking jokes, telling my parents about funny things the kids have done recently, and really just being positive.  But I’ve realized I do that sometimes to make a tense situation not so tense.  I just don’t want anyone to be uncomfortable.  So it really shocked me when we crowded into the elevator and I started getting anxious.  I felt claustrophobic and

could.

not.

breathe. 

As soon as we got off the elevator I broke down and started shaking.  Like shivering, cold shakes.  I’ve had a couple pretty emotional appointments in my life, all having to do with stupid cancer, but this was the first time I shook with fear.  I was scared to be back there, scared to find out I had cancer again, scared to think I would die and leave my children without a mom.  It seems silly now to think that, but  it’s hard not to think the worst when dealing with stupid cancer.

To make an already long story shorter than it could have been, the doctor ended up finding no areas of concern and truly believes it was swollen lymph nodes from this nasty virus I’ve had for a few weeks.  I will have a breast MRI in a couple weeks just to ease my mind (thank God) but I left there feeling so much better than when I came.

So I’m coming up on my four year survivor anniversary.  Every year I usually celebrate and tell the world (ie Facebook) that “It’s my cancer survivor anniversary!”, but this year I’m going to be quiet.  I will privately celebrate with my family (my rock of a husband always gets me flowers) but that’s it.  This year it doesn’t feel right to shout from the mountaintops.  I’ve attended two funerals this year (TWO!) as a result of stupid cancer.  I don’t  want to celebrate something that these two people will never be able to celebrate.  And I almost feel like I was getting too cocky with all my confidence about being healthy and surviving.  This little scare knocked me off my high horse and has made me realize I cannot take my health for granted. I have to be thankful every day.  This little scare was my “everything happens for a reason” moment this week.  The reason it happened was to make me stop and think, stop and take a look at my life and my health and be thankful and continue to do something to make it better.  Continue to do something to make someone else’s life better. 

So take that, stupid cancer!

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Jess September 19, 2012 at 11:08 am

Oh Ang…I had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat as I read about the seconds leading up to your appointment and the fear you felt. I’m so thankful you are okay!!! It makes sense to want to celebrate your joy of survival, but I also now understand your decision for wanting to do it quietly. Please know that I am celebrating quietly with you too.

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