Today, talking with a friend about my first cancer forty years ago. She said you have so much experience that others may find it helpful reading how you addressed your experiences . I hope by writing about my experiences with the letter-c does make a difference.
I had stage 4 cervical cancer. I was also very much pregnant with youngest daughter. The doctor recommended an abortion and followed by the radical hysterectomy.. I support every woman’s right to have an abortion. But with that said, an abortion wasn’t happening. I wanted to carry my baby to term. I saw several doctors before making the switch to a doctor who genuinely listened to what mattered to me. We proceeded on a different course that would allow me to carry my baby while monitoring the cancer closely. It did spread to my uterus by the time my daughter was born but my life wasn’t in jeopardy because he closely monitored me. My daugher was healthy and beautiful . The radical hysterectomy took place after her birth followed by chemo. until it was determined I was cancer free.
The reason I’m bringing this up is to help individuals who have been recently diagnosed. It is so important that you are proactive in your care. Be up front with your doctor about the things that matter most to you. Cancer is intimidating but simply taking whatever course of treatment without asking for more than one opinion isn’t the best solution. Ask questions. Ask what trials are available? Be your own best advocate. “It is a waste of time not to do the most effective, useful, or important thing you can do.”―
When I think back that if I had simply followed the first doctor’s recommendation I wouldn’t have my daughter today. Life doesn’t end with cancer you just adapt. Find the doctor who listens and adapts with you. “Life is short, and it’s up to you to make it sweet.”~ Sarah L. (Sadie) Delany
My initial conversation with my doctor this time was while you’re determining what treatment keep in mind that coffee is non-negotiable. He started with objections as doctors like to do but I nipped it right in the bud with my reply there are simple things that I cherish and look forward to daily. My coffee matters to me. He acknowledged my request and is putting a plan together. Now maybe to some people that seems ludicrous but I’m 64 years old and I’ve drank coffee since I was young. My parents gave up trying to make me drink milk and let me have coffee. I have good blood pressure and no heart issues so leave my coffee alone.
I carry a photograph of my husband, my children, my grandchildren, my friends in my mind. They are the reasons why cancer can’t and won’t destroy me. Which brings me to the song I chose today Photograph by Ed Sheeran.
“Loving can hurt, loving can hurt sometimes
But it’s the only thing that I know
When it gets hard, you know it can get hard sometimes
It is the only thing that makes us feel alive:.”
Love can heal, loving can mend your soul
We keep these photographs of love
We made these memories for ourselves” ~Ed Sheeran
I enjoyed spending time in the garage with my friend socially distanced watching the rain come down and talking for hours. I’m grateful to have another awesome photograph to carry in my head for when I need it. Thank you Jeanne for today.
“One clear moment, one of trance
One missed step, one perfect dance
One missed shot, one and only chance
Life is all…but one fleeting glance.”~―