My ordeal with cancer, entries from my journal.
This is a compilation from my own journal. I was given a tribute at the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life in June 2001 for being a cancer survivor. My story was read aloud to the crowd. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beginning September 23, 1998
by Jane (a.k.a Mom, Wife, Daughter, Friend)
My body was changing, which I thought was the start of menopause. But what I was told on this day at 3 PM was... CANCER! CANCER!! I'm 45 years old and I have CANCER.
Thank god, I get yearly pap tests. This probably saved me a lot of pain, of not having to go through treatments and, yes, maybe even saved my life.
My physical in early 1998 showed in my pap test that I had inflamed cells. Another pap test showed inflamed cells. Because of this, I had to go see a gynecologist. After yet another pap test which they went deeper into the wall of the cervix, I was told I had cervical cancer.
The "C" word. There it was. Never in a million years did I ever think I would be told I had cancer. Not me. The health freak. The vegetarian. Non-smoker. Not me. Cancer.
Dr. Grill tried to reassure me that I was in such an early stage that a D&C should take care of the cancer.
Cancer. Cancer. Me. Cancer.
How do you tell your husband, daughter, mother, father, brothers, friends... I have cancer. I'm sorry, I can't plan anything past this day. I have cancer. Me. Cancer.
So, I did follow Dr. Grill's advice and on October 14, 1998 I had the D&C (Diltion and Curettage). October 16th at 11:30 AM I was told by Dr. Grill that he got all the cancer and that I was Cancer FREE.
Now we play the game.
One pap test every 3 months for one year. Still Cancer Free.
Now it's every 6 months. Still Cancer Free.
I now have one more pap test as of June 15th and I will then be back on yearly pap tests.
My first Relay for Life Cancer Walk in 2000 made me realize how lucky I am. To hear what some of the survivors went through with their treatments... losing their hair, getting sick. I know I am very lucky. I'm also very thankful that I had enough sense to have a good physical every year. I scared many women into getting a pap test who had put it off for too many years.
You are never the same after being told you have the "C" word. But I'm very thankful to be able to still be here and say "I'm Cancer Free."
This is the only dance you dance.
Update: I have been cancer free for 18 years!!