Five years and counting…
It’s funny how days that are forever ingrained in your mind, are days that blend into any other day for most. I never truly thought of that until my grandmother’s death. Silly, right? That the saddest day ever for me may be just laundry day for someone else. But that’s not the day I am writing about.
January 17, 2014. Do you remember that day? A Friday, like any Friday. Running errands, getting ready for the weekend. Maybe it was unseasonably warm that day. Or you had on the boots you barely ever get to use but it was FL cold so out they came. On that day, I was in my doctor’s office waiting for the results that I had to wait for months to get. Would I be back here on a regular schedule for treatment? Would I kiss the man and be overjoyed to never see him again?
As much as this day will be one of my favorites, I don’t remember much from it. To be transparent, I just googled the date to remind me the actual day. I do remember my mom came with me (the few appointments I allowed her to attend because these results were hers as well). I remember being in the room with the doctor alone because I needed to gather my emotions if things weren’t how I wanted it. I remember his words. My mom’s cry of “hallelujah” from right outside the door (uh HIPPA violation much?). I remember the relief.
The few people in my life that knew of my journey will tell you, I rarely showed the emotional aspect of the experience. I think the only time I cried publicly was when I told my boss at the time, that I would probably need a few days off here and there, “here’s why”. She immediately hugged me. I’m not a hugger. I did that Oprah hug pat and tried to pull away but she held on tighter. Talk about being “triggered”. The nose faucet cry, too. And I know I am not one to be super emotional but setting my emotions aside was a defense mechanism. I think many patients will do this and people will say “wow, look how strong they are” or “they aren’t letting cancer keep them down”. I can’t speak for everyone but I do know that me controlling my emotions around others allowed them to be more optimistic and voiced positivity. It’s an odd concept but my fake courage fed others’ optimism which gave me courage and be more optimistic. No idea if that made sense, but oh well. And when I got to a dark place, I still put up the front for others although those close to me started seeing the cracks. Keeping to myself so I can cry in peace. Talking about how happy being childless would make me. Not the strong decision to not be a mother because it is not for you, but the bitter thoughts to trick myself into really hating motherhood. You know, just in case I would need a hysterectomy at 25/26. And the more I closed myself off, the more I fed those feelings and thoughts.
I mean, I can seriously go on for days about that season in my life . And maybe if this post isn’t a bummer to you all, I can speak on it some more in other personal posts, but I do want to share that I won the fight with cancer. Yes, I am in remission and have been for five years but I won before I even knew the cancer was gone. The love and support of my circle was so grand. My weakened faith was restored and reached a whole different level. My purpose was revealed to me and passion ignited. So although my doctor said those amazing four words “no sign of cancer”, it was not then that made it my favorite day. January 14, 2014 was the day I woke up no longer faking the courage. I was ready for battle, if it came my way.
Although ovarian cancer is not rare, finding it in its early stage is. Only 15% of women are diagnosed in the early stage and thank goodness I was one of them. My many gynecological issues (tmi, I know) gave me an upper hand with my constant doctor visits and tests. Click the photo link below and do your own research on signs and symptoms and steps to take.