Two days ago when I was in my Doctor's office having my lungs checked for pneumonia, he began discussing a game plan to help my immune system. One of the things that he talked about is that I need to keep up with my regular mammogram's and MRI's. Now that isn't something I didn't know, but I have to admit it has been something that I have been struggling with for over a year now. I know that I can't just shut my eyes and never be checked again. I know that I will be watched and screened more closely than most women because I have already had cancer twice. My mammogram's go way longer and in depth that most, that is not exactly painless or comforting. I am struggling with the whole thing. After my first cancer ( which I found and was missed on a mammogram ) I would get nearly sick every year for my annual check up. I always took Jeff or someone else with me for security reasons.
I remember one day sitting in the waiting room and noticed that this older lady was also waiting and she seemed very nervous. Of course I had to talk to her :). After some small talk, we began to share our stories with each other. She too was a cancer survivor almost 9 years and she said "still I get sick for weeks before I have these appointments." I was sorry for her fear, but so grateful to know I wasn't the only one that felt that way.
1 1/2 years ago, I was going in for my annual mammogram and check up. I had been in remission for 7 years. I was surprised to look at my calendar and see that I had my appointment soon and hadn't really been worrying about it. After all ...that say once you pass your 5 year mark, you probably are safe from getting it again. I remember Jeff asking me if I wanted him to go with me and I said " Actually, I think I am fine this time. I will be ok" You know the history from there, I was going to go change after the mammogram and they called me back in, after a few more mammogram's, I was asked to come back the next month 10 days into my cycle. I knew at that moment I had cancer, I thought how could this happen to me again?
Fast forward to today, I did have more than one cancerous tumor, which had spread, I had a mastectomy on my left side and then did 3 months of radiation, Physical Therapy for Lymodemia, and my immune system has never been the same since. Do I want to go back into the medical arena and have them look for more cancer? "NO" Will I do it..."YES". The hardest thing is making the appointment. I did set up appointments twice in the last year, but and a week or so before... I got so scared that I canceled them. I know you are probably thinking, "Lynn, you of all people should know to be proactive in watching out for cancer". That is true, I also know what it feels like to start living again and trying to put cancer behind me and really enjoy life. I know what it feels like to start making future plans and even begin to dream again. Yes, I will go to my appointment in June (which I made on Thursday) but I need to be honest on how hard it is. Those who have never had cancer will never understand this, but those who have, I need for them to know that they are not alone in their feelings. Next I just need to work on my faith. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me, I know that He knows me personally and will give me the comfort and strength to do what I need to do. But I also know that many of life's decisions are not easy ones, those are the ones I pray for more strength and courage.
Thanks for you love, support and encouragement through this whole journey with me. You have been an incredible blessing in my life. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
"When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice." ~William James
"Life is the sum of all your choices." ~Albert Camus
"Using the power of decision gives you the capacity to get past any excuse to change any and every part of your life in an instant." ~Anthony Robbins