In November of 1992 my mother was diagnosed with late stage adenocarcinoma of the lung. By the time they found the cancer it had already spread to her bones and her internal organs and later her brain. From diagnosis to death it was a very short 90 days. She was 43 when she died.
I was 19 years old. I had just graduated from high school the previous June. I didn’t have a clue what to do next.
Flash forward to January of 2015, sitting in a coffee shop I received a call from my doctor. Atypical pre cancerous cells have been found in my uterus. I am 41. The same age that my mother starting showing signs and symptoms of her cancer.
I have an appointment with the oncologist on the 26th of January. That is when we find out just how much surgery is involved and if chemo is going to happen.
I’m scared, terrified really. I feel like I’m in a living nightmare of recurring déjà vu. I know that cancer research has come a long way since 1993. I know that catching it early is a good thing. I know my chances are better, but I want to shout from the top of the world “It’s not fair”.
There are too many things I want to do in my life. To many moments I have left. These are the thoughts that haunt me during the dark times. When it’s quiet and my brain likes to wander. When I wonder what is next.
Sure it’s a simple surgery, sure they just found atypical pre-cancerous cells in the one tiny sample of the vast landscape that is my innards, but that one tiny sample and those itty bitty cells that are not normal that are the breeding ground for much worse have screwed up my year.
See I started my second year at college. I’m doing great in school. Sure I struggle and cry over math. Once I understand the concepts it sticks to my brain like it is modge podged there. My marriage is great. L is my best friend and my reasonable side. I’m surround by friends and family that love me and care about me and make me feel secure and supported.
So why the hell am I so scared?
Because I don’t want this to be my end. Because I’m better than this. My life is worth more than a few stupid abnormal cells. I don’t want to die. I don’t want to know what’s on the other side. I have too many things to conquer in my life.
I want more long walks with my husband.
I want more peanut butter, strawberry jelly, mint and bacon toasted sandwiches at Clawson’s.
I want to cruise the world with the love of my life.
I want to dig toes in the sand and watch the sun set as often as possible.
I want my life to mean something.
I want to change the lives of those around me.
I want more sloppy wet dog noses smearing my glasses.
I want more Notre Dame Football and Predators Hockey.
I want more laughter and inside jokes with my husband.
I want more quite times for us to just be.
I want life and all it’s glory and ugliness to go on until the twilight of my years.
See I am still wanting, I am still selfish, yet never lacking in these moments of my life. I know it is early in my diagnois but these are the fears that plague me in the darkness of night.