...the C word...

What happened when I heard this word

Originally published at www.womanworks.net

Blood…blood drops, this isn’t normal. My body has never acted like this before. A pattern is shown before me. I’m seeing it now, signs I’ve ignored. My acne is the worst it’s ever been, my stepmother ever so lovingly addresses that something is causing anxiety in me, now this: dull pain and now blood…drops of blood.

I rush to the clinic knowing I am doing the responsible thing…or so I thought. They couldn’t help me and forwarded my information to the doctor.

The doctor’s office: I feel like I’m in a factory and every examination feels like a product being latched onto me to pass down an assembly line, ending in a notification that my tests came back abnormal.

More tests needed to be done to confirm the unpleasant news shown in the screening. What were to become of me?

Best-case scenario: Carcinoma In Situ – severe growth of abnormal cells that science considers “pre-cancer”.

Worst-case scenario: I have cancer.

One fact solidified my reason for my internal alarm and, without going into specifics, there was internal bleeding confirmed by my doctor.

Cancer…internal bleeding, according to many researches found on the Internet is a sign of cancer.

Going in for additional tests to confirm the abnormal cells and further conclude this outcome, a painful biopsy occurs, sending me into shock.

For just that one moment as flesh from this threatening lesion was being ripped out of me, I thought to myself

What if it is this worst-case scenario?

Writing for a hospital, I’ve learned a thing or two about the complications of cancer treatments. As much as science is getting closer and closer to saying “Cancer? Take two of these and call me in the morning.” - there is still a ways to go. Chemotherapy is the stronger of most combatants against cancer, being that its properties are built to annihilate cell division. There’s just one small problem with this: It annihilates any cell division, leaving every single organ in the body vulnerable. And even if certain treatments are successful, there have been known circumstances where proteins still combine during recovery that could make the body susceptible to the toxins the doctors try to avoid and can cause permanent damage.

Suddenly, something new washed over me.

Stillness.

I no longer worried about my deadlines, my performance, letting people down.

Stillness.

As my husband and I left the doctor’s office feeling that my fate was in the palm of what this test would reveal.

Stillness.

I didn’t want to talk to my friends or my family.

Stillness.

Finally, telling my parents about my abnormal screening and the potential outcomes.

Stillness.

Focusing, now, on the present and appreciating what I have.

Stillness.

Going on the hikes I’ve always talked about with my husband.

Stillness.

I’m fine, really, I am, but every time I hear my parent’s voice or see their worried faces, tears roll down my chin.

Stillness.

It’s bad enough to see my husband and my parents like this, out of care and respect for other loved ones, I can’t talk about it.

Stillness.

Telling a friend I can’t drink with her, seeing the concern on her face and discovering her mother is a doctor.

Stillness.

The friend checks on me, I’m fine and yet I fall apart.

Stillness.

My job now knows.

Stillness.

I go for another hike with my husband. We look out and see the usual view.

Stillness.

My phone lights up.

Stillness.

The results from the biopsy are in.

Stillness.

“Even better than what I’ve anticipated. No cancer! Not even Carcinoma In Situ! However, you do have severe Dysplasia that must be eliminated soon.” – the doctor

Stillness.

“A new lease on life!” my husband cries out. “Let’s climb to the very top!” I shouted as we quickly made our way up the mountain.

The hike became even more difficult, the higher we climbed, but given other life’s circumstances, this was an amazing adventure that I have been yearning to conquer.

Then we made it…

to the top.

Stillness.

Reflecting on the world beneath my feet, people would typically say to me “Wow! You take great care of yourself. You workout, you eat so healthy...” Well, actually this is not entirely true. For years, I have been battling a burden that has combatted my body time and time again. As the doctor put it so eloquently, I have been suffering from heightened stress. This isn’t anybody’s fault other than my own. I know I expect a lot from myself and that I haven’t been taking it so well when things don’t pan out and goals don’t get met.

In a strange twist of fate, when the biopsy tests were still pending, it was the best I have felt in a long time. I slept well every night with no worries on my conscience, I laughed more with my husband, I was playing with my baby rabbits for hours.

Climbing down this mountain, I know that I am not entirely in the clear. I will still need to get a second opinion, which will happen this week, but in the meantime, I will continue to celebrate these moments of the unknown. Develop moments to cherish; the moments that remind me that it’s okay to take each uphill climb one step at a time. And most importantly, I don’t ever want to forget the wisdom that comes with relinquishing worries and discovering the new foundation, I will take with me as I start this process all over again:


Stillness.

Wisdom, Well-Being, Stress, Life Lessons, Health and Wellness, Emotions, Decision Making, Anxiety

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!