FIVE years…5…CINCO…CINQ…no matter how you say it…FIVE is a magic number for those that have heard…“YOU HAVE CANCER.”
And this week, I’m thrilled to say that I have hit that momentous milestone. Cancer has been the worst and best thing to have happened to me and my family, but I’ve learned that one day at a time you move on, and before you know it the years are behind you.
This in NO way means that I don’t have anxiety and worry over the results at every check-up (my doctor even said that cancer survivors suffer from PTSD). I don’t think that will EVER go away…but now, those check-ups are getting just a little bit easier.
I am so proud of my family for sticking to regular check-ups…because look what it’s done for us
Female or male, I URGE you to get your annual exams. My breast cancer AND my mother’s were found on ROUTINE mammograms. My father’s prostate cancer was found the same way. Rob and I have both had skin cancer, and it was through regular check-ups and visits that it was found. My brother was very fortunate to have had his colonoscopy when he did, too, because they removed a precancerous mass as soon as they found it.
So, I beg you…get your check-ups…BE DILIGENT. If you have loved ones that are due…take them! Get their check ups…it can make THE biggest difference in your life!
Yes, I really said my cancer was the worst AND best thing that happened to me
I had the most amazing support group through my cancer journey…family, friends, acquaintances…so many people reached out while I was on my path, and just as many continue to do so when anyone else gets that same news, “it’s cancer.”
This would never be a journey you’d want to go alone…and trust me, by opening up and being candid about your fear, your pain, your hopes and human experience, you’ll be AMAZED at how many other people around you have been—or are going—through the same.
I even had a lady stop me in the grocery store today, this very week with my five-year mark, and ask me about the shirt I had on…it said “FIGHTER” with a pink ribbon. When I told her that I had fought breast cancer, she told me about the Cancer Support Community and how much it has helped her. She asked if I knew about it, and oh do I! I’ve been a member for years, and I told her how right she was about the value of the group.
She then went on to tell me that it’s been SIX years for her since she was diagnosed, and we rejoiced together! She made my day. A connection in the grocery store.
Life throws these challenges and detours in our way for a reason…I know the reason behind my experience was to help me help so many others, and to be empathetic and encourage those facing the same challenges. The little moments like the one in the grocery store make me realize how truly fortunate I am for all that I am and all that I have.
And it gives me the chance to urge you ONE MORE TIME to stay on top of your check-ups! Hopefully you’ll hear me in the back of your head…
FIVE…CINCO…CINQ…5…5…5…five magical years…what a way to celebrate Cancer Survivor Awareness Month!