The important thing is…

No matter what happens, whether the cancer never flares up again or whether you die, the important thing is that the days that you have had you will have lived.
-Gilda Radner

I admit it.  I am terrified.  I was reading an article today about a woman who went in for her first mammogram and she told of how she put if off for months out of fear of finding out bad news.  While I don’t know if I would put it off if the Dr says I should go, even if it is just a baseline screening, fear is what is keeping me from talking to the Dr in the first place.

The few times I have talked to a Dr about the bump I found in my boob a few years ago (it has since gone by the way, please don’t be worried) they all assured me it was nothing and probably tied to my cycle.  DH is actually the one who found it way back when we first met.  No, we weren’t doing anything dirty…actually all we were doing was lying on the couch watching a movie.  He put his arm around me to pull me closer and happed to feel the big lump on the outside of my boob under my arm.  It was about the size of a big pencil eraser and just as hard.  I was told that since it was painful when you touched it that that was good.

It did go away, but I have had pain on and off ever since.  When I brought that fact up to my GYN right before I got pregnant with Podling she assured me that all was fine and it was normal for cysts to come and go like that and to cause pain.  Once I was even told it was probably a lymph node and that I was probably fighting off an infection of some sort.

This doesn’t help when someone in your family is dying of  Breast Cancer.  My aunt got breast cancer a few years ago, had both breasts removed and was cancer free for a while.  Until about 2 years ago, right before her 5yr anniversary, she found out the cancer had come back in other parts of her body including her liver.  She has been fighting for her life ever since.

They put her on experimental drugs and such and though the cancer was beaten once again…but this summer she found out that no, the cancer had not gone like they thought and now the insurance isn’t willing to pay for any more experimental treatment.

I feel sorry horrible for my aunt, and angry.  She has worked her whole life and and now her very life depends on the budget of an insurace company…a company who views her not as daughter, woman, wife, sister, or mother…but as a number.

This also makes me soo unbelievably terrified.  Scenarios go through my head of what if I had cancer of any kind.  What if I had to go through endless treatments and be ill because of them.  What if my kids needed me and I was too sick to be there for them.

What if they needed me and I died?  What then?

Having children has greatly altered my perception of life and death.  I don’t want to die but I have never been afraid of leaving this world.  It is a fact of life that one day I will go…all of us will in same way.  But leaving my children…leaving them before they are adults and able to handle life on their own.

This scares me.

It scares me that something likes cancer could take my life and leave my children motherless when they may need me most.  It scares me that DH may find another woman who may not be good enough (by my standards anyway, I admit) to raise my children well.  It scares me to think that Dh may not find anyone willing to help him raise our children should I die and hence they would not have any kind of mother there for them.  I have to have faith that DH would find someone that would at least love them…

I know, this isn’t a reality, at least not yet.  But it is scary.  In my woman/mother mind I am scared of cancer and leaving my kids.  It is almost a paralyzing fear, too.  The only solution is to talk to my Dr and make sure he knows my fear and helps me through it.  But, what if I am brushed off again.

That brings out another fear…the fear that I have cancer and it will be too late to help me because no one would take the time to run a few tests…even if they didn’t think they would find anything.  The fact that not only is my survival dependent on an insurance company, but also dependent on Drs taking me seriously.

I also have other issues since the birth of my daughter.  It seems I am the only woman left in my immediate family that hasn’t had an hysterectomy.  Both my sisters had one in their 30s.  My mom had one a few years after I was born.  Granted, it has all been for different reasons, the fact remains that they had one and I have yet to have one.  Granted, I probably will never need one…but what if I do?  What if all these issues I have been a having has to do with cancer as well?

One of my other aunts died of cancer not long ago…it went from her colon to her aorta.  One of my grandfathers died of pancreatic cancer when I was 18 months old.  I realize that all families probably have some kind of cancer in their history…but it still scares the shit out of me.  What if I get what they had?  What if it is all genetic and I am on the losing side?

What if…

Two pretty big words I know.  They are what scare me the most.

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