If you are reading this, you are probably more than semi familiar with my story. You may know me personally, or not. Reading this will probably evoke a strong emotion for you. You are probably wondering what happened to prompt this frank discussion. Well, tonight someone said those seven words to me. They implied that my cancer, which is literally killing me, is a lesser cancer. An easy cancer. It infuriated me. However, I continued on with my evening with my son and family because that is what was going to make me happy.
Now is the time for me to hash out what happened. I knew I had to blog about this experience.
Firstly, I was appalled. Literally appalled that anyone would think this, let alone say it out loud to me. I will be honest with you. I don't "look sick" today. I probably look a little rebellious with my short hair cut with teal and white (blonde) highlights. If you look at me today I might not look like cancer. I assure you. This is a face of cancer. As a matter of fact give it a few days, when I shave my head. Give it a few weeks, when the Carbo/Taxol starts to take a toll on my body and I can look like what you think a cancer patient should look like. I bet then that you won't be thinking I have the easy cancer.
I also reached out to friends. I simply told them what was stated. They were furious for me. They wanted to know how I responded, what I did, and how I corrected the situation. I wouldn't have wanted to be the person making that statement had my friends been around, based on their reactions to hearing me say it.
Many women with cervical cancer hear the words "no evidence of disease" or "cancer free", even those women face lifelong impacts related to treatment. Loss of fertility is a very, very common side effect. Neuropathy, bowel issues, early onset menopause, fistulas, sewn shut vaginas, these are all potential side effects of this "easy cancer." I am sure you see where I am going with this. Even those women able to come out cancer free have lasting lifelong conditions related to cervical cancer. It is not easy.
Tonight isn't going to stop me from sharing my story. It will probably have the opposite impact. It will push me to share my story more. I don't think any cancer is the "easy cancer" and I want people to hear my story. I hadn't felt like blogging in about a week and tonight pushed me to share this post. What can you share about your story?