Have You Been Tested? (10-27-15)

Almost every young woman is told about the testing that she should start getting when she turns 50 years old or before and how to check herself when she is taking a shower.

If she’s lucky, she merely has a very uncomfortable annual checkup.

If she’s not lucky, she learns the true meaning of living and life because she heard the “C” word – cancer.

Learning that your mammogram is not clear is beyond words. It doesn’t matter whether you are single or married with children. You are someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s friend, someone’s wife or someone’s mother and all the lives are affected by the outcome of that one test. They are also affected by the chosen treatment method.

Yes, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but what if you aren’t thinking about mammograms? What other tests should you be getting? Are you getting them? Even an annual physical should be done in order to catch anything unusual. There are so many forms and types of cancers that don’t discriminate against age, sex or gender.  “They” may say that it is very rare but when it happens to you, it is very much alive.

While there are so many times when you want to curl up in a ball and cry or scream “why me?” – You can’t. As odd as it seems that you are the one with the disease, it feels that you are the one who has to be strong for everyone else. If you fall apart then they will too. Then, there are all of the family and friends who are praying for you. You have to keep the faith that you will make it through because if you lose your faith, what happens to their faith?

It isn’t fair that someone who is already going through chemotherapy, throwing up, losing hair, exhaustion, radiation and possible surgery should have to be the strong one. Yet, what is the other option? Giving up is not an option. Falling apart is not an option. Denial is not an option.

As strange as it sounds, I’ve had cancer patients tell me that once they came through their treatment, they did not resent having the disease. Why? Because, they learned so much about themselves, they learned how many friends they really had, and they learned firsthand the generosity of people and the power of prayer. They also learned that they could do anything.

It all comes down to you. Did you get tested? Once cancer is there, it can take root and grow. While your body will fight all it can - You are the front line of defense.

If you feel something isn’t right – don’t ignore it!

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