Shout It Out

Yesterday I had my internal ultrasound for ovarian cancer screening (remembering that now I need them every 6 months). The October issue of Parenting magazine was in the office’s waiting room. I was drawn in by the allure of Halloween costumes for less. (I have always wanted to make the girls’ costumes but have given up control and let my husband take over. In his eyes, I am to Halloween what the Grinch is to Christmas. He refuses to have them in crap costumes.) However, in this issue of the magazine, I got way more than I bargained for.
There was an article about 10 Moms who had survived cancer. All of their stories were remarkable and one breast cancer survivor even had a double mastectomy with kids almost the same ages as mine. Their quotes made me well up because I felt like I’m not alone and I’m also so grateful. I don’t have to be in a position where I’m shocked by this awful news like they were. So many had to do chemo and radiation. Some were even pregnant when they had to start treatment. One said that her doctor put it simply, if you don’t live neither can your baby. Takes my breath away.
So many of them talked about their treatment not being a selfish act. It’s a funny way to put it. One mother commented, “taking control of your health is not selfish- you do it for your children’s sake.”. It’s so true. I often feel guilty that I will be putting my family through this ordeal, but I know it’s the best thing to do. I want to be here for them as long as humanly possible.
Shannon Miller, the Olympic gymnast, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 33. She said, “it’s really important to shout from the rooftops and tell women that we have to make our health a priority. We’re so busy taking care of everyone else, and we have to make that time for ourselves, too. It’s not a selfish act – its a very selfless act. If we don’t take time for our health, then we won’t be here for our kids and our family and everyone else.” Reading her quote validated exactly why I’ve been blogging and why I’m going on this insane journey. I’m shouting it from my keyboard, I’m taking care of myself so I can be here with everyone I love. It’s just as simple as that. It’s the best motivation I can think of and the force that drives me forward when I feel like falling back.

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