I sometimes hesitate to share my cancer story because it’s honestly not super relatable. I didn’t go through it the way a lot of people do and I don’t ever want to make someone feel like they did it “wrong” ya know? Your journey is your journey and you get to decide how to go through it. This is how I went through mine.
A little backstory ~ for 4 years before I was diagnosed I was stressed to the MAX. There was a toxic person in my life that I wasn’t at liberty to simply cut off so anytime I got a text message my palms would sweat and my heart rate would raise in case it was from her. I didn’t know if I was getting the nice version or the hateful version and the stress that caused me is like nothing I’ve ever experienced.
Side note; if you have someone like that in your life please do your best to limit your interactions with them and their access to you because it’s just plain unhealthy. Okay, moving on…
So there I was in 2012, 29 years old with a 19 month old daughter and a barely 3 month old son. I had experienced excruciating pain the day of his birth and needed an emergency c-section but believed that experience to be behind me. My resident doctor didn’t believe that I was in pain and thought I was just trying to stay in the hospital with my newborn who was in the NICU with symptoms the doctor hadn’t ever seen in his 25 years of practicing. That whole thing is probably a blog post in and of itself.
The pain I had experienced on the day on my son’s birth came back just 3 months later only this time it was accompanied by bleeding and super pregnancy symptoms along with a positive pregnancy test. Off to the hospital we went and I prepared myself for the possibility that I was having an ectopic pregnancy and imagining the arguments I would have with the medical staff when I refused to abort.
Much to our surprise that was not the diagnosis I received. Instead, a timid doctor pulled us into a private room (warning sign number one), and wouldn’t make eye contact (warning sign number two). He told my husband and I that there was no baby and that what was growing in my womb was actually something that resembled cancer.
“Well is it like cancer, or is it cancer?” My 6 foot tall, incredibly muscular husband asked the doctor. The doctor took a step back (warning sign number three).
“It’s a very rare form of cancer, yes.” He said it quietly. I smiled at him and responded “Well, I wasn’t expecting you to say that.” He apologized profusely and then left the room to give us time to process. I’m positive I was the first person he ever had to give that kind of news to.
Here’s where it gets weird.