I found out I have cancer as I was boarding a plane in the Atlanta airport, en route to Chicago for a work trip. My boss and another coworker were with me. I stood in the crowded terminal, struggling to hear and comprehend the words of the radiologist while boarding orders were announced and fellow travelers streamed around me.
It was like a scene out of some kind of really terrible chick flick.
But we don’t get to choose where we get shitty news like this. And we don’t get to choose the point in life when something like this happens. Were I to get that choice, I’d decide at 102 it was time and they could throw whatever they wanted at me.
Instead, I got cancer at age 37. Thirty-freaking-seven. I don’t smoke, I exercise regularly and I’m relatively healthy. I have an almost-two-year-old. I am just starting to hit my stride in my career. My marriage is great. I am comfortable. I am happy. Why the hell is this happening now?!
The thing is, cancer doesn’t give a damn what you’ve got going on. Happy and healthy? Too bad. Old and alone? Sorry, not sorry. Broke and barely getting by? Tough shit.
Cancer is an asshole, and cancer does not care. And that’s the biggest lesson I’ve learned, thus far. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are or what you’re doing. It can happen to anyone.
So, I’ve become that annoying person who reminds everyone to do their breast checks and go to their annual physicals and get that weird mole checked out. Yes, those things can be annoying and slightly scary, but they also can give you the gift of time that can save your life. I’m thankful I found my lump when I did and not a year from now. And as anyone with this disease will tell you, any little leg up you can get in this battle is good.
All that said, this blog is mostly a place for me to dump my feelings and experiences. If someone else can get something from it, that’s even better. Thanks for reading.