I have decided to share a personal story in the hope it will help someone:
“You have breast cancer.”
They are words women hope never to hear. They weren’t exactly the words I heard in mid-January. Instead, a compassionate and professional doctor used the words, “invasive”, “very small,” and “treatment options.” But all I heard was: “you have breast cancer.”
Soon after, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. It was small, and they caught it early. I have support from family and friends. I have insurance, knowing all too well how many people don’t. And I live in the Philadelphia metro area, with access to world-class medical care.
Since that call, I have had surgery, and I’m just finishing up radiation. Now I tell everyone what my oncologist told me: I had cancer. I’m going to be fine.
But that’s not the reason I’m sharing this with you. When I discovered something unusual during a self-exam, I didn’t wait to get it checked out. I know many of us procrastinate when our bodies tell us something is wrong. We blow it off and push it to the bottom of the to-do list. We wouldn’t put it off if it was a partner or a child or a parent. But when it’s our bodies, we don’t think it’s important enough. I know, I’ve done it. But not this time. I called my doctor and took charge of my health. So please: don’t wait. Listen to your body and don’t wait.
I heard these words recently in a homily: “Sometimes, in the worst of times, the greatest things can happen.” Great things have happened to me throughout this three month journey. I have been flooded with blessings. So many people have been kind. Co-workers have prayed for me and supported me. Members of my family, near and far, have wrapped me in love. My medical care team could not be more thorough and compassionate. And my friends? They’ve made me laugh and have driven me to appointments and stuffed my refrigerator nutritious food.
I have met many courageous women who have had very different experiences with breast cancer. I so admire them and continue to pray for those who are still in the battle. As for me, I remain grateful.
My message in sharing all of this: Don’t wait. Please
See more of my story at NBC10.com