Being Young and Sick

I have Cancer. At the age of 28, I am about to go through treatment for the second time because of a recurrence. It’s scary, it’s annoying, and it downright causes me anger.

I was first diagnosed with Cervical Cancer on October 30, 2014. Age 26 and in a new relationship. Testing had gone on for months before my doctor finally found out what was causing a growth on my cervix, along with a few minor symptoms. It wasn’t until he decided to go in surgically to remove the growth, that he realized what it was. He told me I’d have to get a full hysterectomy; it was the only cure. No babies for me. My boyfriend was as upset as I was, he wanted kids badly. A month later, I meet my oncologist (who is awesome!) and the first thing he tells me is that he can save my uterus. Woohoo!! Fast forward a few months, I’m in the hospital to get my cervix removed. Major surgery. It took about three painful weeks to recover and left me with five small scars across my stomach. That was the best part, I love scars! They got all the cancer, and I’d be able to have kids someday with just a couple minor complications. Problem solved.

Now, they say you aren’t “cured” of cancer until you are cancer free for at least five years. I had to have checkups every three months to make sure everything was still fine. I was doing well. Thriving at work, built up a pretty significant savings for myself to begin travelling (my life goal and obsession). Then BOOM. Symptoms return, I get a biopsy, and I have cancer again. I got the news while I was in the staircase at work, on my way in to start the day.

I freaked. I cried. I didn’t know what to do. I had just gotten to work and I’m too strong and proud to take time off for emotional stuff. Luckily, I had a friend at work downstairs who I could talk to before clocking on for the day. I needed to calm myself down somehow or I’d never get any work done. Went downstairs, trying to hold myself together but I couldn’t really talk without losing it. I told him I needed a hug. He gave me the best hug and I confided in him why I was so upset. He let me lose my cool for awhile, and then reminded me of how strong I am and how much I kicked Cancer’s ass the last time. I continued my day, staying strong for myself.

I have completely accepted the fact that I have cancer. You don’t have to like the things you accept, but coming to accept the things we cannot control, is the only way you can be happy. I still don’t know my treatment plan, it depends on the PET scan results. It will either be another surgery or radiation. Either way, no babies for me. Which is fine, I had pretty much decided I didn’t want kids anyway.

I am the strongest person I know. I can get through anything and come out of it better than before. Cancer will not defeat me. Although I have a feeling it’s worse than last time, I am better prepared to deal with it. Mostly, it’s just an annoyance. More debt, more missed work, more annoying symptoms and more recovery. Luckily I have a good job that pays decently and is very understanding and willing to help any way they can.

A few months ago, I planned a trip to Guam. I leave in five weeks and I’ll be gone for two weeks!! There are also some really cool layovers I’m excited about. I thought about cancelling the trip for financial reasons since my recurrence (tickets to Guam are crazy expensive) but there is no way I’m missing out on my dream of travelling the world just because of a little bit of cancer. No one should ever stop pursuing the things they love for anything or anyone.

I am sick. I have a life threatening disease at a young age. But honestly, I have been through worse. I’m going to be okay. I will thrive yet again. Travelling the world will become a reality and I will spend the rest of my life doing just that. I’ll admit that morbid thoughts have come to my mind, but I pushed them out almost as quickly as they snuck in. They do not belong in the mind of someone like me. I will go to Guam and have the time of my life, and when I return, I will kick Cancer’s ass for the second time. There will be no third ass kicking. ┬áThis time, he will stay away for good.