Another Good Anniversary.

This was an anniversary between me, God,Jefferson University Oncologic-Gynocolgy department and Dr.Charles J.Dunton,not to mention other doctors, nurses, staff, my best friend Kate and religious advisors.

I was diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer 23 years ago today.What an experience! Doctors, nurses, having to call my parents from the hospital to inform them that I wasn’t coming home because a grapefruit was found in my cervix and I needed exploratory surgery.Then came the pain of them coming to see me in the hospital and seeing the pain and fear in their eyes.That pain I will take with me to my last day.Kate was living in Pittsburgh at the time and drove back on the weekends when I was in for my chemotherapy.

I usually make a post on this every year to show the people who might “think” or”know” they have cancer.You really can’t ignore it. You need to take a pro-active stance on trying to get the invader out of your body.I went through a radiation and chemotherapy protocol that was so effective that it is now the standard for cervical cancer treatment.You never know.

If you have a friend or family neighbor going through the disease, be supportive, if they choose to tell you about it.Let them know you’d like them to be around for a good,long time.

That’s why I am here 23 years later.

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Pink month,er, green?red?yellow?

I have had numerous cancers in my 54 years.

Cervical,to start, then breast, then thyroid, and sprinkle in some skin cancer along the way.

I was at the dermatologist today having a squamous cell carcinoma taken off my face located in front of my right ear.I had four biopsies last month, and cock-eyed optimist, me,well, I had made this appointment today with hope of going in only to get biopsy stitches out.Hah! I,in the back of my head, knew better.

The cancer that they took today was one that I found.Oh yes;I am an old pro at this by now. It was raised and starting to get itchy.I asked them to take it when I went for my annual check-up.I was very fortunate, for now.It was in the state of being ” in situ”.This meant it was so early that they couldn’t even put a stage on it yet.I can’t conclude on it yet, as I have to wait for the results of what was taken today. The physician hopefully got clean edges, which would show the cancer has not spread.If the edges turn out to be not”clean”, well, I’ll be back in for treatment.

My skin is light and freckled and my eyes are hazel.I know I am prone to this, and sometimes sunscreen isn’t a safe enough guard.The thing is I CHECK.No matter what, I CHECK!

Gentle reader; I appreciate all of you and would like you to keep on reading.Please be here to do so.Check yourselves for cancer.It may not be your favorite thing to do but it saves lives.I have lost a niece to cancer and other sporadic family members have had it.Trust me-we don’t want any more members in our club.

Your life is priceless!

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Excursions

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I have to leave the realm of canter city and go out to a suburban hospital.

Of course,I would only have a 22 degree day to go out into the wilds for. I
need to go because it’s a yearly visit , so there’s no excuse for not going.
My excitement just got wetted because it is the first time I’ll be on a bus
with THREE digits( meaning suburbia)

It’s the little things…..lol

A very special Friday thanks…

It’s 20 years ago today that I finished my first total completion of cancer treatment.

I had cervical cancer at age 33. I lucked into Jefferson Hospital and Dr. Charles Dunton. I had radiation, chemotherapy and a radiation implant. The treatment was so successful, the tumor was gone, and I had to have a hysterectomy to make sure it hadn’t spread further.

Without all of this, I wouldn’t be here. I am truly thankful this Friday.

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Eighteen years redux….

I am cheating.

With the help of some editing, here’s a post from last year, brought up to date..thanks for bearing with me.

Now nineteen years ago, I was thirty-three years old. I had moved out on my own. And three months into my independence, I had a really bad lower back ache. You know how when you are hurting eventually you can get yourself into a position to fall asleep? Well, that November, I had my first 48 hours of NO sleep-the pain was that intense.

A visit to my gynecologist, who was an old guy in his late 70′s and on staff at Jefferson, revealed a cervical tumor the size of a grapefruit. Funny how as I never had any issues before in my life and here you go: what do I get butmy first one comes out of the gate like gangbusters. I was on the doorstep of stage three cancer.

Welcome to the world of cancer.

Fortunately, I had the luck of being sent down to a oncologic gynecological surgeon, Charles Dunton, who was working on a protocol for cervical cancer. I had daily radiation, chemotherapy, a radiation implant, and two weeks prior to my scheduled total hysterectomy, my pre-operative exam found NO tumor! The surgeon said he would have never know what was there, if he hadn’t been in on my case from the beginning. They had to do my surgery, because there was no guarantee the cancer hadn’t gone into my lymph nodes.One of my BFF’s, Kate, would come down from Pittsburgh on the weekends when I was in Jeff and there is no better buddy in the world…**Note to Kate-how I remember those 7th floor Gibbon visits-you ALWAYS were my rock!**

Fast forward through later cancers and health issues, loss of family members, finding my Jim, gaining two girls named Zush and Kasia, and my mother’s dementia and earlier this year, her passing.

God has me here for a reason, although when friends are suddenly gone due to cancer, I will be the first to admit the survivor’s guilt is great. I no longer wonder why I am still here. I just accept it, give thanks for it and realize a greater statement was never made than….” If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.

Here’s hoping to see you all for 20.

Thanks for reading.

18 Years ago…..

Eighteen years ago, I was thirty-three years old. I had moved out on my own. And three months into my independence, I had a really bad lower back ache. You know how when you are hurting eventually you can get yourself into a position to fall asleep? Well, that November, I had my first 48 hours of NO sleep-the pain was that intense.

A visit to my gynecologist, who was an old guy in his late 70’s and on staff at Jefferson, revealed a cervical tumor the size of a grapefruit. Funny how as I never had any issues before in my life and here you go: what do I get butmy first one comes out of the gate like gangbusters. I was on the doorstep of stage three cancer.

Welcome to the world of cancer.

Fortunately, I had the luck of being sent down to a oncologic gynecological surgeon, Charles Dunton, who was working on a protocol for cervical cancer. I had daily radiation, chemotherapy, a radiation implant, and two weeks prior to my scheduled total hysterectomy, my pre-operative exam found NO tumor! The surgeon said he would have never know what was there, if he hadn’t been in on my case from the beginning. They had to do my surgery, because there was no guarantee the cancer hadn’t gone into my lymph nodes.One of my BFF’s, Kate, would come down from Pittsburgh on the weekends when I was in Jeff and there is no better buddy in the world…**Note to Kate-how I remember those 7th floor Gibbon visits-you ALWAYS were my rock!**

Fast forward through later cancers and health issues, loss of family members, finding my Jim, gaining two girls named Zush and Kasia, and my mother’s dementia.

God has me here for a reason, although when friends are suddenly gone due to cancer, I will be the first to admit the survivor’s guilt is great. I no longer wonder why I am still here. I just accept it, give thanks for it and realize a greater statement was never made than….” If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.’