When a close friend died leaving a 23 month old baby behind I prayed harder than I had ever prayed before. The baby broke my heart, we could do everything, but we could never, ever replace her mother. Her husband was a broken man, a useless father. I warned my husband, if I died and he treated the kids, like that, I'd haunt him. I prayed that I'd live just long enough for my kids, just three and a half and two then, to be emotionally independent. I swore I'd get regular cancer check ups (cancer runs in the family). I started exercising with Prime Bodies on Star TV and discovered, as a young mother, the joy of shaking the hair to send sprays of perspiration in the air, this was a brand new experience, and became a life time love. But after a while as the memory faded, the friend's baby went to her grand mom's place and we all started forgetting about her, laziness seeped in.
Then my sister called, she was waiting for biopsy results for a newly discovered lump. She demanded that I assure her, that if she dies, those of us she left behind, would stand by the father, and love her son like our own. Shaken, once again, I got all kinds of cancers ruled out. She lived to have a daughter, gall bladder stones, fibroids and lots of melodrama.
We bought clothes, attended cocktails, hunted for good schools, generally lived busy lives and forgot all about check ups. Two aunts survived cancer. And I prayed for them. No thought of cancer check ups any more. Then last week during all the Obama jubilation I needed to make a trip to the Gynecologist.
First a blood test and an Ultra Sound. An Ovarian Cyst, follicular, 20 mm was discovered. Could it be cancerous? Sister broke down on the phone, she bawls when she is ill, she also gets to bawl when somebody else is ill. What if it is cancerous? Husband thinks I can beat my sister at melodrama. Runs in the family. Mom acts calm, but calls early next morning, she wasn't able to sleep. A friend has an ovarian cyst and thinks nothing of it. I talk to the kids, while talking about this and that, lightly, casually, like how I believe they are sensible kids, they are not the kind to come crying to their mom for everything, how they can take wise, practical decisions, and when in doubt they could always look into their hearts to find the right answers. Some of the most successful people have had no mothers. This wasn't new talk, independence is precious, and it's grilled into them.
Endrometrial biopsy and pap smear test was on the 6th. I tell the gynecologist, "I have neglected cancer check ups, the last was in 2004, we have cancer in the family, two aunts survived esophageal cancer and breast cancer, lost an aunt to leukemia, my sister has fibroids and in 1993 a lump, that was found benign, my mother has had no problems ...." he looks up from the Ultra Sounds reports to interrupt, "You also have no problems." Oh! the magic of those lightly spoken words!!! He can beat both my sister and me at melodrama.
I know the two biopsy reports are still due, but I would have not been worried if I had been regular with check ups. Early detection is the best way to fight cancer.