My Cancer Story: A Gulp and a Cookie Celebration

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Cookie

When I went back to my oncologist and surgeon, Paola Gehrig, for my post-op check up a few weeks ago, she announced that all systems are go. I don’t need to return for six months.

I asked some practical questions and then said, “Now may I ask a more serious one?”

“Of course.”

“If I hadn’t had this surgery, what would have happened?”

“Your cancer was early stage, but it was definitely not just a pre-cancer. It was moving into the uterine wall. It would have metastasized in two years.”

Gulp.

After the appointment in oncology, I celebrated life with a cookie on the terrace of UNC Hospital. The day was gorgeous, cool and dry with a breeze that tossed the cookie wrapper into the air. Not your usual fare for late summer in North Carolina. I’m a frosting girl, and I ate that treat as slowly as I could.

If my cancer has a purpose, the interior one is (I think) to be more appreciative and to whoop it up more.

But the outward purpose is clear. I’m now using my writing to advocate for early detection of endometrial cancer. I’ve been healthy all my life, and I felt fine. Look how close to death I maybe was.

Please help me spread the word.

My Endometrial Cancer page is an archive of all of my posts. This post  includes an interview with my doctor, Paola Gehrig. Dr. Gehrig highlights those early and often quite subtle cancer symptoms.

For those of you on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus,and others, a simple way to help spread the word is to share my endometrial cancer page or individual posts. Thanks!

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29 responses »

  1. We had some carpe diem inducing moments this year. It is definitely important to eat cookies while you can—a 21st century version of “gather ye rosebuds whilst you may”, I believe.

  2. Life can be taken from us in an instant. It is hard for us to think about that and we just keep on with our daily lives as if they will go on forever. Especially as we get older we need to realize the clock is ticking down and we should do all those things we really want to do NOW. They are encouraging us boomers to continue to work longer and financially many of us have to. But you hear a lot of stories of people who retire with lots of fun plans, who shortly after retiring are diagnosed with a horrible illness. And they never get to do what they have planned for and looked forward to. So we need to enjoy life now and not put it off till tomorrow. EAT THOSE COOKIES AND HAVE FUN!

  3. I think it is wonderful that you are using your experience for advocacy! Cancer is such a sneaky disease. I felt fine when I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer but thank goodness the cancer was spotted with my yearly routine mammogram!

  4. I might be mistaken, but that cookie seems to be a “sunflower.”

    Looking at an academic website (University of Arizona – (http://cals.arizona.edu/fps/sites/cals.arizona.edu.fps/files/cotw/Sunflower.pdf) it was noted that:

    “Sunflowers have motor cells, in the flower head, which move the head so it faces the sun.”

    So, not only was this a great way to treat yourself to “being alive,” “well,” and going forward in a most enjoyable way, but it also does seem to have some possibly very neat symbolism here, too.

    Aligning ourselves with this “positive” (as you said, “more appreciative and to whoop it up more” perspective, perhaps, we, like the sunflowers, can make this an automatic and instinctive way of being!

    • Thanks! I don’t want to wear people out talking about my cancer, but (and excuse the perhaps TMI) this was a small amount of blood, yet it ended up being very serious.

  5. Barbara, so good of you to share your info. and educate us about this cancer; the link to your doctor’s interview and accompanying article were particularly helpful. You may have saved someone’s life by spreading the word. You’re very inspiring! I also like the reminder to enjoy
    cookies (though for me it’s ice cream).

    • Thanks, Judith. I think it’s a good interview too, esp. since she really lays out the warning signs, which include more than just bleeding.,

      Cliff brought home a carton of Breyer’s waffle cone with big old chunks of chocolate in it. Fab! (I think I have the name right). A must try!

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