Any Survivor fans here? You know the blindside. That surprised look as the player’s eyes widen while his name is read over and over. Security in the game starts melting away as the realization hits that game time is coming to an end. The player stares straight ahead at Jeff Probst willing the next few slips of paper to show someone else’s name. Then the player looks around at the group with a look of ‘how could you do this to me?’ My first diagnosis twelve years ago was similar, except I didn’t have Jeff Probst to stare at, I had a doctor.
I was blindsided in discovering a lump. I returned from an amazing trip to Italy. I was healthy, 34 years old with no history of cancer in the family. I stayed active with lifting weights and cardio. And I found a lump. It was small, hard and non-moveable. So of course, I jumped on the internet searching for answers.
Just like the Survivor player whose name is read over and over, feeling the security of their alliances slipping away, my security in life was slipping away. I couldn’t grasp this happening to me. Try as I might to not draw conclusions so early in the cancer game, it was hard to do. One minute I would be certain it wasn’t cancer and the next minute I was sure. I hoped, prayed, begged and wished that this was not cancer. I contacted my doctor and he scheduled me for a same day appointment. This was the beginning of entering the medical system as a patient and not a healthcare professional.
The team of docs ushered me through the system ordering various tests. Mammogram, ultrasound and biopsy; all these tests I watched patients go through, and now I was the patient. . . and I was scared. I kept thinking it can’t be cancer. I was busy. I don’t have time for cancer. I worked and was in school. I didn’t see any possible solution as to how I would accommodate doctor’s visits and treatments into my life. I remember looking in the mirror at the gym thinking I was in the best shape of my life, this can’t be cancer.
In the end it doesn’t matter how much I bargained, prayed, wished or begged, there wasn’t any way to control whether the lump was cancerous. The little lump that felt the size of a peanut was cancer and it changed my life forever.
Are you a runner diagnosed with cancer? I’m here for you.
Do you know a runner diagnosed with cancer? Please share my blog. Let them know they are not alone in this journey.
You can find the schedule for Team FIERCCE group runs on Facebook. This is a running group for those impacted by cancer. I look forward to running with you!