For an agonizing day, I feared that a predator that has claimed several of my loved ones had come to knock on my door.
I’ve honestly been expecting the monster. I’ve been debating how it would arrive, how aggressive it would be. Would it creep up on me? Would it knock me flat, without pity or hope for reprieve? When would it show? When the vague words of a nurse put cancer on my table, even as a small possibility, I was not shocked. I was only scared.
For now, I’m clear; that could change in six months, or six years. In this moment, my body chooses to not betray me that way. I’m at an elevated risk, so I still stand vigil, awaiting the news I’m almost certain will come. The news that took the most beloved member of my family away too young, too quickly.
I still remember standing at the concert of this artist, remember her words of wisdom as she told her story without shame, without a desire for pity. I am still awed. I still cry when I hear this song, and think of those not able to run for life with us now. I hear it, and think of the #beatcancer campaign on Twitter, and I do what I can.
Even if the elusive answers do not spare me when an almost certainty invades me, someday, they will help somone. That’s what matters most.
Get regular physicals, people. Women – get an annual Pap and check your breasts monthly. Men – suck it up and check your prostate. If your body feels wrong, don’t take a ‘it’s nothing’ for an answer. Trust your gut. Persistence may have saved my grandfather through early detection. Don’t ever let your health take a back seat to anything.
Day Thirty-Eight: I Run For Life – Melissa Etheridge