Before I knew I had Cancer, I purchased an Aflac Cancer Policy through the office. My thinking was this: if I have it, I won't need it. Murphy's Law and all that. And since I have had cancer, I have put off actually filling out the paperwork for the claims. I don't know why. I guess I am afraid they will deny my claim (I had a bad experience with some travel insurance).
I finally decided I need to fill out the paperwork and file the claim. In doing so, I needed to make sure I had certain dates right for the forms. So I went back through my calendar to double check and it was the strangest thing... To think back about everything that was going on. And I still remember how scared and anxious I was the whole time.
I can remember camping with my family, feel of anxiety about meeting with the endocrinologist the next day. I remember travelling to Virginia to see Phil's old roommates, taking Synthroid in hopes my nodules would shrink. I remember the half-marathon Phil and I ran, hoping that we would be finding out the next week that my nodules had shrank and therefore I wouldn't have cancer. I remember the complete and total frustration when my endocrinologist cancelled my biopsy an hour before it was supposed to happen and the extreme anger I felt with it took 3 more attempts before she would actually perform the procedure. I remember the way my heart sank when her nurse called me, asking me to come in and discuss my biopsy results with the doctor. And how the 5 minute drive from my office to her office seemed to take forever. I remember sending text messages to Joanna and my brother because I couldn't think about calling them and getting the words out. I remember going to my parents house, having Phil meet me there. I walked in and didn't get any words out, just tears, and my mom started crying too.
Having a baby, which was the only thing I wanted, was on hold for who knows how long.
And now I get to sit and hold and feed and cuddle with my little boy. I take my thyroid pill every day. And I see my endocrinologist every once in a while. I find myself running my hand across my scar almost daily. But I am still overwhelmed by the fact that I actually had cancer.
Just the other day, I turned to Phil and said, "Can you believe I had Cancer?!?" It just doesn't seem like something that happens to seemingly healthy people in their mid-20's. But I did. And I still remember how terrifying the experience was.
The truth is, having cancer has changed me. It made me more empathetic for other people and families going through their own Cancer battle. It made me more aware of the people and the hurt around me. And it made me more grateful for my health and the health of those I care about.
And it has made me a thousand times more grateful for this guy:
Henry, I didn't know if I would ever get to meet you. I thank God everyday that I get to be your mommy.