First let me introduce myself even though most of you reading may already know me. I am Rachel, working mother of 2 beautiful kids. Kendall-9 and Kolston 21 months. Wife of an amazing husband Kyle, and friend to some pretty awesome peeps. I created this blog to help with a recent diagnosis of Cervical cancer, being a mom, being a wife, juggling work, and well faith, hope, love and healing.
So what does “out of the closet” even mean….well alot of people only think that is for people that are keeping thier sexual orientation a secret. Then I got to thinking about what I would call my first blog entry. I got to thinking about how there are so many closets that we live these days….aren’t there…I mean just think about it. Don’t we all have things that we keep bottled up inside just waiting for the right time to tell someone. One moment passes, and you just can’t find the words, then you think….maybe next time. Eventually it comes out, but not without alot of tears, lumps in your throat, fast heart beats, sweaty palms and fear of reaction from those you love the most and yes even strangers. What will they think? How will they react? Will they look at me differently? Will they treat me differently? Will they love me differently? Hopefully the answer to any of the questions are no, but we can’t control how others think, feel and react. We can however be in control of how we think, feel, and have an impact on others through our actions. Whatever your closet is, don’t be afraid. There is a God who loves you unconditionally, thats pretty amazing and comforting right? Now that I have that out of the way. I have had alot of questions about how I found out I had cancer. So I will explain here. January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month and I feel as though I should be as honest I possibly can so that if I can help one mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, friend, or stranger it will be worth it. Please be warned, if you are uncomfortable with these subject matters, being cervical cancer and the female anatomy…feel free to stop reading now.
I went in for my annual check up with my Gyn doctor. I was having some bleeding in between periods that wasn’t normal. I chocked it up to stress of changing jobs a few times this year and one of those being particularly stressful. Doc told me that he would not being doing a pap smear this go around because of some bologna (I had to sing the song on that one) about not giving them every year now, and going to every 3 years if your last pap was normal. He said everything looked good and said my bleeding was from a Ph imbalance, gave me something over the counter, and that was that. He told me to come back if it didn’t get better. I have to be honest ya’ll…I was unsettled after this appointment. However I trusted my doctor…. after all I had been seeing him since I was 20ish. He saw me through 1 great pregnancy, 1 good but blah pregnancy, delivered both of my beautiful babies and even saved my baby boys life when things started going wrong in the delivery room. So I did as he said, even though I knew in my gut I should march right back in there and demand something more from him.
Things weren’t getting better, they were getting worse…I KNEW there was something wrong, and I had googled myself stupid. So I made another appointment, deep down I knew I had cancer before I even made the appoitment…after all you can diagnose yourself on WebMD right? So I went back to the doctor and he immediatly detected something was wrong, and did a biopsy on the spot. This was 2 days before Thanksgiving, and said they would see me back in a week to talk about the results….He knew I had cancer too, he just didn’t want to tell me that day. The next day…the day before Thanksgiving the doctor calls me. “Rachel I hate to do this the day before Thanksgiving, but I couldn’t wait until next week, it’s cervical cancer”. WOW! Nothing can prepare you for that…nothing. So I go home and tell my husband and we agree not to tell anyone over Thanksgiving…lets just enjoy the time with family and friends. Do you know how hard that is…..When all you want to do is cry? Let me tell ya….it’s tough.
All of the appointments start…Oncologist, radiation doctor, chemo doctor, labs, registration. Fun stuff!! Then it’s time to schedule Radiation and Chemo, which I started this week, 12/30/13. 6 1/2 weeks of radiation 5 days a week, 1 chemo a week for 8 weeks and 4 internal radiation treatments…More fun stuff. So far I have felt ok, just a little fatigue. My first chemo was yesterday 1/3/13, and I feel much better than I anticipated.
So there is the beginning of my story. I decided to go ahead and put it out there for all of my FB friends and family earlier in the week because if I can help one female become more aware of the signs, symptoms and facts of cervical cancer and hopefully prevent any of the things I am going through…it will be worth every second. We so often are bombarded with Breast Cancer awareness, which don’t get me wrong…it is super important, but we need more Cervical Cancer awareness and just female cancers in general. I think there is a stigma attached because of the nature of it, and people don’t want to talk about it. Well, those of you who know me, knows i don’t keep my mouth shut….I am speaking up!!! This is super personal, intrusive, painful, and scary to talk about, but this is my time to try to make a difference.
I am super thankful for all of the love and support, and prayers I have recieved. I have amazing family and friends. My husband is my rock, and my kids are my reason for every breathe. I know I will get through this because I have faith in our lord who will be my ultimate physician through it all.