It's been a year and a half since my mother and I were diagnosed with GYN cancers and there is still not a day that goes by that we both don't think about cancer. Even though I am so lucky to be "cured" as my physician tells me I still deal with the daily ramifications of the diagnosis and surgery. Every evening I strap myself into my flexitouch lymphedema pump for an hours worth of therapy for my left leg that swells (due to the lymph nodes being removed during surgery). I also take daily hormone replacement of estrogen and testosterone and have recently begun seeing another specialist to try to "tweak" the dosages in attempts to achieve a better sense of normalcy. Additionally, I worry daily about my Mother's ovarian cancer returning and each time she goes in to get her CA-125 levels checked, we are on a vicious roller coaster of emotions.
Recently my 6 year-old daughter was asked by a well meaning person when her parents were going to have a little brother or sister to keep her company. She matter of factly answered, "My Mommy can't have any more babies because she had all her girl parts removed because of cancer". Although I felt sorry for the embarrased person asking, I had to smile at my daughter's response with pride. I am glad that she will always feel comfortable talking about the "girl parts" and pray that she never has to experience what my mother and I have endured. She's already an advocate and in a few years, we will make sure she has protection against cervical cancer through Gardasil. As parents, this is one of the most important steps we can take with our sons and daughters to help prevent cervical cancer. She's also excited about this year's race which makes me incredibly proud. She and her best friend both won medals in the "5 and under" group and I realize you're never too young or old to make a difference!