Did I scare you? Good. Want to stop reading? Don’t.
I was going to post something today that had great dating advice about not trying to change men. I’ve been pretty serious lately, so I planned on making it fun.
Right in the middle of writing I checked email (a common occurrence thanks to my A.D.D.-ishness) – and I read an email that stopped me in my tracks.
I’ll give you that brilliant and somewhat light post next week, but you need to hear this now.
My friend “Angie” might have cancer. She sent this email to explain why she may not be in touch for a while. She also sent it to remind us – her girlfriends who love her – of what counts in life, and how to avoid her terrible situation. I’m paraphrasing her email here. Please read this. This may save your life or the life of a woman you care about.
18 months ago at the age of 52, I finally had my last period, or so I thought. 10 days ago I began bloating, cramping, back pain, craving chocolate… 3 days after that a period. In the past 6 days of bleeding it has become out of control.
I made a call to my doctor. She had me come in IMMEDIATELY… she sits me and my husband down and says this is not good. There is a lot of stuff…it is very serious and she used the word uterine cancer”, biopsy, D&C…and we both shrugged our shoulders at the same time and said “hysterectomy.”
…I could be in surgery as early as tomorrow or possibly Monday. I just pray that this is not cancer and if it is…that it hasn’t spread.
She goes on to describe how, as her bleeding became uncontrollable, she powered through; even finishing her radio program as she bled on to her furniture. (Gross, I know. But it needs to be shared.) Go Superwoman!!
At the end of her email, she says:
We’re all so “Swamped!” I hear that all the time and I say it too! We have to put ourselves first and take care of our bodies – otherwise the rest doesn’t even matter. We cannot be good mothers, partners, or business women w/o good health. Go to the doctor!
Thanks Angie. Thanks for taking the time to educate us even while you face a very uncertain future. This is so freakin’ crappy. I’m talking to the Universe for you right now.
So let’s take the good out of this. It’s what I do. Those who have coached with me know this: every experience is a chance to learn and gets you closer to your happiness. Angie’s situation drives home some important points for all of us:
- Don’t ignore your health.Take care of yourself, get educated, find good doctors. Nuff said.
- The idea that you have complete control over your life is utter nonsense. I know a lot of you smart, independent women out there are like I used to be; wanting control over everything in your life. (Is that why you’re not dating or discounting almost every man you meet?)Tomorrow you may get a curveball that knocks you on your ass. The control you have is how you deal with it. My curveball came about 16 years ago when I was diagnosed with MS. Bad news indeed; but one of the best things in my life. It forced me to make needed changes from a disconnected work obsessed woman to one who values people above all.
- Accept help from people who want to help you. When I was sick, I couldn’t walk for many days. I was forced to accept help. When I did I realized it was nice for me, and for those who wanted to give it. Don’t let something knock the crap put of you before you realize this.
So here’s my sober advice today: If you are in peri-menopause or menopause, find a doctor who has experience and knowledge in this area. Read books about hormones and ovarian cancer. Here are some resources for information and to make donations to further research:
The Gilda Radner Familial Ovarian Cancer Registry
Minniepauz.com – the Road to Menopause
I send you love, and ask you to send supporting thoughts to my friend and her family. I wish you good health and real, meaningful happiness. Let’s have fun next time. For now, let’s pause and be grateful. Then let’s take care of ourselves.
Gotta go. Be good to yourself.