For the last 10 yrs I have been terrified of getting cancer. It all started when I felt a small lump on my breast. When I went to the gynecologist to get it checked out I thought well I may as well get a pap smear it’s been awhile. They imaged my breast and said it looked okay. I was relieved and didn’t give it another thought. Then about a week later I got a call saying that there was precancerous cells on my cervix. That threw me for a loop it wasn’t anything that I was prepared to possibly worry about. I had to get surgery to have the cells removed and ever since I’ve been getting pap after pap worrying that I have cancer. Not too long after that surgery my grandmother who raised me called and said she had colon cancer. She raised me and she needed my help. I moved back home to take care of her. I took care of her for 4 yrs watching her fight, then seeing the moment in her eyes when she lost hope. She’s the strongest person I’ve ever known, seeing her scared without hope, watching the terrible chemo treatments that do nothing except torture a person until they finally die. I tried everything for her cooked healthy, made green smoothies, juiced, I burnt the candle at both ends working, taking care of her and trying to come up with natural ideas. One day she was crying, I asked her to talk to me about why and she said “the doctor said I have a really good heart” and I said “that’s a good thing right?” and she said “no that just means it’s going to take longer.” And then she changed the subject and asked if I wanted to watch a movie. I didn’t know what she meant at the time but I eventually found out. She eventually became blocked with cancer so she ended up with a permanent colostomy bag. She said, that was really the day that she died. The butchery of her body, she felt like she lost her dignity she had to hire a nurse to help her take care of it. She wouldn’t let me, she didn’t want me to see it. Because it was permanent she was sewed up down there she started getting a lot of pain everyday and she kept saying she was terrified that she was going to blow up. The pressure of the cancer. She couldn’t take oral painkillers because she couldn’t keep them down. So I thought why don’t we call hospice. In my mind I was thinking she could go there they would control the pain and then send her home with some injections that I could give her when needed. When I said it she paused for a sec and then said yes call them. Once we got there she spoke to them alone and I guess she decided she wanted to die. I had no control over the situation I couldn’t say stop even though I wanted them to. But at the same time who am I to say she can’t. She probably had 6 months or maybe even a year left in her but she was so scared. It took her 9 days of being injected with dilated and ativan with no food and water for her to die. I watched her go through a slow euthanization. I stayed in the room with her and slept on a couch/chair for I tried to leave the room as little as possible because even if I left for 5 mins the emotions of walking back into that room was unbearable. I wont go into anymore details but it effed me up pretty bad. And through it I realized what she meant when she cried about having a strong heart. There’s just all those little things that you think about after, when I brought up hospice and she paused, she decided to die in that moment. And here I was this naive person thinking she was going to come home the next day. Shortly after that I ended up with a complex cyst on my ovary they didn’t know if it was cancer or not so I had to get surgery to find out. It wasn’t cancer but put another nail into my phobia. Last Christmas my left breast had bruising and was inflamed. I had all the symptoms of IBC but it wasn’t cancer. It flares up red purple and inflamed a week before every period. So I freak out every month. The doctors have no idea what it is they’ve taken pictures to show colleagues “Like wow can you believe this? Have you ever seen this?” But I have no answers. I have been terrified of cancer to the point that I don’t have life. I have agoraphobia, I’m depressed in a state of constant panic. And the worst thing is in my mind I know I’m going to end up with cancer and then regret wasting all this time in my life worrying about getting cancer.
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