What if I hadn’t gone to the gynecologist on time for my 6 month post-partum visit?
What if, during the breast exam, when my left breast felt “different” (no lump, no real reason, just “different”) my doctor had dismissed it as post-nursing irregularity and told me to come back in 6 months for another exam?
What if, when I called to schedule the mammogram (only 18 months after a clear one) and they said it would be a few months for an appointment I had said, “Okay”?
What if I hadn’t called my doctor to tell her that’s how long it would take and ask if that was acceptable?
What if she’d said “yes”?
What if I hadn’t opted for a double mastectomy?
What if I hadn’t gone for a second opinion on chemotherapy? What if I hadn’t gotten a second pathologist to review my slides?
What if that didn’t happen and I didn’t find out with that second look that I actually had invasive ductal carcinoma in one breast, in my lymph node, and dysplastic cells in the other breast?
What if I had decided not to do those things? Where would I be now?
What if I hadn’t been assertive, perceptive, inquisitive, impatient, and willing to do what it took to get answers?
I probably wouldn’t be alive. Or if I were, I’d be spending my time treating an advanced cancer.
Not blowing bubbles with Tristan today,
Not praising Colin for his schoolwork,
Not planning Paige’s sleepover for tomorrow.
I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the things I enjoyed today.
But I am here.
I was able to be with my family.
I was able to help others.
I am able to look to the future with hope.
And for that, I am happy.