I feel like I’m in a dark alley and cancer is just waiting around the next corner.
I can’t just grieve for my mother… there is this awful specter of the genetic history seemingly mutating my cells as I write.
My children won’t know their grandparents and the knowledge that I won’t get to know mine seems inescapable.
Great thoughts for a mid-week pity party!
I feel ashamed for feeling this way… I’m not sure why. I’ve tried to put it into words but nothing seems to make sense. I just know that it is how I feel. My sister agrees. We both feel like we are subconsciously, or perhaps even consciously, waiting to learn who is next. One of us? Our spouses? God forbid, our kids?
That’s why my doctor’s appointment this morning left me so conflicted, and yes, thoroughly involved in this self-pity. I asked my doctor for a referral for a colonoscopy. While I’m sure it is a fabulous time having a camera stuck up my large intestine, it is one of the few tests that can be done to detect and at the early stages cyre the cancer that killed my mother. The problem is that I don’t fit the criteria. In four years I will meet the risk factors to qualify for the screening. Today I don’t.
The cancer that was diagnosed in my mother at age 65 likely started growing in her 50s. Right now, the chances of me having anything cancerous or pre-cancerous in my intestines are minimal. The risks of undergoing such an invasive tests are far higher (rectal bleeding and colostomy bags are enough to make anyone think twice). That said, the doctor is willing to do the test. He says if the possibility is keeping me up at night, that if I need the peace of mind and an understand the risk, he’ll do it.
Great… more nebulous choices.
The thing is… even if I decide to take the risk and go for the test, it probably won’t tell me much. Most colorectal cancers begin after age 50. The test will likely come out clean right now but that doesn’t mean it always will. I’ll still need the test every 5 to 10 years no matter what they find right now.
I can’t have what I really want. I want an answer. Will I get cancer? Can I prevent it? I want peace of mind, something cancer has robbed from me.
Hence the pity party.