Before I knew I had cancer I remember thinking, except for this nagging constant pain I have, I’m so glad I’m healthier than the people I work with.  I would see them having to sit all the time, or when they walk they limp, or I would hear them complaining about all their health issues.  I remember I thought I’m so glad I’m healthy, if I just didn’t have this pain in my neck and back.  I decided because I’d been in an accident the previous year to go back to the Dr. to get it checked.

When I did, he said he wanted me to go see an orthopedic Doctor.  The Orthopedic Dr. thought it was just age and accident related injuries.  He wasn’t going to do anything else except put me on some pain meds.  I told him that I really thought something else was wrong because I’m not one to go to the Dr., ever.  He looked at me because I was being extremely dramatic in throwing my arms on the table and raising my voice trying to get him to listen to me and he said, “ok, we’ll do an MRI of your neck.”

A week later I got an MRI.  The next day his office called and made an appointment for me to come in the following day.  They wouldn’t tell me anything over the phone.
At my appointment a different Dr. came in to talk to me.  I remember thinking, “something’s wrong.”  He told me they found a tumor on the upper part of my spine, my neck where I’d been having so much pain.  He told me it might not be anything but he thought it also might be cancer.  He told me his son had cancer.  I think he said his son was around 15.  He told me he’d gotten treatment and he was fine now but it was really scary at first until they understood what it was and what treatment he would go through. 

To make a long story short - that started the many tests and biopsies to figure out exactly what I had and how to treat it.  I will always be under some type of treatment and there’s no treatment that can make it go away.  I’m grateful that I’m here and that I feel up to doing things with planning, preparation, resting, and medications.  I believe that I’ve done as well as I have because so many people have prayed for me since day one and I can never express how grateful I am for that. 
I am also grateful for my family Dr. sending me to the doctors she would go to if she were in my situation.  My doctors have chosen treatment methods that some have not approved of, no chemo, but quality of life is more important to me.  Since this has no treatment that can cure it, I don’t believe in anymore suffering than necessary.

Watching this video last night really brought back to me what I’ve gone through and still am going through.  Sometimes I like to not think about cancer for a day, or week when possible.  Doing things like the “quick draw” Saturday where people don’t know I have cancer and I’m not looked at differently helps me feel almost normal.  Except when I stood up during painting and almost fell down – but no one saw that, thankfully. 

Anyway, watch the video and understand what people with this go through.

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