The results came for my recent mammogram. When I saw the email I pretty much knew it was okay because surely they would not let someone find out there were reasons of concern through an email or web site..would they? Still, the results came back good. It stated the conditions and signs of where I had the lumpectomy and the density caused. As far as signs of concern, there were none. Yes, this was a relief. Yes, I shared the good news on my social media. Amazingly, it has gotten a lot of attention. As of this morning there are 170 likes or cares and 38 comments. Considering it is usually good for me to get a half dozen clicks of any sort, this is incredible.
Among the comments of congratulations in its various forms, slipped in the voice of reason. The voice sharing wisdom and words of caution. The reminder that cancer is a devious beast. That mammograms are not infallible and some cancers may not show up on the tests. Some cancers appear and grown swiftly. It is important that we not neglect self exams for any lumps or changes.
As a breast cancer survivor, I knew these things. However, I did not think badly of their comments. I did not swoop in with a vengeance, attacking them for daring to share their voice of concern and reasoning. Because it is true, we cannot rely fully on testing. I cannot in good faith say, I’ve had my mammogram, I know I’m good. I know I’m healthy and safe and don’t have to worry now for another year. That would be foolish on my part.
I know that it is very possible for cancer to return. I’ve had it once, it could come back. I need to do what I can to prevent that from happening.
Diet is important. I don’t smoke or drink, (or do any narcotics) but have been known to eat less than healthy. It is important that I eat as healthy a diet as possible. Lots of vegetables and fruits and real food, not the processed stuff. Stay away from fast food places and drink water, coffee or tea instead of any sodas. Even and especially the diet stuff.
Exercise. I was gifted with a treadmill to help me get steps in when the weather is bad or time does not allow me to wander far from home. I do need to add strength training though.
Sleep, which can be difficult at times, but getting enough is important. It is the time your body uses to heal.
Lower stress levels. Again, there are times that is difficult, but finding ways such as hikes in nature, a long bubble bath, reading a book or listening to music or any other activity that brings peace is important.
I know these things, and I know that cancer can return and depending on type, can either grow slowly or spread quickly. It is important to stay up with your health. It is important to know that not all people who interrupt a long line of congratulations is not attempting to destroy one’s happiness but keep them grounded in truth and possibilities. It is those folks who need to be thanked and appreciated as well.