When Linda McCartney died I was only years post diagnosis myself. According to everything that had been released in the news McCartney had the exact same kind of breast cancer I had. She had the exact same treatment I had, she died, I survived. It was a scary day for me as well as many women.
My Oncologist called all her patients over the next several days to assure us that every cancer is different, and while it was comforting to have this wonderful physician make these calls, I know I was still scared and still left with the question why not me?
I worked in Oncology for years. I had even worked in research and development for cancer treatment and I was highly educated in cancer. I know it only takes one rogue cell to “escape” from the tumor site and not get stopped in the lymphatic system to wreak havoc down the road. One rogue cell can “land” on a liver, in a lung, on a bone, in your brain and sit there in wait for years. I get that. There are still many people in this world who are left to wonder if their bodies harbor one rogue cell. I am one of those who wonder.
Every time I meet someone with a similar diagnosis, every time I hear someone has had a recurrence I wonder.
This morning when the news was released that Elizabeth Edwards had Stage 3 breast cancer when she was diagnosed my head understood that her cancer was so much more advanced than many of us have been diagnosed with and while that is a relief to many of us, it doesn’t make it easier to think about today.
Larry tells me every time I get scared that I was meant to survive to meet him, and that is why I am still here today. Nice thought, but it doesn’t really work that way or does it?