Daughter talking to mother on the phone both with worried expressions

The Day It Happened

I still remember the day my daughter, Crystal, called me to tell me she thought she had cancer. I was sitting in the living room resting when the call came in. I didn’t believe it. How could my daughter have cancer? It wasn’t an absolute definite yet because she still had more testing to do. I prayed these tests would show a different story, but I was wrong. She did go for those tests and she was eventually diagnosed with stage 2 Hodgkin lymphoma.

The worst part was she didn’t tell me earlier about how she was feeling and what caused her to go to the doctor. This was because she didn’t want to cause me any stress. I have thyroid cancer and she wanted to protect me until she was sure. How scary that must have been for her. All I could think was, if I would have known, would I have encouraged her to go to the doctor sooner? I want to believe I would have. I think I would have, mostly because of my circumstances. I put off seeing a doctor and ended up with stage 4 thyroid cancer. I believe I would have encouraged her to go and see someone, but I’m sure I wouldn’t have thought she had cancer. I would have thought it was probably nothing. After all, she was only 25. Who gets cancer at 25?

The beginning

This was just the beginning of a year-long process. Those tests that Crystal had to undergo to show she had cancer was just the beginning of her journey. She had many more tests over the next months as well as chemo infusions, hydration treatments, and emergency room visits. In addition to all of that, we had pharmacy visits and even had to go to the store for special foods that she would able to eat. We just wanted her to get well.

It turned out OK

Luckily for us, it turned out well in the end. Crystal just had her one year post chemo doctor visit and she is cancer free. They plan to take her port out over the summer. She can’t wait. And...her hair is growing back. She feels very lucky to have beat cancer. She knows not everyone does.

What I’ve learned

Please be sure to encourage your family members and friends to see a doctor regularly. I now firmly believe that having a yearly checkup is important and so does Crystal. By doing this, hopefully, if there is an issue, we will find out sooner rather than later. We all know that early detection of any cancer will typically bring a better outcome. I always tell anyone thinking about whether they should see a doctor or not to go. Nobody wants to hear bad news, but the fact is, once you know, you can work on getting better. Finding the time to see the doctor for a yearly visit is definitely better, and will take less time than waiting and having to go for weekly chemo visits.

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