Remember

It’s been three years.  Three years ago, on January 12,  my aunt died from cervical cancer.

My Aunt meeting the Daughter for the first time.  Her smile just shows how much she loved my little girl!

My Aunt meeting the Daughter for the first time. Her smile just shows how much she loved my little girl!

I know I have written about her before but I feel like it’s my duty to remind people of her battle because if one person gets a pap test because they read her story, then she will have been able to help one more person.

My aunt was a kind and caring woman in the truest sense of the word.  She never married and had no children of her own but she gave so much to so many.  Not only did she love me, my brothers, and my cousins as if we were her own kids, but also she was always giving of herself to her Girl Scouts troop.  She was always there for us: for advice on life, for concerts, for graduations, for birthdays, for everything really.  She was proud of all of us.

She taught me so many things from how quilt to how to hike safely up a mountain.  She also taught me the value of kindness by showing me how doing kind works was more important than just throwing money at a problem.  By doing small acts of kindness, you can change big problems, just look at all the girls she helped when she was so active in the Rhode Island Girl Scouts.

In Memory ♥

In Memory ♥

I miss her.  I miss how she loved playing with the Daughter in the few months she got to play with her.  I miss how she would have been able to talk to me about careers, travel, music, life.  So many things, little things, are missed and on certain days, I feel them more than others.  This past week, I have been feeling all kinds of things that if the Long Island Medium were to encounter me, I don’t doubt that she would have a reading for me.

Her illness seemed to come on pretty quickly.  One day she was ok and doing all the things she normally did.  Then what seemed to be overnight, she was feeling not good, though she didn’t talk about it much with anyone.  I saw the weight loss though.  I saw her in pain from her hip.  I knew that she was not well. It was hard for anyone to not notice it.  It just all happened so fast.  Cervical and Ovarian Cancer does that though.  They both start out without any symptoms – a very scary thought.

I know that this post may seem a bit heavy, but my point is this.  Schedule you annual Pap Test.  If you’re one of my gentleman readers, please encourage the women in your lives to schedule their annual exams and then promptly please schedule your own appropriate cancer screenings.  These exams and that simple test are enough to catch cancer in its earliest stages.  Often, with Cervical and Ovarian cancer, once you start to feel the symptoms it’s often too late to do much in terms of treatment because the symptoms are brought on, most times, when the cancer has spread.  This is why early detection is life saving.

GYN_symptoms_matrix

It’s ten minutes (at most for the entire exam and test) of discomfort versus a long, drawn-out, painful battle.  If you have never been for a GYN exam, ask a friend who has gone to go with you.  They don’t have to go into the room, but they can if you want or need them to.  They can even just talk to you about it and tell you their own experiences.  I know it sounds funny, but I know a lot of women who aren’t fond of going and avoid it if they can.  The problem is they CANNOT avoid it.  It’s so important to get regular screenings.  They really do save lives.

Advertisements

11 Comments

Filed under Cancer Awareness, Family

11 responses to “Remember

  1. Great post – so important to have regular check ups. My mum passed away from Breast Cancer and like you if I can encourage one woman to go and have a check up I will be happy. Keep spreading the word!

    • ClewisWrites

      I’m sorry you lost your mom. Cancer is the worst and if caught early enough, most people can go into remission. Let’s keep talking and sharing and hopefully we’ll all someday have less stories about loved ones we lost.

  2. I’m so, so sorry for your loss. Your aunt sounds like she was a really special person. I’m way overdue for an exam. I’ll call my doc on Monday and set one up. Thank you for sharing your story.

    • ClewisWrites

      Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad that you’ll be taking care of yourself! I’m sure your family will thank you too 🙂

  3. I am embarassed to say the referral for my baseline mammagram is still sitting on my fridge after 4 years, the last time I saw the Ob/Gyn. My excuse for the first 18 months was breastfeeding, but now it is just being lazy. Thanks for the kick in the behind. I will make both appointments tomorrow.

  4. Aidan Apocalypse

    I’m very sorry for your loss. Good for you for turning your pain into a way to help others. I had just turned 24 before I had my first gynecological exam (only this past summer). My issue was a lack of medical insurance, but I went to Planned Parenthood and because I’m unemployed with no insurance, my whole exam and birth control was free. I was worried about the discomfort, but it turned out not to be very uncomfortable at all. There is really no reason to put off having such an important procedure done.

    • ClewisWrites

      This is true, Health insurance does come into play with some people and I don’t want to get too political, but it’s one reason universal healthcare is so important here. It saves lives. I’m glad you were able to get your exam and were able to get it for little or no cost!

  5. Carol

    Cathy, you are so right about scheduling those exams. I need to do this. I am always hesitant because of my size and because I have an abnormality that makes these exams rather difficult and painful. It’s no excuse though, this needs to be done. I think I will call tomorrow and get this scheduled! Thank you for the reminder!

    • ClewisWrites

      I’m sorry that these aren’t the best visits for you but good for you getting it done despite that fact. I used to be afraid of them because of my size too, but then I had to remind myself that doctors see all shapes and sizes. I also am lucky that I have some really awesome “Lady Doctors” as the husband calls them. He’s so afraid to talk about anything having to do with my “Lady issues” it makes me laugh.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s