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