Until I became strategic with my planning, I never acknowledged World Cancer Day. I’d barely get through Mother’s Day, only to fall apart on the anniversary of my mum’s death. Much of my life has seen me rebuilding myself after that devastating loss, but I know I’m not alone in that.
According to Cancer Research UK:
Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer.Cancer Statistics for the UK, Cancer Research UK.
It feels like an epidemic that has touched all of our lives in some way, and we just can’t seem to escape it.
But I don’t want to dive into the gaping wound I live with following my mum’s death. I want to talk to you about life, and what we can do to preserve ours.
Ladies, book that smear test.
Okay, they call it cervical screening now but the procedure is still the same. I know it’s scary, especially if you’ve not given birth before and haven’t shown your fanny to medical strangers yet. But I promise it’s over in less than five minutes and the nurse really has seen it all before.
A couple of years ago I had a smear test that led to a biopsy. The results of the smear test showed a change in cells and further examination (via a camera) showed a need for further tests. They conducted a biopsy, which was painful and traumatic and caused an anxiety attack. I haven’t told many people about this but I was plagued with worry. I couldn’t sleep and I was paranoid I’d be leaving my kids to grow up without a mother. You might saying I’m irrational, but my mum died from lung cancer and I worried I carried some kind of cancer gene. But the results came back and I was in the clear. I cried happy tears that day.
So, if you’ve received your reminder in the post, please book your appointment. You may save your life.
Get that lump checked out.
Do you check your boobs? I’ve seen an increase in women talking about checking their boobs, on Instagram and even at events, and I urge you to learn about it.
I’m not an expert on this but I do know how important it is to know your body well enough to notice the changes. Whether you’ve got a hard lump in your arm put, have been bleeding from your nipple or notice dimples in your boob, please get it checked out by a doctor.
For more information on what to look out for, and how to check yourself, please visit the Coppafeel website.
Speak to your doctor.
If you’ve noticed changes in your body that are painful or even just unusual, don’t be afraid to speak to your doctor.
There is a wealth of information on the internet but I promise you that if you Google your symptoms, you will most definitely be convinced you are dying. So avoid all of that worry and speak to a medical professional instead.
My mum was unwell for a while before she was diagnosed with cancer and by that time she only had 6 months to live. I do think if the doctors found her cancer sooner, she might have had a chance at surviving.
Whatever your health concern is at the moment, please don’t talk yourself out of making an appointment with your doctor. Even if it turns out to be nothing, surely it’s better to have that confirmation than live in doubt.
Do it for your children and your family. Do it for the future you’re building and the woman you’ll become to live it. But most of all, do it for you now.
You deserve to live a full, happy and healthy life.