(This is a story of Cervical Cancer long before the vaccination was discovered. Treatment has become shorter and easier on the body, but the danger of death remains if early intervention is missed.)
There was cancer in my abdomen my ears buzzed and I didn’t hear the rest of the nurse’s comments. I had cancer, did that mean death? The appointments began over the next few weeks and treatments were discussed. But I had cancer and that was all I could think of. When was it going away?
I spent a week in the hospital having cesium implants the doctor brought into the room in a lead box, it was a lead room, my husband could only visit for seven minutes at a time. And there was pain like the worst menstrual cramps I’d had rippling up and down my stomach. I couldn’t roll over and only move my head a few inches. There would be four days of this, and we would do it again in two weeks.
After discharge from hospital there were daily trips to the radiation unit—five days a week for five weeks, I lay for minutes that seemed like hours under the sterile white machine. I pictured the rads as spears going in and stabbing my cancer into disappearing ugliness.
My body won. The cancer was killed and now I only had to remember its name every six months for three years, then once a year for five years to see if it stayed dead. I was lucky—that was twenty-five years ago. So the spears stabbing the cells and my visualizations all won me back my life. At the age of ill-health, there were other friends who died being grateful.