It's interesting how cancer really changes your perspective on things. Every new bump or pain or odd change in your body makes you think of cancer. If you thought nothing bad was ever going to happen to you, but then it did, it's like a rude awakening.
Since my cancer experience, I've had a few "scares." Times when something wasn't just right and my mind jumped right to cancer. Even if I had reason to believe that it was probably not cancer, somewhere in my mind I entertained the idea of cancer.
In these instances I've even had biopsies and that made it even more real, like a repeat performance: waiting for results, considering the what ifs... It is not a happy place. But as the optimist I am, I would brush off the what if's and try to go on with my life. After cancer, I just know too much. I have had friends die. It's hard to forget what I know and to not be concerned.
In one instance, I even needed surgery and general anesthesia again. I really had thought I could make it more than five years, maybe even most of a lifetime without surgery again. A hoarseness had become apparent with my voice. After many months of wondering if the hoarseness was here to stay and required a doctor visit, I finally consulted my doctor and also a specialist. In the video of my throat, I was shown a small bump in my false vocal chords. The doctor did not know what it was, but recommended it come out and soon. She did not want me having this bump grow and obstruct my breathing.
After consulting another specialist and confirming that the unknown bump needed to come out, I reluctantly scheduled surgery...and left my nursing toddler again.
The bump still baffled the doctor even after it was out. It wasn't until the pathology came back that it showed it was a xanthogranuloma. While these are benign growths that can occur in the body, the throat is a very odd place for them.
In the end, I did not have cervical cancer, or throat cancer, or even skin cancer. When I finally received the phone calls, the biopsies were always not cancer. I could leave the waiting place and go back to living life, just a bit more of my innocence lost.