BonnieFick shared an experience
Celebration (My celebration is 'every day of my life', as it has been over twenty years ago that I beat cancer for the second time!): I was asked by the American Cancer Society to share my story of being a two-time cancer survivor; I consider it an honor to do so.
In 1984, having found a lump on my neck, I went to my personal doctor who immediately referred me to UCLA for testing. It was found to be a cancerous tumor on my thyroid. I was immediately scheduled for surgery to have the tumor and my thyroid removed. I will admit, the first words of the diagnosis weakened me to near faint; however, being assured of the advances made in cancer research and the success rate in curing this form of cancer, I went into the UCLA surgery and cancer treatment with full confidence. My first post-surgery scan showed that all of the cancer had not been removed and I then had to go onto a more advanced inpatient cancer treatment of extremely high dosage of ingested radio-active iodine. This procedure called for me to become a frequent ‘guest-resident’ at UCLA in their isolation unit, which I found to be a very interesting procedure. After a period of several months, I had my final scan where no further evidence of cancer could be found. It was a joyful and grateful moment for me – CURED!
Five years later, 1989, cancer was to visit me again; however, unrelated to my first experience. A routine OB-GYN exam that had always been of no discomfort or consequence was excruciatingly painful. I was sent for an ultrasound that very same day that proved suspicious, resulting in a scan the next day. Within four days, I was in surgery and was diagnosed with Stage III Endometrioid Ovarian Cancer. In just a matter of a couple of weeks following surgery, I entered a very aggressive form of chemo treatment, again at UCLA. The treatments although grueling were successful; I survived my second bout with cancer.
My main purpose for submitting my story is to first encourage anyone and everyone not to put off routine medical visits and especially if you are ‘suspicious’ of anything you may find. And secondly, know that cancer research has come a long way. You don’t have to fear hearing the Big ‘C’ diagnosis. We are fortunate today in knowing there is hope out there, mainly through the efforts of the American Cancer Society.