Cancer! What a Bitch

I was reading a few websites recently about cancer and some of the research happening currently to fight the nasty thing. It truly is a bitch of a plague on our society, it knows no restraint. Just when you’ve paid your dues or are already down for the count, it becomes the bully you just can’t seem to shake. Several years ago, I had this little ego inside me saying there was no cancer in my family. Be careful what you say, because it will always kick you in the ass. Now to be honest, I wasn’t boosting about that fact. During the IVF and surrogacy process you have to divulge a lot of your families medical history. At that point in time, we had no direct history to my knowledge.

Over the years we have many close family friends or extended family member who fought cancer. And while some were successful, there were just as equal amounts who didn’t fair so successful. From many of our family’s closest friends to several extended family members. This new found change for my little ego of coarse was the big bomb that went off early this year. My 90 year old grandmother’s health has been slowly declining over the past 3 years since her neck surgery. 

Around the holidays last year her dementia was starting to get a lot worse. Followed by a series of falls which required her to receive increased care. She did a stay at the hospital earlier this year with a bout of pneumonia, which resulted in her having a full work up done. To everyone’s surprise, she tested positive for cancer cells. After further investigation they determined the cancer to be in her bones and spread further through her body. So for her 91st birthday her present was she was now living with cancer. There was obviously nothing they could do other than make her comfortable. Any form of radiation would have killed her. It’s just sad to see someone live their life at full force till she was 85 and then when she finally retires from work (yes, she worked a full work week till she was 85) to relax, she gets hit with cancer! Again, I say, What a bitch that cancer is. 

So to all our family, friends and their families who are living with this pain neck. We love you greatly and you are all in our wishes. And to all those we have lost, we miss you dearly and think of you so often. It's truly astonishing the number of women living with Cancer. What's amazing are how great the survival rate has become for many cancers. 

Breast cancer alone has such a high rate of survival, women diagnosed with stage 1 or localized have a 98.6% survival rate for 5 years. That's amazing. So early detection is truly key. One number I ran across that was alarming, was incidence by race. Caucasians are number with a 127.4 per 100,000 women. Such a high number when you compare it to Latino's rate of 90.8. 

So if you have a family history of cancer, be sure to take advantage of you medical insurance yearly free physical. Most policies cover a yearly physical, our society has veered clear of this practice because we've adopted a I am to young ego or simply just afraid to hear any bad news.

I've been screening for cancer cells for the past 3 years because back in 2009 when we began the process of baby #2. I tested positive for the Hep B Core Antibody, which means some time prior to my last test in 2007, I was exposed to HEP B but my body fought it off, although I have some of it still in my liver. I was and will never be contagious but my liver does have an increased risk of cancer in the future, although the risk rate the doctor spit out on my visit once was really low. So for now, I get yearly screenings to catch any elevated numbers. 

Oddly enough I had forgotten about my positive test a year or two later when I got the results and was sharing with a friend about the results. Oddly enough, she to had the antibody and also had a negative test prior to having her second child. We both addressed our doctors with the possibility that we might have been exposed some way to our babies, who were both stay at home parents, after they received their series of HEPB vaccines. Both of our doctors said NO! But we did go online to find there were other parents who experienced the same thing. I still question that today. 

Again, if you have any family history, please get checked every year or two years, it's just a simple blood test. And Parents, please don't hide or shield your children from the truth about the family's medical history.