Sunday, November 2, 2008

You should have that looked at...

Those were essentially the final words said to my friend Angie by her then-GP last month. Stunned, all Angie could think was: That's why I'm HERE.

Given that her regular doctor of four years was basically refusing to treat her -- she never even physically examined her during her most recent visits -- and given that this supposed care-giver would now be concentrating on corporate medicine (whatever that means), Angie had no choice but to seek additional help. In total, she saw six doctors in the span of a month before "an overworked ER doc [looked] beyond the obvious" and diagnosed her cancer. Stage 4 cervical cancer that has metastasized to her lungs.

Rewind the clock to two months ago, and everything appeared fine. Angie is only 38. She's incredibly fit and eats all the right foods.

"I lost 50 lbs and quit smoking... and 
NOW I have cancer."

Seriously, if someone like Angie can get sick, what hope is there for the rest of us mere mortals? I told my husband this morning that, starting tomorrow, we're going to be eating nothing but fresh berries and spinach.

[insert awkward silence and a look of fear on his part]

And then for good measure I threw in a, "Your life will be miserable, but at least it will be long!"  Because, you know, that's what every man wants: a long, miserable life.

But Angie's illness has really put things into perspective for me -- and it's also made my blog about an injured ankle seem incredibly petty. Things can always get much, much worse.

I've heard that approximately 33% of all cancers are preventable, but obviously -- even if you do everything right -- anyone at any time at any age in any country can still get sick. And for no obvious or explainable reason.

Despite all this, I'm still semi-serious about my nothing-but-berries-and-spinach diet... you know, just in case.
 
~ I love you Angie! ~
 

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