I have bad news and I have good news. You should probably read both.
Bad News: I have been diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 36.
Good News: We caught it very early and the cancer is small enough that a surgical procedure will get rid of it. My doctors are optimistic about my prognosis and all of my insane middle-of-the-night librarian research tells me the same thing. This is highly survivable thanks to catching it early in a regular exam. My friends and family have been extremely supportive and I am thankful for all of their positive energy and snarky humor that’s helping me get through this difficult time.
One of the things that helped me feel less scared between my biopsies and “finding out I had the BIG C” was remembering the experiences of Xeni Jardin a little over a year ago. Jardin decided to live-Tweet her first mammogram, after which she was told that she had breast cancer. She’s since Tweeted and blogged her experiences with cancer very openly. What she did was one of the first things that came into my head and she helped me to realize whatever happened, I could beat this. I obviously have a much smaller readership than Jardin, but I want to pay it forward and do the same thing.
I will be having surgery next Thursday afternoon. I will be Tweeting (and cross-posting to Facebook for friends there) about my experience. I also plan to live-Tweet during the surgery, as I will be awake for it.
If by being an open book I can help make people less scared about cervical cancer, encourage other women to get screened and tested regularly, I want to do that. If I can turn this negative situation into a positive one for someone else, all the better.
Yes, I’m scared. But don’t worry. I’m going to be okay.