I recently read an article by a blogger whom I enjoy perusing from time to time.. and I must say that I respect her, as a person (although I’ve never met her), and I enjoy the ‘realness‘ of her writing style. Her latest article’s topic (promoting Guardasil immunizations) and her perspective gave me pause to ask myself some tough questions… again.
Guardasil immunizations have been included in my everyday vocabulary for the last 3-4 years. Because I have 2 girls, I am yearly faced with the well-child visit questions of ‘Will you consent to have your children immunized?‘ with this ‘protective measure‘ to limit the chances of not being diagnosed with cervical cancer (etc, etc, etc…).
Every year, I choose to say my well-informed ‘No thank you.‘ and go on my merry way…
Here’s the thing. I was recently diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. I am currently in the midst of 20 weeks of chemotherapy which will be followed by a single mastectomy and then 4-6 weeks of radiation. After I heal from all that, I will go back to have reconstructive surgery. This is all based on the counsel of surgical, medical, and radiation oncologists whom I trust. A PET scan has determined that my breast cancer has only metastasized to 5 ancillary lymph nodes on the breast tumor side of me. My surgical oncologist STRONGLY recommended that I have the new and improved ‘blood’ genetic test from Myriad Genetics because I am the 4th woman on my maternal side to be diagnosed with breast cancer. I submitted myself to the very expensive test that my insurance does not deem necessary and yet, my doctors deem extremely necessary (the denied status has been appealed…). I also have the unfortunate genetic disposition to have lots of other cancers (though no cervical cancer) on BOTH sides of the family tree. Because of all this I now have to face genetic counseling in the next month… I have already been informed by my doctors that depending on the results of the genetics test: a double mastectomy and removal of my ovaries would be recommended.
It’s ALOT to take in…
And then there are my 2 girls…
Oh yeah, by the way, I am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. This means that although I have submitted myself to the testing process for a wide array of sexually transmitted diseases and came up ‘clean’, I still test ‘abnormal’ for my pap smear. Ask a group of doctors what that means and they can’t even agree…
My perspective, my decisions affect not only me, but my decisions are made based on my perspective, my belief, of this life that I lead: I believe in Christ; I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Yes, I am a Christian. The world says I am alot of things and alot of what they say is not respectful, but I choose not to respond in their ‘manner’.
My decisions for my health will be made by myself and my husband, because I trust his wisdom and guidance. We will make the best decisions for myself and our children based on the wisdom and guidance that we trust which will include the medical advice of doctors that we trust, and let me tell you that there are doctors that I would never trust!
My husband and I choose not to have our children receive the Guardasil immunization. This is our well-informed choice based on what we believe is best for our children.
It is our choice alone.
You must make your own well-informed choice for your children.
My heart grieves for those who suffer from the diagnosis of cervical cancer; my heart grieves for those who suffer from any type of cancer.
It affects you body, soul, and spirit.
This is something that I know all too well as I live in the midst of it right now… but there is no guarantee that after all the chemotherapy and surgeries and radiations that my cancer will not return.
No one can give me an absolute 100% guarantee.
In fact, my chances are increased for developing lymphoma… but I do have this day to love my blessed little family and live in the ABSOLUTE wisdom and trust of my great God. I choose to live it always giving the glory to Him for everything that He has so graciously allowed in my life including… cancer.
Never be afraid to ask yourself the tough questions…
To my fellow blogger, whom I’ve never met:
Thank you for challenging me to think and ask!