I know a woman who has lived more than 30 years after a diagnosis of estrogen-negative breast cancer. When I asked her recently if she still worried about it returning, she said, “Not really.” I love that the fear eventually goes away, but I hope it is far sooner than 30 years, as by then I will be 90 and, at the rate I am going, I will no doubt have already forgotten just about everything.
Now, though, the concern remains. It’s not a constant worry, not something I jump to immediately. I do not live a paranoid existence, waiting for the next health shoe to drop. But occasionally, when I have a minor issue, two and two adds up to cancer in my crazy mind.
I have a history of stomach ulcers, which I usually can control with diet. It has been almost eight years since they bothered me. Lately, though, I have ignored my usual healthy eating and have been having too much Diet Coke, fried foods, and coffee.
So my stomach has been hurting. I self-medicate — antacids, aloe vera juice, lots of water. And, of course, no Diet Coke, fried foods, and coffee. And I am fine.