"Blogging isn't journalism, it's graffiti with punctuation."

Love me till I’m me again

In a few days, my Thailand-Cambodia-SituAsian and my Eurail.com campaign begin, which will see me travelling, exploring, and adventuring away from home until at least 2013. And as this year turns into the next, I realize that I have just endured the hardest 12 months of my life thus far.

Avid readers of this blog will remember this post from August 2011, just over 13 months ago, from the same week that Jack Layton died. That day I was diagnosed with a scary medical condition – dyplastic cells with the ability to become cancerous.

Since that day, I have been cut, bled, swabbed, examined, biopsied, cell-scraped, blood-tested, ultra-sounded, reduced to tears whilst on the examining table, and pumped fulla immune-boosting pills.

Last week I had another one of my regularly-scheduled examinations at the hospital, and my doctor said that after having so many negative lab results (“negative” meaning “no occurrence of abnormality or cancer”), I’m in the clear. My body has fought this thing and flushed the dyplastic cells out of my body.

She had predicted my body would do this anyway, but she had said it would take two years. My body did it in one.

I’m relieved, I’m elated, and I can stop with the dress rehearsal of my life and actually resume living it. The hospital is still going to monitor me for certainty’s sake, but I only have to go in every six months, as opposed to every other month.

It could have been so different. Almost all of my friends who have also been diagnosed with this have had to have emergency surgery to remove the cells. What’s even more worrying is how many women this affects.

I haven’t really spoken about this condition on here over the past year, mostly because I feel like people’s medical history is a private matter. But I will also say that far too many women are not going for their annual check ups because of apathy. If caught early, dysplasia is almost entirely treatable and curable.

If left untreated, it becomes a killer of women. Worldwide it kills approximately 253, 500 people a  year. Remember, dysplasia has no symptoms,  so just because you feel fine doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.

If I hadn’t gone for my annual check-up, I would still be in the dark. As would all of my friends who had the surgery, who would now be fighting for their lives.

Yes, this is my public service announcement post. There is nothing more important than your health, everything else can wait. Just make the appointment and go.

I’m talking about this now because my upcoming backpacking-extravaganzas are the epitome of living life, of loving life, of having new experiences, of meeting new people, of seeing the world, and the  never-say-die-run-til-you-drop joie de vivre.

Armed with good health, you can do anything.

Mae West once said, “You  only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

‘Course, comedian Jamie Lee once said, “My body is like my temple . . . because sometimes my Rabbi is in it.”

L’chaim, my little munchkins!


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