When I was 14 years old while washing my face I discovered a small little bebe size lump in my jaw,I showed it to my friends but then totally ignored it.
It continued to grow and one day at the supper table my Dad kept staring at me (which alone could be frightening) and finally he said "come here", and rolled the lump around in my jaw, by then it was the size of a marble.
"How long has that been there"?
Thinking I had done something wrong..AGAIN..
I said "I don no, maybe a couple weeks".
The next thing I knew, I was in a car riding to the Doctors office in the middle of a snow storm.
Old Doc Olmanson laid me on the table and gave me shot of Novocain and then proceeded to make a small slit and flipped out the lump into his hand.
I remember him saying to my Dad, "I'll send it in for a biopsy, but I wouldn't worry about it It was encapsulated".
My parents told me later that it was a Sarcoma, (malignant tumor) but hey I was 14 that didn't mean a thing to me.
Though I seemed to get new respect from Sister Mary Ricarda when I told her about it at school.
I never thought about it again.
It was many years later that my brother( who is 10 years older then me) told me how worried he, and my parents were
at that time.
I then did some research on Sarcoma's and realized how lucky I was that my dad was so observant.
Tonight was the Relay for Life Cancer walk in my community.
I went over again, this time only as a visitor and not a member of a team.
I don't know if it is because it's Friday the 13th, but I was just a little uncomfortable tonight.
I ran into some friends and left my check.
Maybe next year I'll join a team again.
I still have problem thinking of myself as a survivor, when I have had so many friend that have had to go through chemo and radiation and several who have died from cancer.
If there is a Relay in your town, give a check to someone.
Every day new research comes up with new treatments or cures.
When my Dad died at the age of 56 from Hodgkin's disease, there was no cure and only experimental treatments.
Today Hodgkin's caught early is curable.
Who knows maybe next year it will be breast cancer or ovarian cancer that they find a cure for.
We can only hope