Like a lighthouse beam searching the horizon, I was expecting the results. I had been expecting such results for decades; and not once in the twenty years since the first sonogram pointed out an inconsistent blip did I let my guards down.
As a sentinel of my own health and that of my children and spouse, I had been an amateur sleuth all my life, reading books, magazines, going to websites and making lists. My Grocery list included vegetables of all colors, ingredients for home made sauces and dressings, whole grain packets from the four corners of the world, and herbs and spices to kill any foreign invaders that managed to sneak in through mouth, ears, eyes and other cavities. My house ran on natural ingredients for eating and for cleaning, utilizing gallon sized vinegar to flavor salads as well as kill errant ants that sought comfort during a seasonal change.
I even made my own pickles!
And my own yogurts.
We ate locally sourced food, and avoided all additives we could. In addition, I bought books on anatomy and medical issues. Yes, I could have listed all the symptoms of arthritis, diabetes, skin cancer, PTSD, psychosis, schizophrenia, etc., etc., etc.
I was certain that I did everything to prevent major illnesses and conditions, and the only thing I couldn't prevent were freak accidents and bad luck.
Yet, in the back of my mind, every time I went in for a mammogram I had the auspicious feeling that my luck was running out. In my mid fifties I had been watched closely for benign cysts, for enlarged glands, for dense breast tissues. Yes, I had breast-fed my last two children successfully; and yes, I was no longer on birth control pills. (Is this too much information? Sorry!)
Yet, at the ripe old age of 74, yep, some of you could have figured that out, I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer a few months ago. I have begun treatments, and I am feeling grateful for the help and knowledge our medical profession has developed for treating this problem.
I didn't panic for too long. I stood up and counted my blessings, actually. I'm old enough to have had a good long life already, raised my children, saw grandchildren born and even about to graduate from college. I have no job and no small children to attend to. I can sit at this computer and spend all morning rattling on and on and on. I can also do my own research.
Yes, if you live past your sixties, you too will start collecting social security, medicare, and a long list of possible diseases that seem to cluster in old age. Sure, you might have a history of these, and you too might see them coming. Like me, you will go on line and school yourself thoroughly on what to do and how to prevent this or that. But we will all die of something or other, even if it is just pure and simple, unadulterated old age.
You must see that coming.