This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission from products bought but I only promote what I already use and love. This helps keep the blog running with great content! You can read my full disclosure policy here..https://theheartbreakdiet.website/privacy-policy/
Illness…of any kind are not fun. Whether you’re stuck with the flu for a week or are on crutches after breaking your leg playing soccer. Big or small, being sick is no ride in the park. But the blog post this week is going to be about another kind of illness. The invisible kind.
And one I personally have. Cancer of the cervical kind.
In today’s society, if you mention the “c” word, people get uncomfortable or give you the pity look. I’m here today to put those thoughts aside and help anyone who might be going through anything like this. It’s not just cancer though. I’ve also been diagnosed with sciatica and a corn intolerance(goodbye my yummy soda!) but didn’t know for ten years. All I knew was that one day after cross country practice, I started hurting and didn’t know why. Along with depression, anxiety, and PTSD…
At first, we thought it was just a muscle strain. Common in runners. The thing was, I was 15 years old and still in high school. Nobody could see that I was sick, not even my own family. People at my school would point and laugh when I was limping from class to class. My doctor had told me to take some Ibuprofen and that was it. Needless to say, I didn’t go back to her.
I didn’t get any answers until I was almost 25. I had tried so many things. The Internet wasn’t much help since it was all over the place and my symptoms were more inclined to an older person than me. All I knew was that I could barely stand up for long periods of time, much less run anymore. Some days I struggled with just getting out of bed without extreme amounts of pain. I couldn’t eat a lot of food. I LOVED soda and I still do, but anything with corn syrup gets me sick. No dairy, even the dairy free stuff doesn’t work on me. I would throw up any food I ate.
Finally, FINALLY, I found a doctor who could help. My stomach pain? I had a corn intolerance. An intolerance is different than an allergy for those of you who are interested. My leg pain? After some shots and scans, I had sciatica. And finally, the big one. The one that I was tired and sick all the time…where I had such pain in my girly areas(sorry ya’ll, trying to keep this family friendly)…I had cervical cancer.
I went home and cried. A lot. My husband went and brought me tacos like he did every time I was super upset even though they make me sick. I researched all I could. I went on a Medical Leave of Absence at work and had the surgery to freeze off the bad eggs. Writing this, it sounds shorter than the time it actually took. I wasn’t able to go back to work. I was a Check-out Host and Cashier at Wal-Mart and couldn’t even STAND up for longer than a few minutes.
This goes back to the invisible illness. I’m a young woman, below-average weight, healthy eating(for the most part). My Coworkers and customers knew me as the smiling and bubbly person. I hated them seeing me like this. Or worse, not seeing the pain I was in but only knew what I said. It would make me upset when people would talk about how they had just hit their arm on a table and how much it hurt.
I was in intense pain ALL day, EVERY day. And I didn’t show as much as a wince. How’s that for a superpower? Comments would reach my ears that I was just lazy. And it hurt.
But I didn’t give up. I started earning an income at home since I couldn’t stand up. I do physical therapy and I walk my dog on the days that I can. And the most important thing I can suggest to anyone when living with an invisible illness…cry it out. There’s nothing wrong with crying it out and having a sob fest. But then pour yourself a drink, take a hot bubble bath and handle it.
The world might not see your illness or your pain. But you KNOW what’s there. And YOU, my dear friends, are so much STRONGER than anything that your body or even your mind might tell you. YOU choose your life. Your path to take. And you matter. Illness does NOT define you. Your body might tell you have an illness, but YOU are what YOU decide to be.
Stay awesome my friends. And as always, keep smiling.