Every Time I Think I Have Cancer

Christine Pereira

Most people will get a cold. They’ll run to the pharmacy and pick up some sort of cold medicine. Perhaps someone will make them chicken soup. They will lay on the couch with a blanket and if they are lucky enough, someone will be there to comfort them.

Until most recently, when I get a cold, I have cancer.

You know that saying “when you are sick, the internet is NOT your friend”?  Well, that’s a fact! I start looking up runny nose, and because I believe that the runny substance coming from my nose must be spinal fluid, I must have brain cancer.

Big bruise on my leg, searching the internet, I must have leukemia.

If you have ever been in a situation where you have been told you have cancer, you get a numbing feeling in your head.  This doesn’t happen to anyone I know, you say.  But the fact of the matter is most people know at least two family members or friends that have cancer, or have been battling the monster diagnosis.

Now, these examples of giving yourself cancer really does stem from the fact that in the past you really didn’t think too much about it.  Post-diagnosis, you are constantly thinking that the next symptom is going to be fatal.

My new outlook is this; take each medial issue you may have one step at a time.  Worrying and contemplating your demise is not going to change anything.  Keep focused on your well-being while you speak with your healthcare professional if you have any additional concerns.

By the way, the runny nose was truly just that, the common cold.

The bruise on my leg; my clumsiness in walking into my living room coffee table.

Hmmm, perhaps it’s time for some new furniture!

Christine Pereira is a breast cancer survivor.

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