In my work as a health professional I advise people on a daily basis on the importance of screenings and regular checkups. So, Walking the Walk, I made my appointment for my annual physical last year thinking that all I needed to do was keep an eye on my higher than usual cholesterol. To my surprise my numbers were improving, but my doctor had a frown on her face that prompted me to ask what the problem was. She wasn't sure it was a big deal but she felt it was imperative that I get an abdominal ultrasound (that led to a CT Scan) to make sure my kidneys were ok. I was nervous, as most of us can be. (It is normal to be apprehensive, but we still have to get ourselves checked out!).
Knowing my doc would be calling me with results I had my phone with me while out on a jog. So here is where my story got weird...I answered the phone and she asked me how I felt. I told her I was fine, and that I had been jogging. She said my kidneys were ok, to which I replied, 'well that's good". Then, she said, BUT- the scan showed a tumor at the base of my lung next to my heart. It was a pretty big tumor.
It was a nerve wracking period that made me really savor the moments of my life and reflect on the importance of health (especially when it is threatened). I was prepared to do anything I had to in order to survive the ordeal. It wasn't until after the surgery that I learned that the tumor was benign, but that it could have caused sudden cardiac arrest or structural damage to my lung had it not been found and removed.
Detection of the tumor is what is known as an 'incidental funding', something that was found by accident. It was a happy accident because it ended well for me. It was found because I was screening for something else as a result of a regular wellness checkup. If my mom were alive she would tell me that God writes straight with crooked lines"; it was a favorite saying of hers for times when things did not make sense at the moment, but would in due time.
I am fortunate that my surgery went well, and this month, one year later, I ran a 5k.
I encourage all to continue to get regular checkups and screenings. Promote awareness to all of your friends and family.