I have always had more medical ups and downs since my first cancer diagnosis at age 19. In my 20's I had a benign lumpectomy and a burst ovarian cyst. In my 30's, I had another burst ovarian cyst and knee surgery after a bad day of skiing.
In my 40's, I have had fibroids that died off and created a massive internal infection which resulted in a hysterectomy, a second cancer diagnosis, another benign lumpectomy, my gall bladder removed, degenerating disks in my spine, sprained ankle, possible high blood pressure, another knee injury (on my formerly good knee), and tennis elbow.
I also have a few pesky after effects of cancer including lymphedema, early menopause as a result of chemo killing off my remaining ovary, and shoulder issues from breast cancer surgery. Also, a lifetime on synthetic thyroid hormone to compensate for the removal of my thyroid at 19.
So am I more prone to other health issues now that I have had cancer twice? I was talking to my therapist yesterday about how one issue is never very isolated in the human body and everything is really interconnected in unexpected ways.
Take the example of a sprained ankle - so you limp, which puts strain on your back because you walk funny and maybe puts extra weight on your other leg which might aggravate some previously minor issue. Or one medication can cause side effects which leads you to take something else to handle them.
If I look at my health - would I have been healthier if I hadn't had cancer? Or would I have had all the other issues? I have never really been an adult with out cancer so I can only conjecture as to what my adulthood would have been like.
I am not trying to regret the past or rue what has happened but am merely curious as to what I would have been without cancer. The one thing I do know is that cancer gave me lots of doctor appointments.
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