That other life-changing thing that I probably haven’t told you about – and a chance to do good

Remember when I shared with you how envy brought me to coaching? Part of the reason I could hear what the envy had to tell me was that I was looking for something different. I knew something wasn’t right, but I wasn’t sure what to do about it. I’d known something wasn’t right for awhile. It was prompted by a crisis, as these revelations so often are.

In the spring of 2002, a routine pap smear came back abnormal. I’d had an abnormal result years before, it simply generated a wait-and-see approach, but this one was different. I had to see a specialist, get a colposcopy, a couple of punch biopsies. (Incidentally, I can’t decide if they are called that because they hurt so bad you want to punch the person who does it to you or because they’re using an old paper punch to… nevermind.)

It was all precautionary.

No one thought there was anything really wrong with me. Besides, I felt completely fine, totally asymptomatic. You know they aren’t that concerned when they give you the results over the phone. And you have to call, repeatedly to get them.

So there I am, on the phone with the doctor, who’s looking at the results for the first time, as he’s telling me what they say.

“So, let’s see…atypical glandular cells…what we were expecting.”

“The second biopsy, atypical…”

Then he does that little humming/singing/whistling thing you do when you’re scanning through something.

“And adenocarcino…um. Huh.”

That’s how I learned I had cervical cancer.

It was one of those really amazing awful things.

It was one of those moments that changes everything, even though it was caught so early it was considered Stage 0, I had successful outpatient surgery to remove it, and didn’t need any further treatment. There’s something about being told you have cancer, of whatever kind, that causes your world to tilt in an undefinable way.

I was lucky.

So much good came out of that diagnosis. Including finding myself on a chair in the front of a room full of people in a hotel conference room in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, undergoing one of the most intense, life-changing experiences of my life, which eventually led me to the tops of mountains, the finish lines of marathons, lifting my bike at the Pacific Ocean after riding 100 miles from Portland, becoming a coach.

Despite how much it has influenced my life, I don’t often thing about it these days. In fact, last year’s milestone of living ten years cancer-free slipped past me. I didn’t give it much more than a passing thought until I met (in the online way) Brandy Morris. She’s a girl after my own heart. She’s walking 60 km (a little over 37 miles) this September to raise money to fund research for the prevention and treatment of women’s cancers.

When I learned that she started doing this to honor her mom who died from cervical cancer. I knew I had to support her efforts.

Do good for yourself and others.

Brandy is holding an online auction of personal and business development products and services. I donated a copy of the Boring Change kit. It would mean a lot to me if you’d take a look at what she’s doing and if it moves you, buy one of the fantastic items, or simply make a donation, and make a difference.

Hurry, the auction ends tomorrow, July 30th at midnight Eastern Time. 

 

 

 

 

 

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