Positively Grateful

“ It was pre-cancerous.”

The words just said by the doctor hang in the air within a cartoon bubble. I watch his mouth keep moving. However, his words are on mute to my ears.

When I finally tune in again, I realize he is talking in a serious doctor tone explaining that I will have to remove gluten from my diet. After years of medical treatments, yo-yo weight swings, surgeries and medications, I have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.

I nod and took the papers he handed me. Somehow I got back to my car and buckled myself in. To say it is surreal isn’t the right word. I grab my phone to call my husband. I had promised to call when I was done. He answers on the first ring.

I stutter out the words before I realize what I am saying.

“ They caught pre-cancer.”

With the words out, I begin to cry. I babble out the words the doctor said about me having Celiac Disease, and I have to change what I eat.

The relief washes over me like a consistent tidal wave. Years of fighting with my thyroid and losing it, the weight never came off. My endo sent me for blood work, which came back positive for the disease. She then sent me to the gastro specialist who then sent me for more tests, including a colonoscopy. A procedure that was originally scheduled in 3 months time. The doc got me in sooner. I am forever grateful that he did.

We could of had a chemotherapy conversation, instead of what I can and can’t eat anymore. I was so close to history repeating itself as I was 10 when my mom died, the age of my oldest daughter now.

Cancer is all over my family history. I am the only one in my immediate family circle that hasn’t had it. AND I ALMOST HAD IT.

I meet my husband for a celebratory ‘last gluten meal’. The shock slowly wears off as perspective sinks in. I am grateful for having such a strong medical team. I am still here. I am older than my mom got to live and I don’t take that lightly.

As I break the news to friends and family, I get the pity noises. I can’t understand why changing what I eat is a bad thing? It could have been worse, I could have died from the silent killer.

I dive into what I can put on my plate. Sure, I grieve over the fast food I no longer can have anymore, but it was bad for me. It almost killed me. I didn’t lose weight quickly, but I began to love my body again. I started to feel taller. I began to not crave the junk food, but craved popcorn and avocados! My kids and husband commented how happier I seem.

Knowing what was hurting my body felt so empowering and I welcomed the solace the diagnosis gave me. My mom couldn’t change the fact that cancer took her from us. I can change what is on my plate to be here for my family. I will take that gratitude and never let it go.