Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
Or should I say Happy Singles Awareness Day?
I really didn’t mean for this particular post to fall on Valentine’s Day… but so be it.
I’ve always been an open book.
Sometimes my friends question me as to why I don’t keep more of my life to myself. Of course there are things that I don’t share with the world, but I really can’t think about much in my life that I haven’t shared with at least my family or close friends.
I have a few people who know ALL my dirty laundry, and I know theirs. I feel like when I get to know someone on such a fundamental level, that we are truly connected.
I’m an artist. I tell my story through my songs and my writing. I’ve become so comfortable with my blog, that I feel like I can be incredibly honest with my readers, and I think they like my honesty.
I know that pretty much every blog starts out with a disclaimer, but I feel like I needed to speak my peace before I go ahead with this post.
Say whatever you want to say about me, but you can’t fault me for my honesty. I own every bit of information that I share with you, and I have absolutely no shame.
So I have (had?) Stage 0 Cervical Cancer.
There. I said it.
Before anyone starts fucking FREAKING out, I’M FINE.
I will say it again… I’M FINE!
The doctors caught it early. I had surgery to remove the cancerous cells and I have to be monitored very closely for the next few years.
Before you all make assumptions, let me tell you that “Stage 0” is also known as when someone has CIN III abnormal cervical cells. There are three stages of CIN abnormal cells, and I just so happened to have developed the most severe.
Being that I am young, my doctor feels like I should be able to bounce back from this easily, but she did say that it was also concerning that this was happening to me at such a young age.
My brother and my dad were there for the surgery. It was very non invasive and didn’t take long at all. Then my sister-in-law came to town and we spent the week/weekend together.
Now: let me make this clear. I will be very happy to answer anyone’s questions about what’s going on, but I will NOT tolerate any freaking out or extreme behavior from friends and family. I appreciate everyone’s concern and I will say it again: I’M FINE!
Funny thing about cancer. It just keeps wanting to show up in my life… and everyone else’s.
So getting this call from my doctor was pretty harsh.
I would have to say that my biggest fear in life is being diagnosed with cancer… of any kind. So when my doctor told me that I was at the last stage of pre-cancers before it turned into what they call “invasive cancer” I freaked out.
It’s really funny when something like this happens to you and you go through the process of telling family and friends.
The reactions were all over the place. Some people were upset, some people were calm and supportive… and then there were a few people who were like “stop being over dramatic.”
Yes, I know that I am not the first person to get this kind of news. And I’m thankful that my news was not nearly as devastating as it could have been, but please don’t belittle the situation.
I am BEYOND happy that my surgery was a success and that I can feel better at night knowing that I don’t have possibly cancer cells growing in my body, but I felt as though I was given the “Drama Queen” card by some people.
From my experiences with Ro and her process of telling people her situation, it seems to me that cancer does funny things to people. When someone comes up to you with bad news, I think some of us don’t know how to deal with the shock or emotion, so we belittle things to set it straight in our own minds that everything is okay.
I’ll admit it: when Ro gave us the news that her cancer was Stage 4, I did all the research I could to understand what was happening, and even though I knew she had a 5% chance of living more than 5 years from that point, I believed she would be fine.
The human brain is a funny thing.
But I digress… my news is not NEARLY comparable to what happened to my mother, but this cancer scare sure brought back a lot of memories of sitting around the kitchen table and being given bad news. Or all the times Ro called me in Boston to tell me that she was on a new clinical trial. Or the time my dad was coming to Boston for “business” and was really coming to take me home to spend my final months with my mom.
On the flip side, it’s incredible how much support I received from people. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s very easy to feel lonely in a city like New York, and it’s nice to remember that I am constantly surrounded by good, loving people, even when I feel alone. I wish I could let those people know how much I truly appreciate them. One day, (when I have more money), I will find time to visit everyone on all the various corners of the Earth where all my best people reside and try to give them back all the love they give to me. 🙂
And speaking about giving back… some of you may be wondering why I haven’t started my crowdfunding campaign for breast cancer yet.
Well… this cancer scare was a big reason.
Also, I have my off-broadway show, went through a big career change and have a few exciting things coming up that may make me INCREDIBLY busy in the next few months. With that said, I DO very much want to do the 3-Day this year, but before I sign up for anything and start raising money, I have to figure out some “unknowns” right now.
I have also decided that 100% of what I raise will go to Susan G. Komen. I’m not going to take any portion for myself. Good things will come to me as far as performing, singing and recording. This campaign is going to be strictly about helping others.
So why did I name this blog “Cancer Scares and Teddy Bears?”
Because I didn’t want this blog to be so serious.
And because I love teddy bears. 🙂
So with that, I will leave you with a love song for Valentine’s Day. Sadly, I don’t have a romantic Valentine, but I DO have a lot of love to share with you all. 🙂
Shannon Rose Allen
Oh! Also! Look at the beautiful roses my dear friend Katie got me today. 🙂 I LOVE YOU! You can follow her blog at: http://beerandclothingincleveland.wordpress.com