Friday, November 9, 2012

Brooke Burke- Same Scar, Different Cancer

Yesterday celebrity Brooke Burke-Charvet came out with the news that she has thyroid cancer.

As her twitter follower and a longtime envier of her abs, I learned of the new as soon as it came out. I read the article and then watched the video posted on her Modernmom Blog

Two things from the article were immediately stuck in my mind.  The first was her mentioning   “I am going to have a nice big scar, right here, across my neck.” 

You mean like me, Brooke? 

Beautiful, flat abed, gorgeous on the inside and outside, Brooke Burke-Charvet is going to have a big scar across her neck like me?

Now if you read my post about my surgery, you know that I was worried about my scar prior to my surgery. I was certain that I would now have ample opportunity to wear the many scarves I have collected over the years, since there are so few opportunities to wear them due to cold weather in Florida.  I joked about the stories I would tell about my scar - the "wild" knife fight I'd had, and my personal favorite, I was attacked by zombies and won.  But the minute I took my dressing off, I didn’t want to cover it anymore. My scar became my medal of honor. It was my mark confirming that I was here for a reason. That God is not done with me yet.  That I have so much more to do. It is my mark of love from my maker.

 So, as it has always been with me, my first reaction was to reach out.  So I did. I sent her a “tweet.”  Well, more than one tweet, because clearly I am way too wordy to get my feelings out in 140 characters or less.  

It was two of many, but I am glad I did it, even though I am sure it was lost in the sea of well wishes.

The other statement that stuck with me was when she said her doctors boasted her cancer is “a good kind of cancer to have.”

It took me back to the first time I spoke with a doctor after my diagnosis. The first thing he said to me was, “Melanoma is not a good cancer to have.”  This completely blew my mind. What cancer IS good to have?  When I mentioned that in one of my blog posts, a friend of mine, who had thyroid cancer, posted this

Loved your comment about the cancer reminded me of when I was meeting with my Endocrinologist. He said that if you were going to get to choose your cancer, thyroid cancer was the one you wanted.

I guess some people are just…lucky? Would that be the word?

Fact is, I think ALL cancer SUCKS

Brooke’s story backs what I've been urging all along. It is important to get regular physicals. It is important to get regular skin exams.  I am sure Brooke will do as she promised, and “make a positive out of this negative thing.”  In the meantime, I am going to continue to nag you.  

 Know your body. Know what to look for to catch different types of cancer.  Don’t be afraid to press and squeeze and know every lump and bump you own. Know when a new lump or bump appears, so it can be checked immediately. Know what moles and marks you have on your skin. Make sure that YOU are self-aware.

You can detect something wrong far earlier than any doctor will.

  Finding out you have cancer definitely makes for a rough time.  I can only imagine how tough it must be to go through this with the eyes of the public on you. It took me months before I could say the word cancer when referring to my melanoma.  I pray that all goes well for the beautiful Brooke Burke-Charvet and her lovely family. There is no doubt in my mind that she will do fine in surgery, quickly recover, and come out of this looking even more beautiful than she does now.  I am very sorry that she is going through this-that anyone has to go through this. 

However,  I must admit, if people start coming up to me in a few months asking, “Do you know you look JUST like Brooke Burke-Charvet?”  there won’t be one bone in my body that will regret saying, “Oh, I get that ALL the time!”

A girl can dream, right? 

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