I was sitting in the doctor’s office patiently waiting for the doctor to come in.
I had some tests done earlier and this was just a follow up.
Just a follow up…
The doctor entered the room and smiled sweetly at me.
I remember thinking how kind her eyes were.
That was all I could see with the whole masks and all.
She went over some of my chart.
All of the usual things that doctors do.
“Your biopsy came back…” she began.
I was ready to hear what you always think you will hear.
But that wasn’t what she said.
“I’m sorry…” she said, “I’m afraid that it is the C word.”
The “C” word?
Was she calling me a name?
What was she saying?
I remember tilting my head for a moment and looking at her.
She said it again, but this time the full word.
“You have Uterine Cancer.”
I’m not sure what she said after that.
My world stopped turning for a moment and everything went blurry.
I could see her mouth move and I could hear what sounded a lot like Charlie Brown’s teacher’s voice, but I had no idea what she was actually saying.
“Wait…” I said. “You mean I have pre-cancerous cells?”
She placed her hand on my arm and said, “No. You have Cancer. It’s stage 1 and if I had to say this bad news I would want it to be that stage. There is hope. We just need to make sure it hasn’t spread. You need to have surgery very soon.”
“Cancer?” I asked.
“I know this is hard…” her voice trailed off as she clicked a few boxes in my chart on the computer.
She got up and handed me the box of tissues.
I hadn’t cried yet.
“Your biopsy showed definite Cancer. We are sending you to Mayo Clinic in Rochester to see a specialist for a plan and surgery.”
The tears began to flow.
First a single tear and then my eyes opened some sort of floodgate and I sobbed.
“I am sorry. I am so sorry that this is the news.” She said.
There were more words and after my brain started to really comprehend, I knew that she had said Mayo would call me and fit me in next week.
I don’t recall the elevator ride down to my car.
I don’t even recall dialing my mother’s cell phone.
I could not breathe.
My mom’s voice filled my ears saying, “Honey calm down. What’s going on. Nanci…calm down. It’s ok”
I told her and I could see her face fall.
What mother wants to hear that their child, no matter what age, has Cancer.
I heard her words of encouragement but all I could think about was that word.
I have Cancer.
I eventually trickled down all of my important people and let them know one by one.
My Credit Union circle.
There were a lot of reactions.
Some pure shock.
Some went right into a story about someone they knew.
Some told me that there was no way this would beat me.
Some just said, “I am so…sorry.”
You see there isn’t a book out there that tells you how you are supposed to feel.
There isn’t a website that says: THIS is how you should take the news, deliver the news, and move onward.”
I found myself ignoring it most days and then when I sat for a moment my brain would whisper…
You have Cancer.
Why am I sharing this raw, personal, and devastating story and what in the world does it have to do with credit unions?
I am your member.
I am your member that is just going along one day, and I happened to get a sucker punch from life.
One day I was swimming with my family having the best time in the hot sun and the next day, I had Cancer.
I’m the member calling and emailing you saying, “What do I do now? How do I pay this loan?”
I am the member that tries to tell you what is going on, but ends up sobbing instead.
I am YOUR member.
I am the member terrified of how I will pay all of my bills during this.
I am the member that financially holds my family up and doesn’t have time to be down.
I. Am. Your. Member.
Sometimes life chooses you to endure something.
We don’t always know the reason why.
I can’t tell you why Cancer chose my body.
I can’t tell you why Cancer chooses anyone’s body.
I can just tell you that once my breath came back and I began to comprehend the reality of this doctor visit, I eventually turned to the circle of people that I knew would hold me up.
After telling my family and friends, my very next email was my credit union.
You see, we aren’t just the transactional, loan giving, rate lowering, low interest rate credit card slinging, credit union champions.
We are human beings who on a daily basis touch the lives of many, many other human beings.
What an awesome responsibility that is.
I am telling you all of this personal, hard, heavy news about my very private of parts so that you know that I very well could be the next member you help.
My feet are a bit more stable underneath me.
I am headed to Mayo in just a few days for a plan of attack with my husband.
I say that Cancer chose the wrong gal, but I wouldn’t want it to truly choose anyone.
I already have my boxing gloves on.
I have my supporters around this ring, and I am ready to fight like Hell.
I am someone you know.
I am someone you have interacted with.
I am someone that has done transactions, loans, and made a late payment or two because life just happens.
I am your member.
Do you see me?