My cancer was kind
Then I knew what it implied: in my head, the inevitable associations were chemotherapy, the irreversible and, in the worst case, death
- LUCIANA WAINER
- 08:28 hrs
When the phone rang at nine o'clock at night, and I saw it was from my gynecologist's office, I imagined something was wrong: "cervical carcinoma," he told me. I had no idea what that meant, and so I googled that name a thousand times over the internet. Cancer, damn it! Then I knew what it implied: in my head, the inevitable associations were chemotherapy, the irreversible and, in the worst case, death.
Five years later, I can say that my cancer was kind. There was no chemotherapy, no problematic situations, no death.
Yes, there were other things. Some people supported and people who cannot hear the word "cancer" without looking the other way. There was a successful operation, and another that was not so successful. There was sadness, of course, but also anger. Anger with nature, with sexuality and with men: Who had infected me with one of the few types of HPV -Human Papillomavirus- that cause cancer? I fantasized about guessing what sexual intercourse had been the cause. If it had been a steady partner or an occasional relationship, I even wondered if it hadn't been those completely irrelevant intercourses that I could have avoided. I, who had struggled for years with prejudice and blame for women's sexuality, spent my time reviewing the hows, whens, and whys to try to identify the moment of contagion. I, who for years had been sure that I did not want to be a mother, faced the possibility of never having the option of being one again. As a feminist, I realized that I had lived for years with an invisible and stealthy enemy without even noticing it. How disconnected does one have to be from her own body not to hear the deaf cry of the expanding infected tissue? We have heard so many times that women should not be touched even a rose petal, that also we have stopped feeling, listening, and perceiving ourselves.
I once read that "the real revolution is to accept your own body." While publicity floods us with images of our menstruation as a blue liquid that cannot be shown, legs that are being shaved are already shaved, and that pubis, vulva, and vagina are the "V" zone. We have to make a double effort to revolutionize -and revolutionize us- from the acceptance, exploration, and the senses. My cancer, as I said, was kind. But cervical cancers of thousands of women are not. In Mexico, cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. The prejudices, the fear, the taboo subjects, and the ignorance of our own body are cultivation fields that contribute to the lack of prevention. On March 26, we commemorate World Day for Cervical Cancer Prevention Prevention. Every March, I want to scream at all the women to have check-ups every year, to touch each other, to look at each other, to listen. Every month, no matter what this is, I want to tell women who already have a diagnosis: They are not alone.
Traducción: Valentina K. Yanes