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My New Year's Resolution: Not to Forget My Ovarian Cancer Experience

As 2017 is coming to a close, I have been reflecting on the past 12 months, like many others around me. Every year it seems as if social media is full of posts stating good intentions to begin and complete resolutions. Most of the time, a year later, posts show up that admit to forgetting about the resolution and new ones are made. I have been guilty of this many times — but not this upcoming year.

This might sound strange, backwards, and the opposite of what most others would want, but my New Year’s resolution is not to forget my ovarian cancer experience.

I wish I could forget the sights and sounds of the hospital.

I wish I could forget hearing the word cancer.

I wish I could forget the symptoms, misdiagnoses and invalidation that came with receiving this diagnosis.

I wish I don’t have to live with the fears, anxiety and emotional pain that came from this experience.

I wish I could forget everything that happened.

But I can’t, and I won’t — even if I had the chance.

Why? Why would I make not forgetting my New Years resolution? Because by not forgetting, I am saving my and other’s lives.

If I would to forget this experience, I could potentially forget everything that happened. And this may include some of the symptoms that gave me so much pain.

I need to remember doctors appointments.

I need to remember the cluster of symptoms so I can check them again if they happen to come back.

I must remember them so I can advocate for myself again. And not just myself. For others as well.

My experience this year can save my life if there is a next time — and it can help to save the lives of others.

In 2018 I will not forget what happened in 2017. But I will work on reducing fear, coping with anxiety, and being compassionate towards myself. Because by not forgetting, I am letting myself feel the emotional pain this year caused.

And this is not easy for me to do.

So, no resolutions on exercising every day, eating only healthy food, getting a job, etc. Those things will come naturally, and they will fall into place as life progresses. I don’t want to feel guilty if I miss a week of exercise, or eat a pizza for dinner. But I am making my resolution something that I know I will already be doing, and that is not forgetting.

Because my life depends on it.

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Getty Images photo via TatianaDavidova