Tuesday, April 29, 2008

My Cancer...

It's my anniversary today. No, not my marriage anniversary, my cancer anniversary. Three years ago today on April 29 2005 I was diagnosed with cancer. I was going to write a long blog about it. However, after reading Leroy Siever’s NPR living with cancer blog (see reference) this morning, I changed my plans. He asked people to post a comment on his blog today that finished the sentence that began with the words, “My cancer.” Here’s what I wrote.

My cancer has paralyzed my life due to my disabilities. It has taken away so many things that I used to enjoy... eating, the ability to plan future activities and commit to them, traveling globally, working intensely, participating/hosting fun social gatherings, scuba diving, golfing, working out, and communicating verbally comfortably. I can still do some of these activities some of the time, but not with the pleasure that I was able to do them before cancer. It has also taken away my spouse’s ability to enjoy many of the activities we used to so much enjoy doing together. It has not been easy on either of us.

My cancer has allowed me to spend more quality time with my daughter and help her with homework and when asked, social situations. She's now a teenager and knows everything by the way. But, she humors me and still asks for advice occasionally. I’ve been thrilled to spend this time with her and help her become wiser in the ways of the world. This is time my cancer doctors didn’t think I would have 2 years ago. It has also shown me great friendships and compassion from so many people including family, friends, and medical professionals. This has taught me to be more compassionate, generous, and thoughtful at times.

Although cancer has made me wiser and smarter in a few very important ways, I would trade it in a minute for the life I had before the words I heard for the first time 3 years ago today on April 29 2005, “you have cancer.” I miss my old “normal.” My new “normal” is something I do the best I can with daily, but each day is a reminder of the good times I had and the things that I‘ve lost.

That was the end of my post on Leroy's blog today. My advice to all of you, enjoy every day and don't take anything special for granted. By the way, although today is my anniversary, it's not the type of an anniversary that one celebrates.

Reference – Leroy Siever’s NPR Blog

1 comment:

Peggy said...

Hello...I am a regular reader of Leoy Siever'sblog and it led me to your's.

Today I read through much of your entries and learned that you were diagnosed on the same day as I; April 29, '05.

My lung cancer was suspected and confirmed on the 29th....the 11 a.m. meeting with my pulmonologist was three hours before my (long scheduled) retirement party. Yep, it sure put a damper on my fun!!!

Surgery and chemo followed and, since I live near Washington, DC, I was able to be treated by some of the country's best. Now, tests show me to have NED, BUT...cancer is part of everything I am, and it forever part of my identity.

Keep fighting and keep writing.