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Another Year Gone By

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4630
Joined: Feb 2004

Recently I celebrated another birthday, my 52nd. As with most birthdays since my illness it has made me reflective. I spent my birthday with my husband riding in the foothills of northern California enjoying nature. Along our drive we found ourselves on an old road that led to a watering hole popular with teenagers and young adults. It had been 29 years since we had been there and it was wonderful to recall the good times we had had with friends back in the day. Being there again reminded me of all I have and of all I have had. How much I love life and do the most I can to enjoy it. I have bad days yes, but they are fewer than the good ones. I revel in the fact that I am still here, still breathing and still loving life. I thought of how wonderful it is that I have lived another year and beaten the cancer beast for the time being. I love my birthday’s they are a symbol of the fact that it is I who am winning the battle against cancer and not the other way around. So here’s to birthday’s, may we all have many more!

Love to you all,

RE

tiny one
Posts: 467
Joined: Jan 2009

I had my reversal done in Dec 07. I am still dealing with issues from this and the radiation side effects that I will have for the rest of my life. I am here, I am cancer free, but I am bitter about what I'm left with. How does everyone get past their scars and side effects? I would have rather have found the closeness with my family another way, not from being mamed by surgery or radiation. Still bitter.

RE's picture
RE
Posts: 4630
Joined: Feb 2004

Tiny, I don't think any of us are pleased with the scars and the after effects of treatment. Because each of our situations are unique we all deal with them in a unique fashion. I sometimes hear that little voice in my head that says I may not be here for much longer, I just choose to push it aside and live the life I battled so hard to have. Both my mother and sister had cancer as well, my sister had a rough time with the emotional part of having cancer so she went to see a cancer therapist at least once a month to help her deal with her emotions, she also was on anti depressants. All of this helped her tremendously and allowed her to enjoy her life, her children and her grandchildren. I agree it is difficult because we hear or mortality clock ticking louder than those who have not had cancer. If you have not discussed this with your doctor I recommend that you do as there are things they can do to help you. I hope you find the peace of mind you desire.

My Best to You,

RE

hollyberry's picture
hollyberry
Posts: 176
Joined: Nov 2008

RE,
You have been such an inspiration to me and, I'm sure, so many others; I hope you had a great Birthday and I wish you a whole bunch more!!
The battle scars can be a downer at times ( I have a colostomy and many scars, permanent nerve damage and chemo-brain)but, life is sure worth the battle and the outcome. I believe we come out of this with more wisdom, compassion and understanding than anyone who has not been through this battle. Do I wish I never had it? Absolutely! But I can say, it has made me a better person, much more appreciative of life, love and family.
Tiny, it never hurts to get help from a counselor or therapist; it gives you perspective that is sometimes hard to find on your own. Don't be afraid or ashamed to ask for help; we've all been in need of support at one time or another. You are in my prayers. Don't let the scars or after-effects get you down- you're here to see another day and enjoy all that you can. Nobody knows what lies ahead for them, but if we give in to fear or anxiety, we loose precious time to celebrate the life we have today. Hang in there and know that you are loved and supported.
Peace to you,
Hollyberry

shoppergal
Posts: 118
Joined: Mar 2009

It just wastes so much time feeling that way. I have been finished with chemo 11 months now and have many side effects.Since chemo I have neuropathy in hands and feet (and Im a hairdresser), rhuemotoid arthritis in my whole body, and thyroid issues. Not only that,but my first pet scan before I started chemo, showed something near my left kidney, that couldn't be biopsied. The next scan it was gone, and now the last one, 2 months ago it was back. Now tomorrow I'm having a pet/cat scan to see if there are any changes, if not we just keep scanning every 3 months. Someone recently asked me, had I known about all these side effects would I have still done chemo. Without hesitation I said yes. I'm just not ready for the alternative!!

My life will never be the way it was before cancer, I just have to learn to adapt to my new life. Yes I have pain and sometimes I can't do things the way I really want to, but that's ok. Either I do them differently or I don't do them at all. My life has changed but sometimes I think it's for the better.I've always had a pretty good outlook on life, but I think it's even better now. I don't worry so much if my house is immaculate, there are more important things. I take more time for myself to enjoy little things. I won't lie and say that things are rosy all the time and that I don't get down because I do, but I'm allowed.
But once I have that pity party I pick myself up and do something I enjoy. I love to read, so maybe I'll go buy myself another book and I get pleasure out of that. Thats why I now have 4 huge shelves with new books that I haven't read yet.LOL

I'm sure the closeness was there before with your family,it's just when loved ones realize that they might lose someone they love they stop taking them for granted. You know the saying,you don't know what you have until it's gone. It's so true. Don't think of yourself as maimed, you're scarred from fighting a war, and you've won. You should be happy.

Maybe it would be a good idea to talk to your doctor, there are many "happy pills" out there that might help ( they've helped me),and maybe a support group face to face with people that have gone thru the same things as you.

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

Excellent attitude, excellent response, shoppergirl, and a lesson for all.

Take care,

Joe

terato's picture
terato
Posts: 384
Joined: Apr 2002

tiny,

I could be bitter about a lot of things, my sterility at the age of 28, my divorce, my scars, finding my brother dead by suicide, my feelings of inadequacy in helping my parents through their illnesses, but what a waste of the energy that I will need to make it through the rest of my life! Don't get me wrong, I spend many weekends numbing out on the couch from exhaustion, partially from colon problems, but also from concerns about the future. However, I take time to enjoy the present, treating myself to a movie, having an occasional dinner with friends, writing a diatribe to my congressman or local newspaper, kicking back and enjoying a bottle of imported beer while listening to loud music or watching a gratuitously violent action video.

I was blessed with loving wonderful parents whom I credit for the good in my life and my younger brother, who was my "little shadow" in childhood. Had I not been conditioned for crisis by cancer, could I have coped with losing them? There is just so much with which to fill one's life that there really is no room for bitterness.

Love and Courage!

Rick

tonybear
Posts: 92
Joined: Mar 2009

happy birthday and congrats for another year. i am glad you were able to connect to the past and those great memories. it is amazing how the mind can pull strength from the past. this year my 55th birthday will be spend at the hospital having my 9 month check up. i am looking forward to my first birthday after cancer. it excites me to still have that love for life. i am thankful that you are still enjoying life and going forward. god bless you and keep you for many more. tony

Cindy54's picture
Cindy54
Posts: 454
Joined: Aug 2006

I was always a big birthday person...if someone I knew was having a birthday I made sure to make a big deal out of it.

Now I feel almost like every day is my birthday. I am still here after so much has happened this past year.

I was recently talking with a friend who had to have gallbladder surgery. She has 4 little incisions, from laproscopy, that she hates because she doesn't like scars of any kind. While she was rattling on about how to minimize them, I reminded her about my breast scars and my ovarian. I think of them as badges of honor for having gone through all and survived. Well she got quiet. I don't think we ever need to be ashamed of our scars.

Cindy

green50
Posts: 318
Joined: Feb 2008

This month was my 7th year surviving. I will be trying for a trial drug pill to go with chemo. Wish me luck. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY RE!!!
Prayers and Hugs
Sandy

lne0226
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2009

My dad has cancer of the sinus cavity, he told me over a year ago. He refuses to go to the doctor or get it staged, won't even tell the rest of our family. My sister, my step-mom and I are the only people who even have a clue. I watch him wondering where the cancer has spread or how long he will have to live. He keeps losing weight and coming up with new symptoms. He has always been a heavy drinker and believes it will help him maintain the pain. I have alot of trouble seeing him through this, I also am having alot of anxiety keeping it from people like his sister or neices and nephews. I am not sure whether to keep it from them,respecting his wishes or telling them for I guess my own selfish reasons. So it turn to the people here considering it is tabooed to talk about with anyone else. Sorry to be such a downer to your positivity but I need help!! Thanks to anyone who does.

Lost

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