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had or have - whats your view

Ruffy7
Posts: 126
Joined: Sep 2011

So had 3month scan- everything clear and bloodwork good. Been this way for 16 months now. Just curious for those who are NED do you consider yourself as having cancer or that you had cancer? Semantics but just wondering.

janderson1964's picture
janderson1964
Posts: 1784
Joined: Oct 2011

That is something i am really struggling with right now. I am totally into positive thoughts. I think it makes a real difference but i also have to consider that i have had 2 recurrences after long periods of NED. The problem is we just dont know.

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 564
Joined: Jul 2011

Excellent question! I WANT to say had but am afraid to jinx things! I am sitting in MD Anderson waiting for my Halloween scans right now. Wish me luck! Lorikat

joemetz's picture
joemetz
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

I hope the results of your scans are a real Halloween TREAT!!!!

u r in my thoughts and prayers

joemetz's picture
joemetz
Posts: 493
Joined: Nov 2011

I had cancer in 1989.
had radiation therapy and it was "gone"
so, I HAD NO Cancer from 1990 to November 2011.
but, did i really have NO cancer?

in 2011 the doctors told me that the radiation treatments from 1989, caused such a scorching of my colon, that it caused the cancer to grow... and that most likely it had been growing from the outside of my colon, to the inside and to the liver... for anywhere from 5 to 10 years. So, did I HAVE cacner then? yes.

But, i still refer to when i KNEW i HAD cancer.
and, I often i hear myself saying... "when i got sick" instead of saying.... when i found out i got cancer.

so... with all that said... the day I hear that I'm NED... is the day i say.... I HAD cancer and I beat the sh@t out of it!!!!

so... you HAD cancer!!!!!

check out this site I found this week: http://www.ihadcancer.com/

many blessings for continued success and keeping that beast away!!!

hugs

Joe

cinreag
Posts: 154
Joined: Oct 2012

I find myself saying before I got sick, or when I got sick. I have wondered before if that is a sign of being in denial but Im not in denial.
Cindy

Coppercent
Posts: 145
Joined: Jan 2012

This is kind of funny you posted this today. I just had a co-worker ask me if I remembered when I had cancer? Hmmmmmm. When people ask me I always say I don't have any visible cancer, because I am not completely sure how accurate any of the scans or blood tests are these days. But I think there are many people out there that have cancer and it is lying low so they don't know it yet and maybe it will never rear it's ugly head. Sometimes I think I was one of the lucky ones that found out I have it so I can fight it and maybe live my life better. It has taught me to stop and take time to appreciate the important things in life. There have been several positives that have come out of the last 15 months of my journey. But either way, I have never let cancer consume my life. Except for the appointments, surgeries, and hospital stays I have lived my life normally. I won't let cancer take any more of my time then it already has taken. I don't label myself a cancer fighter or cancer survivor. I am me and I had to go through treatment for an illness but cancer does not define me.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4312
Joined: Jun 2009

I think if you are fortunate to have it happen once and then start putting many, many miles behind you...one could say they "had cancer."

For those of us who have met Mr. Recurrence...well, it's quite a different mindset.

I've done cancer 3x in the past eight years...when you're first starting out, we all think the same thing...I'm gonna' do the surgery...I'm gonna' do some chemo...and then I'll have a nice story to tell everyone.

But, Recurrence changes all of that...I was surprised at first, but I always felt that we should truly expect a recurrence..."One and Done" does happen to some folks, but the vast majority of us will recur at some point.

And then you think, well, I'll get this one too...

And then, like me, you get the 3rd one...and a new reality begins to set in...now, the doubts become amplified - ringing in your ears...you understand at that point, what adversary you are truly up against.

I defeated my cancer for the 3rd time last year...clear now, watching and waiting...

At some point, I do expect cancer to find me again for #4...at that point, I'll probably have a few more thoughts...because the picture will be even clearer for me than it is right now talking to you.

Right now, I'd say, "I have cancer - but its in a dormant state..."

In the future, if I stay clear, I might say, "I had cancer."

I hope to achieve that milestone.

An interesting question...and as always, the view differs depending on which side of the pasture you're standing in...

Take care.

-Craig

YoVita's picture
YoVita
Posts: 562
Joined: Mar 2010

After my initial diagnosis, I went through surgery, chemo and radiation and clean scans for 2 and a half years and so considered myself as having had cancer. After my recent recurrence, my mindset is now "I have cancer but its in a dormant state" as Craig said. I think one's length of NED status and incidents of recurrence make a difference. Best of health to those who have and had cancer.

healthyandhappy
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2012

I am 11 year colorectal cancer survivor. I had my colon removed 11 years ago with stage 2-3 cancer. I am healthy and live a normal life. So it can be beat. My cancer had moved to my adrenals, but did some chemo, and have been good since.

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4312
Joined: Jun 2009

Welcome...and congrats on the 11-years:)

Ruffy7
Posts: 126
Joined: Sep 2011

Makes sense to view as some of you said - "have" when still in treatment - "had" if NED and being followed. Still interesting how other entities will now always classify you as having cancer. I tried to get aflac about a year ago but was denied due to my dx.

abrub's picture
abrub
Posts: 1537
Joined: Mar 2010

Only recently, at 5 years out, have I started to say "I had cancer" but I feel funny saying that. Somehow, I wonder if it is still lurking, and when it will rear its ugly head yet again.

Re. Insurance, I got long-term insurance at about 3 years out. By 5 years clear, you should be able to get AFLAC. It depends on the insurer. One regarded me as clear, another wouldn't accept me (got hung up on "Stage IV").

maglets's picture
maglets
Posts: 2427
Joined: Jun 2006

for me for absolute sure have.......

seven years ....3 reoccurs....oh no....have.....but not really ....just not today...

I would be very surprised if I ever reached had status....

that's how I deal with it...head down ...quietly thinking good things.....what a strange disease

mags

thxmiker's picture
thxmiker
Posts: 1255
Joined: Oct 2010

The first occurrence of cancer, after I my second surgery, I said I had cancer. Two years later and round two, I have cancer. Now 2 years again, I have Cancer.

It is all perspective and how sever was your first cancer? We thought my first cancer was not a big deal, and a little life scare. At round two we realized this is a life changing event and better take it a lot more serious. All about perspective.

Does it go away, or do we have a higher propensity for cancer? Are we the Human Canaries? Is our food and water so polluted that society is going to see more cancer in the future?

Best Always, mike

tommycat's picture
tommycat
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

Had. Period.

abackhou
Posts: 77
Joined: Jan 2012

I do not think there is an official definition from a recognised cancer authority that uses "NED". IMO, I believe it is only used by some cancer patients who have been assessed as being currently in remission. NED seems to be replacing the term "remission", but means essentially the same thing. So to answer your question, "we have cancer".

herdizziness's picture
herdizziness
Posts: 3479
Joined: Apr 2010

My biggest wish and desire is to say those words "I had cancer."
Those words will never be on my lips, though in vain I wish they could.
Once you are stage I'V. You are always waiting for that next shoe to drop. For me it has.
Now I simply wish to continue life as long as I can, do I hope that it is many years from now? H@ll yes!
But for the last 2 and a half years, it is yes, I have cancer, but may that day come when, we all are able to say those magical words: "I HAD cancer"!
And to those that can say it now, we congratulate you whole heartedly and look forward to being amongst you at some point and time!
Winter Marie

Sundanceh's picture
Sundanceh
Posts: 4312
Joined: Jun 2009

...each of these trails leads directly to the path of progression...like meandering tributaries towards the same great river...and with it, an uncertainty that is very hard to shake...

Recurrence changes everything...

Multiple recurrences take it to an even higher level of competition...and redefines the definition of cancer in ways you can only imagine...

...until you find yourself there and can begin to grasp the weight of the gravity that surrounds you.

From there, you reach Awareness...and with even more time...Enlightenment...and you might find that your definition of "Have or Had" will be constantly redefined with each passing recurrence, should you draw that card.

I don't think we have to look any farther than Steved...he fought his battle...went 7-years clear...and you know the rest of the story...we're all riding along.

It's five years right off the top...with clean scans...that's medical NED

But as Steve's story tells us...even after 7-years, it can come again...

So, will we ever be really free?

It's all in what you believe, I guess...I still don't have the answer yet...probably won't.

I think sometimes we tell ourselves whatever we need to get us through it - but, is it the truth - or just the truth we want to see?

And does it really matter as long as it works for us?

In the end, all that any of us can really do is just get up everyday and do the tasks we need to do...until we can no longer do them...is there really anything else in this life?

We go until we can't...cancer or no cancer...had or have...

One of the beautiful aspects of the cancer journey is to be able to see what your viewpoints are at this fork in the road...and whether over time, your stance will soften or remain steadfast.

And of course, they are so individual...and that's what makes all the perspectives so unique and special.

I just want to say thank you all for sharing.

-Craig

cinreag
Posts: 154
Joined: Oct 2012

Thank you for sharing, Craig.

janderson1964's picture
janderson1964
Posts: 1784
Joined: Oct 2011

Well said Craig.

steve g
Posts: 55
Joined: Dec 2008

I still use the term have, perhaps it is the ostomy bag that is a constant reminder and I still have my port. After surgery I asked my surgeon what my 5 yr survival chance was and his reply was exellent so I'm getting closer to all I expected. I declined post op chemo after one treatment that knocked the Hell out of me and said quality over quanity. I was 68 at the time and couldn't tolerate the effects.
I refuse to let cancer dictate my life and haven't change a thing as far as life style, eat the wrong things, drink beer every day and even took up smoking cigars. None of us are getting out of here alive so live the life as you want and let nature take its course. Been to too many friends funerals to let cancer stand in the way of doing what I enjoy and live on a daily basis avoiding long range planning other than estate. This attitude might not be for everyone but allows me to live stress free. Best of health to all Steve

Friendinpenn's picture
Friendinpenn
Posts: 64
Joined: Oct 2010

I couldn't have written your post any differnet....

Stage 4 and I am NED for two years and two months...I go to our local club to drink a few beers, talk to my friends, go to my cabin etc...I've had a few comments about how I should be "not doing this" or "start doing that..." funny though how most if not all of these people never had cancer....

I do take a few anti-oxidant suppliments and drink 4 cups of green tea everyday...but I still enjoy my pizza, wings, hamburgers and beer when ever I want...Enjoying life for as long as I can!

"Here's to ya!!!"

Friendinpenn's picture
Friendinpenn
Posts: 64
Joined: Oct 2010

I couldn't have written your post any differnet....

Stage 4 and I am NED for two years and two months...I go to our local club to drink a few beers, talk to my friends, go to my cabin etc...I've had a few comments about how I should be "not doing this" or "start doing that..." funny though how most if not all of these people never had cancer....

I do take a few anti-oxidant suppliments and drink 4 cups of green tea everyday...but I still enjoy my pizza, wings, hamburgers and beer when ever I want...Enjoying life for as long as I can!

"Here's to ya!!!"

Friendinpenn's picture
Friendinpenn
Posts: 64
Joined: Oct 2010

I couldn't have written your post any differnet....

Stage 4 and I am NED for two years and two months...I go to our local club to drink a few beers, talk to my friends, go to my cabin etc...I've had a few comments about how I should be "not doing this" or "start doing that..." funny though how most if not all of these people never had cancer....

I do take a few anti-oxidant suppliments and drink 4 cups of green tea everyday...but I still enjoy my pizza, wings, hamburgers and beer when ever I want...Enjoying life for as long as I can!

"Here's to ya!!!"

Maxiecat's picture
Maxiecat
Posts: 524
Joined: Jul 2012

I am not yet NED...hopefully when I get my PET Scan in Dec I will be close to saying had then have cancer.

Alex

thingy45's picture
thingy45
Posts: 585
Joined: Apr 2011

At the moment I am NED and tell myself I had a bout with cancer. However we all have cancer cells in our bodies, so we all "have" cancer. Since I am NED that does not mean I am cured. Always in the back of my mind, every little twince or pain and the thought is there. So really, have or had depends on the moment. Something like the chicken and the egg I like to think?
For me it is still ... at this moment I HAD but also I have had.
Wishes everybody here to be NED,and have had
hugs, Marjan

danker
Posts: 769
Joined: Apr 2012

I don't know which section to put me in. I've been NED for 18 months. But does that mean I cannot have a met to my liver or lung some time in the future? Lets just say I am currently a cancer survivor. Doesn't that sat it all?

Lorikat's picture
Lorikat
Posts: 564
Joined: Jul 2011

I asked that question of the doctor and was told. "say NED after cancer txs". Would anyone who hasn't been here understand?

pete43lost_at_sea's picture
pete43lost_at_sea
Posts: 3915
Joined: Nov 2010

you almost always have circulating tumour stems cells, the little suckers that cause mets.
so it depends on your definition, its its big enough to measure on a blood test or ct well its clear you got it.

if you measured your ctc's and had a really low count or nil then i would say HAD.

i prefer the words just "the cancer" as one cell can put us in the box and stop all this fun we call life.

ultimately whatever definition brings you peace of mind. so my CTC are sky high, so i have the cancer now, its dieing as we speak!

hugs,
Pete

Sonia32's picture
Sonia32
Posts: 1069
Joined: Mar 2009

Hugs, I would say the little bugger ie c has the left the building for now. I would like to say had, but so many I have known have said had then it comes back again, just feel like I am tempting fate if I say that.

Just take each day as it comes and see.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4679
Joined: May 2005

Today was a beautiful day!
Nice and sunny which was refreshing after a rough week with no power and cloudy skies.
So many people lost their lives or lost everything they own. We only lost power...
That's my view on your question
:-)

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