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Random thoughts

Grandmax4's picture
Posts: 709
Joined: Dec 2011

For some strange reason, I lay awake last night and thought about why I  had cancer and what could have caused it~~

    I'm one of those people that will enter heaven, sliding in with a yipee, what a ride!   I'm 66 now and all my life have been a chance taker and a try anything woman~~

    I worked in a factory for 12 years installing fiberglass~~ this got my kids through college and on to successful lives, I partied like a rock star up until my first grandson was born...

     I went to school and became a nail tech, worked at that for 6 years, the chemicals, sanding,etc..that go along with artificial nails has to be very hard on your health and sometimes I wore a mask sometimes not. I urge, anyone that gets their nails done, wear a mask, not the most glamorous look, but better safe than sorry.

     I was a smoker and loved going out dancing, drinking.

     I finally found my calling, office clerk in a small village grocery store. I loved my job and wish I had tried it earlier. I worked 12 years there and retired to babysit my last little Grandson...started when he was 4 months old and still doing it, he just turned 5.

     I'm sure my life style and recklessness accounted for the mass on my epiglottis, but who really knows?

     My life now is rather boring, and I like it that way, I'm content and happy..my kids are successful and have given me the greatest gift of all, 3 little Grandsons that I adore. I have a "rock" for a husband....so, what caused the cancer? Could have been all of the above, or maybe just luck of the draw...

     One year and four months out, NED just this last Tuesday...I am Blessed !!    

corleone's picture
Posts: 264
Joined: Jul 2012

Don’t beat yourself on that. For instance, I have nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Prior to being diagnosed at 46, I have never smoked in my life; didn’t drink; eat “healthy” (more or less) food, (in any case no junk – fast food type); exercised regularly, weight within normal limits; no excess of any type (including regular sleep hours, etc). No exposure to toxic substances (except unavoidable factors like pollution), no family history, no known inherited genetic predisposition. Race (I am Caucasian) was not a factor (this type of cancer is endemic among certain population or ethnic origin).

So NO risk factors, and yet…here I am.

phrannie51's picture
Posts: 4673
Joined: Mar 2012

Had myself a ball till I was 35....partied day and night for at least 12 years.....smoked Pall Mall reds (non-filter) till I was 58, and got the same cancer as Corleone....who it sounds like had a more sedate life.  I felt at first like I deserved what I got, cuz it wasn't like I didn't know that I wasn't living very healthy.  Now I think it was some of that, and some of the hand I was dealt.....I sure wouldn't go back and change anything (well, maybe I'd have quit smoking sooner Laughing)...but that the only thing I might change.


Ingrid K's picture
Ingrid K
Posts: 813
Joined: Mar 2011

Hi gramma...

don't beat yourself up over your past...you can't change it  Smile

I blamed myself for my tongue cancer (I smoked for 40 years), yet I was in the rads dept alongside all non-smokers, 20 years my junior.  My onc doc even said I was his only smoker-patient in 10 months--all his other patients were HPV+. 

so maybe it really just is the luck of the draw.


Posts: 1914
Joined: May 2012


First off a huge hug sent on that wonderful NED !  I can't work anymore due to many health issues....but still am in the thick of things.  Can't watch the small grandchildren, as lifting for me is out and my breathing sounds like a steam engine.  But saying this I guess I never wondered the why's of things, just the cards I've been dealt.  I hate, and I mean hate cancer !  And will advocate and raise money where I can for studies, trials, new tx's ect.  I guess maybe that's my calling now.  And of coarse I have met so many wonderful cyber friends !  And if I can spread awareness, or help another that's my new job in life.  Thank you for this inspiring post, because it's a great reminder....we live and are connected in such a new and profound way.   Katie

fishmanpa's picture
Posts: 1217
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Gma

What an awesome post! I love it! Congratulations on the clean report... you gotta love that even more! 

I'm curious as to how many of us lived the life and partied like rock stars as you stated. Based on the response of the thread about drinking, I would venture to say quite a few of us :) 

I too lived the life and partied like a rock star.... literally as I was aprofessional musician for most of my career. 
I thought about how I got cancer as well. I think we all do. I was a smoker, a drinker AND I just found out my cancer is HPV related. Between those three things there's no doubt in my mind how I got it ;) I don't know if I would change anything though. Maybe a few poor financial decisions and some concerning matters of the heart but overall, I have no regrets. I mentioned in a previous post how I miss my cigars and cognac and I do! 

Cancer, regardless of it's form, does not discriminate. Young or old, male or female, every race, religion, lifestyle... there's no real logic to it. 

Many years ago I made up my mind to take chances and eliminate the "What If's" from my life. To me, the saddest thing I see are people who stand on the edge and never jump off for fear of "What If?".  What's the worst that can happen if we dive in? At this point inour lives we know how to swim so we're not going to drown. Sure, the water may be cold but the worst that can happen is we get wet. That's why we have towels in the closet. I'd much rather get a little wet and cold than always be wondering 'What If?"

So here's to "living" ;)  Blessed you are indeed! And this guy NED? I have to have my people call his people and set up a meeting!





GavinP's picture
Posts: 114
Joined: Feb 2013

As I'm currently under going a tongue cancer scare and theres certain aspects of my life that I'm not proud of.

Anyway, I was recently talking with a radiographer on another forum and he told me that I should quit worrying about how or why I have cancer (if I do)  

He said, no single aspect of one's life can definitively be said to have caused one's cancer. Smoking and drinking increase the risk statisically, but each person is individual and some people can smoke like chimneys and drink like fish and poison tehir bodies with illegal drugs and they have no problems (look at Keith Richards for instance) where as some people get cancer just drinking light to moderately and never smoking (me potentially)

He also told me about alcoholics he treats who even turn up drunk for radiation and said that even with these people all you can say is that alcohol may or may not have contributed to their cancer.

Bottom line, life is incredibly random and silly and theres often no rhyme or reason why things happen, so its not worth worrying about it.

Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

Your life is probably better, and more fulfilled now than before...

I know I have a better appreciation for the small things, less for the bigger...

What was once small, now is huge... What was big before, doesn't matter as much now.

The people that I spent the most time with before, probably less now... The ones that I tended pay attention to before, now are my center...


Bottom line..., I am now a better person because of cancer....

Perspective, and priorities have changed...

Best ~ John

donfoo's picture
Posts: 1648
Joined: Dec 2012

is there a like button?

Duggie88's picture
Posts: 703
Joined: Feb 2010

All great posts. I often thought how I came down with it. But as stated, doesn't matter how as much as how we gonna get rid of it. It changed my life and how I look at things. My wife and I are spending the kids inheritance money and enjoying every minute of it.

Tim6003's picture
Posts: 1511
Joined: Nov 2011

Enjoyed your post Grandma as well as the others.


I think I know how I got my cancer. I was HPV +.  Unfortunately I do have some regrets, even before I got cancer I has quite a few regrets, but they don't stop me from being who I am today.

I was a "wooly-booger" from age 20 - 30  I never smoked, but boy did I drink.  I drank that hard stuff 101 proof straight out the bottle.  I went from one girl to the next never giving any thought to my health or theirs.

Now I face the task of telling my 14 year old daughter (who is ever inquisitive and ever knowing) what her dad was like back then.  I told my wife (who truly is a saint) I will not lie to my daughter about who or what I was, but it's hard.  I only share age appropriate stuff with her, but if she asks a direct question, I answer it.

I did tell my daugther "your sins will find you out"  Sealed one time when she asked why or how I got this throat cancer.  She asked this when I had her getting her vacines for HPV. I did also share with her the link is not scientifically proven, but the evidence is strong on sexual activity and what I have. Now I hope nobody takes this as offense.  This is just me sharing my thoughts and I would be lying if I said I had no regrets.  But I have always taken great care of my family and loved them as I should, the cancer dx just heightened that and made me more aware of them and how much they mean to me.

As for my past.  You all know me well enough by now to know I am a "religious" person (I hate that word religious) ..but suffice to say my wrongs are forgotten / forgiven and I go on living the best I can knowing how precious and fast life goes by. 

...and if not for many, if not all of you, on this site I would be less of a person. Knowing all of you is one gift cancer has brought me that is truly a positive.


Skiffin16's picture
Posts: 8286
Joined: Sep 2009

All in all..., you don't actually know for sure how you got HPV....

There are so many variables, and sometimes such a long period of time where it may lie dormant...

I wouldn't necessarily confess to something that may or may not be true, though life style could have always played a role. If you are wanting to plant the seed of what you sow is what you reap, the go right ahead.

Personally (other than educational for your daughter for instance)... I still say it is what it is... As they say S.H.I.T. happens...


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