Friday, July 11, 2008
When you have cancer, you tend to focus on the "physical" and "medical" aspects of it. It actually "makes" you take this focus in some ways because of all the continual doctor visits, blood testing, MRI's, CT scans and all kinds of other tests you are put through. And then it's not just the tests.......you are also made to live with a sort of constant low grade anxiety because you then have to wait for the results of these tests. So the next thing is...... What will this test show? Is the cancer increasing? or "I'm having (name something) this symptom today".....does that mean anything? There's never a day that you don't think about it, which is so not like me at all. I'm a "Serenity Prayer" kind of person, but no matter....it's kinda like a mosquito buzzing around your head, making you tired of swatting at it and it just won't stop bugging you. It doesn't interfere in my daily life per se, as in preventing me from doing things or immobilizing me etc...... it's just an "always there" kind of thing. I wonder if I'll ever be used to it?? That brings me to the thought that once you have a diagnosis of cancer, it becomes a part of who you are. It forces itself to become a part of your identity whether you want it to or not. Don't get me wrong....it doesn't define who you are, but it does require a re-organization of how you see yourself, both internally and externally. Like an "identity crisis" that shakes up who you think you are. When you first receive the diagnosis you and probably everyone else tends to think you will die soon. That's what a diagnosis of cancer used to mean back in the day. Thankfully so many strides have been made in the cancer field, that they are trying to look at cancer as a chronic disease (like diabetes or arthritis).....something you will always have but won't necessarily kill you. I like to think of it in that way!!! So when you wake up every day, and you're still alive, you realize that cancer is just another part of your life, always will be and it's just as simple as that. You learn to live with it, just like anything else. Sure, it will place some limitations on you , but how many things in life don't? I guess what I'm saying is I'm beginning to realize that the only way to "beat" cancer is to live your life to the fullest everyday, accept that it is part of who you are, and move on. The future doesn't have to stop because you have cancer. I remember when I was first diagnosed, and talking about it, some would say "don't you ever ask why me?"......and you know, I never ever have because I already knew the answer. The answer: Why NOT me? LOL It's not sad that I have cancer. I feel that it is a time to rejoice that my life was not lost, to focus on how lucky I am to have had so many people care and that each tomorrow holds hope.