footprints165's picture

footprints165

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I'm a survivor

Everyone knows someone who's been touched by cancer. Everyone has a story about someone they know who beat it, who survived through the ordeal. I'm someone who's going through it - diagnosis was easy, treatment is not, and I'm wondering how surviving will be. For those of you who have been there and made it through, how has cancer changed your life? What became most important to you? Have your priorities changed? What's your perspective on aging now? Has the expression "don't sweat the small stuff" become your moto? Do you live in fear of it coming back? Or has it just been another experience with little influence in the grand scheme of your existence? 

I'm curious.

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myst's picture

myst

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footprints165, I have not had cancer, so cannot offer anything but my care and prayers as you walk this difficult journey. I imagine fear and wondering, in addition to the physical ramifications of the treatments, are a big part of your life right now. I am sorry that you are having to experience this and wish for you and those around you strength, courage and hope as you go through treatment

 

 

ninjafaery's picture

ninjafaery

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I echo what Myst said.  I'm close to someone who's being impacted by cancer and I'm learning too, a bit about the journey.

Be well, Footprints.

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

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Footprints, I can give you a good role model from my mother.

Two years after my father died, my then 77 years old mother was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer.

In many ways, we are the direct opposite. She has suffered from extreme shyness all her life - but, unlike me, she is super strong when it comes to dealing with a crises.

As kids, when life got her down, she would disappear into her bedroom with a crime novel and a box of chocolates.

She had an operation to remove the cancer, and then took herself off for radiation treatment.

Two months later, she took herself to a tour of Norfolk Island with other elderly folk.

When she returned home I noticed a change in her mood. She had met a widower of a similar age and they still go everywhere together.

"Whats your secret, Mum?", I asked her.

"I wake up every morning, and the first thing I think is I'm still here. So, what can I do to enjoy today?"

Last Sunday the family celebrated her 85th bithday.

You too, have learnt the value of every day. Don't waste it.

My husband, when diagnosed with leukaemia, told me how much he loved me. I, too, could tell him how much I loved him. Tell those you love what they mean to you.

I wish you well. Stay strong - and know that God shares your journey. 

footprints165's picture

footprints165

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Thank you :)

stardust's picture

stardust

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footprints165

I've not had cancer but its been in my family.

 

I'm on my way out at the moment but hopefully I'll get back to you. All I can think to say is that not one of us here is guaranteed tomorrow. Each one of us owns  today.  I've been practicing living in the now as much as I can meaning I try to set my mind on being really with the person I'm talking to  ( not on yesterday or tomorrow) and observing everything and everybody around me. I try to express gratitude and gratefulness for life to the powers that be. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

 

Perhaps you could tell us a bit about your feelings? I'm sure you have a hundred  thoughts running through  your mind and some degree of emotional turmoil, ups and downs. Thats's quite normal upon receiving news such as yours. When you're feeling really down, fearful, worried, and depressed remember that This too shall pass. Tomorrow is a new day and it is Hope. Many people have beaten cancer such as Pilgrim's Progress writes about. Her mother is  85! 

Much Love and Hugs  ((((((((((((((((((((footprints165 )))))))))))))))))))))))))

 

jesouhaite777's picture

jesouhaite777

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I'm someone who's going through it - diagnosis was easy, treatment is not, and I'm wondering how surviving will be.

Treatments are never easy but the alternatives are far worse ....

Many people can and do beat cancer the stats are better than they were 20 years ago partly because of changes to the way the disease is diagnosed , treated and detected ...

Technological advances abound .....

http://www.wired.com/medtech/health/magazine/17-01/ff_cancer?currentPage=all

 

 

seeler's picture

seeler

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footprints - my thoughts and prayers are with you as you walk this journey through unknown territory. I am facing a similar journey with my daughter.  It is not easy.  But remember, you are not alone. 

 

Beloved's picture

Beloved

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Greetings!

 

Although my life has been impacted by several close family members and close friends having cancer, some being cancer survivors and some who lost the fight, I have not personally had cancer.

 

My guess is that you've already determined that your experience and your diagnosis, treatment, and fight of the disease, and hopefully survival of it, will be uniquely and individual to you.  My hope is that you are supported, encouraged, and cared for by many  throughout this journey.

 

Hope, peace, joy, love . . .

 

 

 

Alex's picture

Alex

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 It was hard, especially since most everyone else I knew died.

However here is how I looked after 5  years or so of chemo and some radiotherapy for kaposi sarcoma. Plus one year at the gym. So you can not only beat it but come out looking good. The white splotch on my forehead at the center is caused by radiation burns, but it barely noticably. The burns on my back, chest and neck are worse, but not too bad.

It's also good because I was told I would not live to see thirty. No one had survived the cancer I head, until the year I was 34 when new drug treatments were invented.  I wish I still looked that good. I think I am forty in the picture.  The treatments were difficult for the first 4 years, and then I got better.

.

 

 I still do not believe I have beaten it, even if it's been a long time. I still take drugs to suppress my HIV.  As well I am still dealing with the emotional baggage of being the sole survivor of my group of friends. and the guilt of living while millions continue to die around the world, knowing that I only live because I live in Canada, and was blessed with basic health care and a good attitude that balanced faith and science that could have only come to me because I  attended a UCC Sunday School. So for healing i addressed not just the physical, side, but the mental, spiritual and community aspects of healthy living.

Alex's picture

Alex

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 My only advice is too not get too far ahead, do what you have to do to fight it, but also enjoy what you have today. Embrace the everlasting now. I recommend you watch the movie RENT.

 

Tabitha's picture

Tabitha

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I've had melanoma. It's the deadly form of skin cancer.

A new mole appeared on my back. My GP sent me to a dermatologist who took it off. It was cancerous.

So an appointment was booked for Surgery to get a clean edge of skin on my back.

Given my age at the time  (44) they decided to be aggressive and treat me as though the cancer was one level more severe.

So I had a sentinel lymph node biopsy. Radioactive dye is injected into cancer spot.

It is traced to the lynph nodes and they are removed and checked for cancer, In this case it worked well on one side but spread out into the other armpit so they took a lot of nodes out.

Result no cancer in nodes-no other treatment

I'm fit and healthy.

If it had spresad to nodes life expectancy was less than 1 year.

footprints165's picture

footprints165

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Thank you for your comments and stories. Sometimes, just hearing that you're not alone can make it all a lot less scary (even though i don't think any of us wish this experience upon anyone).

 

seeler's picture

seeler

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Thank you for your posts - it is good to hear from survivors. 

Northwind's picture

Northwind

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footprints, I wish you all the best in this journey. I imagine it is a scary place to be.

 

I have not had a cancer diagnosis myself. I had the possibility of a bone infection in January. I had foot surgery in October, so this was the three month mark. This scared me a lot. I was worried about the impact of having six weeks of IV antibiotics would have on my life. I was worried about whether my foot would heal properly, etc. I can only imagine that a cancer diagnosis would be way scarier.

 

May you find health and have the support you need at this time.

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