It was two years ago today that the word “cancer” officially became part of my personal vocabulary.
It certainly was an emotional day, and the ensuing treatment option research and selection was one of the largest emotional roller coaster rides I’ve been on. Still, the surgery has been a success in eradicating the cancer, but not without some costs.
I don’t think there’s a day that’s gone by where I haven’t thought about having had cancer, but it’s not always in a bad way. In other words, I don’t dwell on it. Instead, my thoughts around cancer are focused more on increasng awareness and sharing my experience. Yes, there are practical thoughts about stress incontinence and sexual function, but those are minor and part of every day life now.
The other thing that I really don’t give much thought to at all is the chance of recurrence. Yes, it’s a little cloud that follows me around, but I certainly don’t lose sleep thinking about the possibility. I’d much rather focus on doing the fun things in life now, on the off chance that the cancer does return later.
None of us would have chosen this path for ourselves. But we can choose to educate ourselves after the initial diagnosis; evaluate all of our treatment options and select the one that best fits our own personal situation; understand and accept the risks; and then live with the outcome knowing that we made the best possible decision with the information we had at the time, and with the support of our families and friends.
The operative word, of course, being “live.”