Today makes 4 years since the morning I heard that mind-numbing word, "cancer." Given the degree of metastasis at the time, and the fact that several of my doctors didn't expect me to last out that first year, I truly believe that each day I wake up on this earth is a miracle. I do my best to celebrate each one as it comes.
I can mark this anniversary, but it is hard to celebrate it. I've lost too many friends along the way, especially this year. My onc acknowledges, but doesn't understand my survivor's guilt. He is always reminding me that my health is not something I can give to someone else like a gift. While I still live, my obligation to those friends I have lost is to live life to its fullest. Even on the bad days, I have to try.
So I am noting today with special "thank yous" to those who have helped me along the way. I'll call some family and friends. I'm writing letters to those doctors that I only see occasionally now, and I epecially wanted to say "thank you" to those here. You have given me answers to my questions, you have made me laugh at the unlaughable circumstances we are in, you have corrected me when I have been in error, and, most of all, made me feel less alone.
To the friends that have already passed from this earth, and to their family members who still visit this board, an extra "thank you." You have been examples of grace, strength, and love - things that all of us need in good measure.
I still have disease that we are attempting to hold at bay with chemo, so I'm not cured. I meet other people's definition of the world "survivor," but it's hard for me to call myself one. I am a major pacifist, so I dislike the phrases about "fighting," or "battling" disease. I'm hanging in there. I'm still with my family and friends, and that's what counts.
Best wishes to all of us, as we continue to try to hang in there.
May 06 Stage IV CC: liver,ovarian mets
Oct 07 inoperable lung mets
Feb 08 - Apr'12 chemo
allergic to oxaliplatin, irinotecan
Aug '12-Feb'14 Genentech PD-L1/Avastin trial
Mar '14 -radiation to largest lung nodule
still recovering; looking at trials again