Cancer Survivors Will Tell You … It’s a Matter of Time
What will you be celebrating in two years? Unless you have the Psychic Friends Network on speed dial, you probably won’t know. I personally would rather not know what the future has for me. I have learned to celebrate each day for the gift that it is. Well, okay, most days are a gift. Some are really rotten. I try not to dwell on them too much, but this time of year brings a lot of conflicting emotions for me.
As I sit on my back porch watching my three big dumb labs try to impress me by chasing squirrels, I’m thinking back to what I was doing this time two years ago. To say it was a rough time would be an understatement.
The spring and summer of 2010 were strange. In April, my mother found out that her colon cancer had returned and it was terminal this time. In May, the day before I was to have rotator cuff surgery on my shoulder, I had my yearly mammogram. I was told there was a very suspicious spot on my left breast and it would need a biopsy. I was more frustrated at that point than anything else because I just didn’t have time to deal with any other bad news. However, two weeks after shoulder surgery, I had the biopsy. It was indeed cancer and I did have something else to worry about.
It was June before all the testing and diagnosis were concluded. The good news was that it was a slow-growing cancer that looked to be fairly small. They had to wait for my shoulder to heal some before we could do surgery. In the meantime, I was trying to care for my mother, so they allowed me to put off the surgery until July 9th.
On the 4th of July, my mother started a very rapid decline. She passed away on July 8th, 15 hours before my lumpectomy. It was the end of her fight and the beginning of mine. It was rotten timing to say the very least, but I had my surgery and then followed it with radiation treatments and I have been cancer free for almost two years now.
My sister is a 12-year breast cancer survivor. I am a two-year survivor. My mom was not a cancer survivor. Why do some of us survive and others do not? There’s much to be said for prevention. My sister and I both had mammograms that caught the lumps early. My mother ignored her symptoms and the cancer had spread too far, but she left me with a will to fight and to help others fight their battle.
National Cancer Survivors Day was Sunday, June 3, 2012. It’s a day we should all celebrate, because there are over 12 million cancer survivors in the United States. I’d be willing to bet that you know a few of them. If you don’t know any cancer survivors, you are very blessed but it’s only a matter of time before it touches you or someone you care about.
I am always honored when people acknowledge my fight by putting my name on a list or the back of a shirt during awareness walk. However, I’m more touched when someone donates to cancer research and related causes. Let’s celebrate the millions of battles that have been won by making sure there are less of those battles to fight.
Visit the Survivor Stories section of StopColonCancerNow.com to read testimonials of more people whose lives have been touched by colon cancer. If you have a story you’d like to share, you can submit it here.Tags: cancer survivor, colon cancer, colon cancer survivors, june 3, national cancer survivors day, Prevention Info, stop colon cancer now, surviving cancer