Life before Cancer made sense. Wake up in the morning, shower, dress, coffee and off to a full day at work. Unless, there was a bump in the road, un-employed and looking for a new job or when a family member was in crisis. Life was an exercise in routine.
I would like to pose a question? What would you prefer, being filthy rich or free from a terminal disease? Of course, it would be preferable to be both filthy rich and free from a terminal disease, but in most cases that is unlikely. Our society values people for what you have.
Money can buy you fantastic medical care, insurance, medication and home health care workers, but it does not buy you a future or independence. Terminal diseases takes away a person right to free will. Instead, bound by doctors, medications, tests and treatments. Being sick means not being able to care for yourself, and it becomes a full-time job.
I pick freedom from terminal cancer. I have lung cancer that metasized to the vertebrae’s and bones of my spine. The cancer has recently hit my circulatory system. Face it, life is short. The disease is painful. I have outbreaks that my doctor has advised me will never go away, yet I have faith in the medical community to keep me alive for many years to come.
When part of a community, when a person get’s cancer it affects everyone. Kindness abounds, and people bring food, and volunteer their precious time to help. I have never felt love from strangers and friends and aquaintces as I have since my diagnosis. I thank god every day. God values people for what they give away.
Having a terminal disease moves people, and is infectious. I call all those who have come through for me, Dream Catchers! Dream Catchers, are people who have an unconditional desire to help those less fortunate. The sick and the downtrodden. God has placed The Dream catcher’s syndrome in the hearts of all people. All it takes is a desire to change the future for someone in need. No matter how small the good deed does not matter, and with good deeds comes good karma.
When you have stage 4 Cancer it is a process to come to terms with the diagnosis. It stops living in its tracks. Like having the wind knocked out of you, the word cancer in relation to one’s self is “bad news”. Everyone reacts different, but what I have experienced the psychologists and counselors have gotten it right. There are five distinct stages a person goes through when given horrible news that leads to an overwhelming feeling of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.
The moment the words “You have cancer” was spoken aloud by me doctor. I immediately went into a state of “denial.” “Why me? No way?” The room began to spin and tear drops of self pity dropped from my eye’s. I still had one son who needed a wife, a new grandson I yearned to watch grow up, a younger son and wife who are just starting out, and after two failed marriages, I had found harmony with a man who fits me like a glove. To name only a few of my wishes on a bucket list I had no idea I needed to make sooner than later.
I got mad…angry, and turned to my doctor and told him. “So how are we going to fight this?” I was not going to give in to cancer. I was going to fight it, and now during my Oncologists office visits I am amazed at how many brave cancer patients there are. Is cancer an epidemic?
There are many different types of cancers. Last year, my father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. His doctors recommended keeping him comfortable with no treatment to kill the cancer, and extend his life. My father’s situation was a double-edged sword. He had been suffering for several years with Alzheimer’s, and his quality of life was getting worse every day. Treating his cancer with drugs and radiation treatments, testing, and any form chemotherapy would make him uncomfortable and ill. Instead, my dear father passed away quietly, surrounded by his family, and in his own bed.
While grieving the loss of my Dad, my mind was foggy and I felt like my body had been hit by a fire truck. I had gotten cancer a year before he did. It was not fair, but who said “life was fair?” I look forward to seeing him in heaven, but I still have unfinished business to attend to on Earth. Looking on the bright side of an unfortunate situation, I was blessed to have spent months of time I would not have spent with him because of my cancer. My parents came to my rescue when I was terrible sick. I thank god for that time even though we were brought together due to a horrible disease. It was time I would have been working.
At the beginning of last summer, I tried to bargin with my Oncologist. I yearned for a summer free from cancer. I was getting ready to start a series of radiation treatments. Upper spine traditional radiation treatments, and lower spine, I was lucky to be accepted to receive treatment with the “CyberKnife? This treatment is able to pinpoint the radiation disbursement to a specific spot where the traditional radiation treatment zapped an area of the body. Hitting parts of the body that were not infected with the disease. I asked my Oncologist if I could get both treatments over with at the same time? He agreed, and off I went. In retrospect, I will stick to one treatment at a time, because fighting cancer means to kill cells with poison. I got sick. My idea did not work.
I was also sick of fighting depression, as well as sick of being sick. I found acceptance by letting go of all the feelings of guilt and inadequacy I was feeling. Especially when the cancer cells in my body were active and causing havoc. Terrible headaches and not being able to walk. The radiaton had taken away my taste buds. The medications took away things we take for granted. Words, my mind goes blank. Letting go of trying to control my disease has helped me find acceptance and kill one cancer cell at a time.
I now am able to relax…smile more. Every mirical I receive I say a silent prayer of thanks. With having been given a label “Stage 4 Cancer Victim” my outlook on life has changed. I made it through the levels of psychological healing. Which consisted of highs and lows It has been a long road, but thanks to my Oncologist and all the people who are working in cancer heath care, research and development, and big Pharma I am still here on Earth.