I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… cancer can suck it! It’s become the plague of the 21st century. Remember when cancer was so rare and taboo, that people often only spoke of it in a whisper? It was the Voldemort of it’s day… that which we don’t speak of, as if cancer heard it’s name spoken, it would come for you next.
Now it’s as common a term as website, text and Lady Gaga. Statistically, something like one in three women will have some sort of cancer in their lives. For men, it’s one in two.
Like most of us, I’ve lost friends over the years but the frequency has increased lately. Currently, I have two friends battling cancer (and winning) and several other friends with family members suffering. It’s everywhere and it seems life everything we do causes it. Hmm.
My dad has re-entered the cancer arena. This was the diagnosis we were expecting. He won his first battle years ago and came out the other side okay. This time is different though. His Alzheimer’s has taken it’s toll. He’s tired, weak and not physically, emotionally or mentally capable of fighting. I feel lucky that he has an Medical Advanced Directive stating he wants no heroic measures taken. He is clearly suffering so my hope is that he won’t suffer long.
Although the Goliath cancer is ruthlessly pillaging our villages, I know of several victims who have been triumphant. I am fortunate to include myself in those ranks, not because I am a warrior, but because I was lucky.
I am only two years out myself and have three years of screenings to go until I am considered safe. Since the type of cancer I had has a very high probability of returning, I am mentally preparing myself for a battle in the future. I am determined to be here for the Biscuit as long as I can.
I will never really let my guard down, but I am not letting it hinder my thirst for a delicious life. In fact, it inspires me to do what makes me happy. None of us really knows how much time we have, so why not enjoy the small things?
Recent studies show that we will likely never find a cure for cancer, so in the end, cancer will continue to claim lives. Modern medicine is prolonging quality life for many victims, so we are not giving up.
I think the ultimate revenge is to live like every day is our last day. So that means I will always have sour cream on my burrito. I will enjoy live music as often as possible. I will be a dancing fool. I will paint, sew, garden and create. I will work hard and play hard at Burning Man. I will enjoy my family and friends. I will take time for myself. I will do things that make me smile and laugh until my sides hurt. I will lose weight by purging the things that make me sink.
I am on the fence about the bucket-list. To me it’s kind of like making unrealistic New Year’s resolutions… it seems like a lot of pressure to put on yourself. I think I’d rather just have a good quality of life everyday. When my time comes, I don’t want to regret what I didn’t do with my life… I will revel in those tiny moments when I found true happiness.
Oh and cancer… you can suck it!
Update: My father passed away in January 2012, just one week after his final diagnosis. I was happy he didn’t suffer long.
I am currently 4 years free of cancer. One more year and I am in the clear.