First of all, thanks to everyone for the sweet comments, e-mails and tweets. It makes me feel good to know that you’re out there supporting this and passing it along to others.
One fellow survivor who was recently diagnosed posted a very good question: “How do you deal with the fear of the cancer coming back?” I wish I could say fear never comes up, but I’d be lying. In fact, just the other day I got scared because my hip was hurting. I think this fear has been the hardest thing about the whole journey.
The good news is that I have finally gotten to the point where I can put fear aside and enjoy life, feeling gratitude for each day. It would take an extremely long post to tell you how I tackle this, but I’d say the biggest help to me is hearing about other people who were faced with circumstances as bad or worse than mine.
I tell people that writing this book (and now this blog) is saving my life. It not only gives me a sense of purpose, but it demonstrates to me that we can conquer the biggest challenges. It got my mind off the statistics and the “what ifs” and focus on “I can!”
A couple of weeks ago, we watched my brother-in-law Tim cross the finish line at Pelotonia, a 180-mile ride across Ohio to raise money for cancer research. Lance Armstrong participated – he crossed more than two hours earlier. When I was first diagnosed, I read Lance’s book. Lance’s cancer had spread to his brain and lungs and his prognosis was very poor when he was diagnosed. Look at him now.
One of the people I’m featuring in my book, like all the other people I interviewed, is another example. Steve had Stage IV colon cancer and was ready to give up at first after five different doctors told him he was going to die. It’s been five years now and he is cancer-free, embarking on a new job in a beautiful part of the country.
As Steve says, “My advice to people who are going through a similar diagnosis is to never let a doctor take your hope away. I think about when I was diagnosed with cancer, someone was smart enough to send me Lance Armstrong’s book. That’s all I needed to give me hope.”
Lance at the finish line at Pelotonia
Lance at Pelotonia
This entry was posted on Saturday, September 12th, 2009 at 8:29 AM and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the feed.
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