Tag Archives: survivor

Looking for Answers

I’d been mentally queuing up a post to talk about my cancer survivorship. It’s a tough road sometimes to have an “easy” cancer story: going from diagnosis to surgery to cured in just about a month. That’s just not the typical story, and while I feel like the luckiest guy on the planet, and that there’re lessons for folks in my message, there are times when I’m just smacked in the face with how unfair stupid cancer is.

Yesterday, a friend lost his just-turned fifteen year old daughter to a really nasty adolescent cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma. She went from diagnosis to passing in about fifteen pain-filled months.

Think of the future lost… school, career, husband, children, grandchildren. And all at fifteen.

And that’s why there are folks like me that question why they were dealt a relatively easy hand, while others are dealt the toughest fates there are. I mean, I’m an old guy who’s been around the bases a time or two, but she had a whole future ahead of her. Where’s the fairness in my still being here, and her being gone?

I’ll get past this question of “why me?” — I always do. After all, I know that God’s got a plan, and won’t put more in our hands than we can handle, even if we don’t understand it all. I can’t help but think about our friend and his family, though, knowing that I don’t have any frame of reference to understand their pain. I do have broad, strong shoulders though, and they’re welcome to them.

Seven Months

Today marks seven months since the cancer was removed from my colon. Seven months a survivor. Seven months cured.

It’s still hard for me to believe that I’ve had cancer and beaten it (so far). I just have a tough time wrapping my head around that time in my life… almost like watching TV of someone else’s struggle.

And here in July, with no symptoms, and no reason to be concerned, I find myself a little scared. I get emails from the CCA, talking about new medicines and treatments, public policy decision of note and other things that concern cancer survivors and fighters. They also mention those who’ve been lost recently to the disease. And that’s the part that’s scary to me.

My cancer was found early — I mean, who ever hears of a Stage I colon cancer event? To me, it always seemed that colon cancer had an awful end, and that’s what I steeled myself for when it started to become apparent that I was headed down that diseased road. And yet, it hasn’t. I have a great prognosis, a clean bill of health, and yet somehow, I’m still nervous.

I think part of it is reading the blogs of those folks that are fighting the disease. There’s so much optimism and strength as they fight their Stage III and Stage IV diseases, and then sometimes, the realization one day comes that theirs is not operable, not treatable, and it becomes a clock watching event. And I can’t get past that, wondering if this time right now is the lull between the storms for me.

Why was I only grazed by this disease? Why did I have a symptom, which prompted us to do a colonoscopy two years before I would’ve been slated? Why was I given the right signs, guidance and doctors to save my life? I really don’t know.

But I know God has a purpose for all of us, and I know my purpose with Him isn’t just to play Taylor guitars and keep Apple’s profits up. Admittedly, those are good side benefits of finding myself alive and reasonably healthy at the end of seven months since my colectomy! I don’t know why He’s given me this second chance at life, and I just keep waiting to hear the voice that lets me know somehow what I’m supposed to do with this overtime period in my game of life.

I’m grateful, though, to be at the end of my seventh month of my second chance. And I’m praying for another seven, and another seven, and seven more sevens.