Survivor since 2001…
… Bleeding… hmmm. This shouldn’t be, I was 6 years postmenopausal. Something didn’t feel right … bloated, back pain that woke me up at night.
… Four vaginal exams, one ultrasound, and one biopsy later … it was uterine cancer. A total hysterectomy was scheduled.
Disbelief. How could this happen? I had no risk factors and no cancer in my family. I ate a relatively healthy diet and exercised regularly, I had a happy marriage, a great family, wonderful friends, and a good job. And yet, I had CANCER.
With disbelief and panic I began the roller coaster ride of arranging for tests and scheduling doctor’s appointments. Holding on to hope I got through the phone calls to friends and family. I was acutely aware of all of my senses while I listened to the silent disbelief on the other end of the phone, the unspoken “If this could happen to you…” Aware of all the worried expressions… my husband, my mother, my brother, my sister-in-law, and my niece. My stepchildren were scared. My friends were scared. I was scared.
Then I experienced the magic of hope that was given to me, “the patient”, by the surgeon and his oncology team. “Patient”? Oh, that’s me … I am the “patient” now! For over 30 years I had been the caregiver, the nurse, and now it was my turn to experience the other side of the bed. . I must allow myself to be “cared for”. But I was lucky, I felt healthy and I could get busy. I got on the web, called all the professionals and friends I knew and gathered the best care giving “team” I could find. That’s how I dealt with the panic and uncertainty. Control what I could and hope I could give up control when I needed to. And I did.
What I learned … Listen to your body, say yes when your friends and family offer to help, and never underestimate the healing power of hope. It has been eight years now and I’m healthy and so glad to be one of the Survivors.
Small Cell Lymphoma
Survivor since 2000…
I am a healthy guy…I exercise regularly and eat fairly healthy as well… always did. I am not overweight. Then about 31⁄2 years ago I noticed a couple of small swollen lymph glands that didn’t go away after a three week cold. In March of 2005 after a biopsy of a swollen node & bone marrow test I was diagnosed with small cell lymphoma. I believe I’ve had it for about eight or nine years.
Here I was, a guy that had never really had any illnesses except for childhood growing up stuff, and now I’m diagnosed with cancer. My father also had it. My brother had leukemia. He passed away at 56. So far I have not had any problems, however I am concerned that one day it may become a problem and I may need treatment.
My thoughts now are about time…how much healthy and quality time will I have with the people I love… with friends…how fast time passes…. the many things I have taken for granted…its been a wake up call for me.