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Cancer Free?

21 Jan

Recently I spoke with a co worker about his young son who had just been declared ‘in remission’. His son had been fighting a rare brain tumor for the past three years and is now officially done. What does it mean to be cancer free , in remission, etc.?  2011 was my first year since 2008 that I wasn’t in some sort of cancer ‘thing’; surgery, treatment, etc. In June of 2011 though, I was told that cancer cells were seen on PET scan, but in September the ultrasound showed no tumors. I had an appointment with one of my physicians this week and asked him if that meant I was done and there were not really cancer tumors, he said he didn’t know for sure…hmmm. When my co worker asked how I felt about the constant cancer scare, I said, ‘I’m here today and all we really have is today.’

So what does it mean to be cancer free. I think this statement means different things to different people depending on the type of cancer, how long the battle has gone on, how long they’ve been declared ‘cancer free’. For me, I still struggle, maybe because those words are still fresh and I’ve hardly been told that. I’ve been told, ‘this should be it,’ or ‘so far we think this has worked,’ but mostly what stays in my mind are the statements, ‘it’s back’, ‘there’s something suspicious on the scan’, or ‘I’m not sure, here’s the plan.’ I think in time as I hear it more, the term ‘cancer free’ will be a more joyous one. For now, I let friends and family celebrate while I look forward with apprehension.

This week I had bloodwork done to see if there were any changes or tumor markers detected. So for today, while I’m ‘cancer free’, I’m happy and nervous at the same time (it’s kinda a daily thing). I look at each and every day as a new day, a new opportunity to do something, to try something different, to make a positive impact on the world. I have been exhausted this week. My mind won’t stop thinking about the different things I’d like to do or accomplish. Being a cancer survivor I want to LIVE each day strong. Now I finally understand the whole LIVESTRONG thing. The thoughts and goals that have plagued my mind (and my sleep) have led me to this conclusion: because I’m a cancer survivor and because those cells always seem to be lurking around, I don’t want to miss anything. Do you know what I’m talking about? I don’t want to miss life. Sure I still have many responsibilities, job, family, etc, but I just don’t want to miss it and I feel myself running ragged to soak up every bit of life I can get. I’ve started exercising again, trying to sing again, learning spanish and french (nothing big, through a program on my new ipad), taking classes to become a life coach, but I still want to learn guitar, maybe write another book, the list goes on. It’s crazy, but it’s reality. How many of you hear those stories about people waiting to do _________until after they retire and end up dying before they even get the chance to try. We don’t have that kind of time. Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.” Live now, start something. If you have a small spark brewing, jump on it. Dream big and go for it…and teach your children the same thing.

Today I wear, YSL Golden Gloss #17, Golden Cherry. It is a sheer red gloss with specks of real gold. I have to tell you it’s a little pricey, but holy cow, it’s probably the best gloss out there (I own four colors). It’s not sticky, it’s sheer, but also has beautiful ‘just enough’ color. I chose it because red lips is my thing, throw in some gold and what else can I say? Live

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6 Responses to “Cancer Free?”

  1. Kelly Louise (@GenePoolDiva) January 22, 2012 at 7:45 am #

    I’m lucky, my parents have always preached ‘live the moment’ and at 82, Dad shows no signs of retiring. My folks are fantastic.
    Cancer free, fantastic!!!
    If you haven’t already discovered Mindsnacks for the ipad/iphone it’s a fun way to learn French and Italian. Dad would tell you, “The future is open. Say yes.” Sounds like you do.

    • Anna January 22, 2012 at 1:19 pm #

      Thanks Kelly! Actually Mindsnacks is what I’m using! Love your dad’s quote!

  2. Bryan Willmert January 22, 2012 at 9:23 am #

    Great post anna. Thank you for sharing about your journey with cancer. This is a subject that impacts us all. Thank you again for sharing!

    • Anna January 22, 2012 at 1:18 pm #

      Thanks Bryan! Yes, it’s been quite the journey since the 2008 KCC Easter video!

  3. Brenda January 24, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    I have lived through Cancer (father) and husband remains in remission, so I am not exactly a survivor, rather I surviving alongside. What I have learned through all this illness is to LOVE to LIVE, and LIVE to LOVE, but mostly to be present in the moment. They are fleeting, so don’t waste them, not a one. I am always glad to be reminded, wonderful post, Anna. You are an inspiration to all of us.

    • Anna January 24, 2012 at 11:25 am #

      Thank you Brenda, you are definitely a survivor…support people play a HUGE part and are also affected. Thank you for stopping by and for your comments!

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