My Cancer Story: Two Years

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Barbara Before Surgery

It’s been two years this summer since my surgery for endometrial cancer. I look happy in this pre-surgery picture, and in many ways, I was. What I call “Cancer Courage” had set in. And I felt quite loved by Cliff  and my friends and my church that day and well taken care of by the medical world

After the surgery, I was happier still. The pathology news was great–early stage cancer and no further treatments.

But as happy as I was then and am now, cancer changes you. You cross a line. The line for me is that I now live in fear of recurrence. The stats say this cancer should not return, but I’m on daily alert for blood, the sign it’s back. The blood worry has gotten better, which my oncologist said it would, but it lives with me always.

If you know a cancer survivor, treat your friend to a movie or an ice cream cone or a glass of wine.I can promise you that unless he or she is an off-the-charts optimist, your friend worries too. I now understand what a cancer check means. I go every six months and hold my breath until the doctor says, “Looks good.” Then I treat myself to an ice cream cone.

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I’m now an advocate for endometrial cancer awareness, and I share resources I find. A few weeks ago I came across this excellent brochure produced by the Foundation for Women’s Cancer. 

I’ve dedicated a page on Friend for the Ride to endometrial cancer. You can visit it here. Please share this page on your social media sites. Let’s spread the word! Thanks!

25 responses »

  1. The fear at the check ups is always there for me even though I have graduated to just once a year. Cancer certainly does change you. It is the bit of doubt, the less flippancy about getting old, the empathy for the newly diagnosed. Ice cream is my favorite food and an ice cream cone celebration is a terrific reason to indulge!

  2. I am so glad that you are okay, Barbara!! I have had cancer touch my family like a fierce and formidable blow especially in the last month. And, this is the primary reason I have not even had a chance to look at your website recently. So, just catching up. Yes, cancer changes everything. Perhaps, sometimes it changes our perceptions of how we have lived, and how we might want to live going forward.

  3. Thank you, Barbara, for your kind words and concern for my family. This experience has heightened my appreciation for when conventional medicine can be invaluable and life-saving.
    Barbara, you have been very courageous throughout your experience with cancer, treatment and after. Cancer changes our journey in life, it is a key event that adds to our journey. So, to get rid of some of the fears of recurrence we just need to extend the courage and commitment that have taken us so far already, as you have certainly done. So happy you are cancer-free!

    • Well, not sure if this advice made sense, but was given to me by the person in my family who is experiencing cancer. He said, when we look at things with beginning and end points, this is where we can experience difficulty. You then worry, is this a “beginning” or an “end,” of a cancer, etc., but if you just look at the entire flow of the journey and experience, it doesn’t become so worrisome! It made sense to me!

      • Oh, and I’m not a big fan of celebrating with sugar treats, but lately I’ve been craving a dipped cone from Dairy Queen! Vanilla soft serv with lemon lime dip!(from my childhood experiences) I think I’ll do that tomorrow. Then go back to concentrating on healthy fish oils, etc. for health!

      • Phyllis, Thanks for your kind words, and I love the family member’s advice. Never thought of the beginning and endpoint concept. That could apply to lots of other aspects of life. Smart man!

  4. I’m glad you spoke up. I never stopped to think about what people feel like when they are still wondering about the next check-up. That’s courageous.

  5. Longtime reader here, and without getting into the details, I can relate to parts of your experience. But it seems ironic you went out for an ice cream after your appointment. If cancer has changed you, and you live in fear of recurrence, I hope you’ll contemplate a plant-based diet. Dairy products in particular, like ice cream, are full of female hormones. After all, it is breastmilk for baby cows! The good thing is vegan ice cream is everywhere, even Ben & Jerry’s! You might like the group on Facebook called What Fat Vegans Eat. Please consider it 🙂 A major lifestyle transformation like this is an adventure for sure and would definitely make for some great blog reading. Think of the positive influence you will have. I look forward to reading your blog for a long time. Take care!

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