|Here's to spending a LOT more time with this man!|
Three years. It has been three long years today since I received the phone call that forever changed our lives. "You have stage iv cancer". Did it rock our world and put us both into a spin of no return? Of course. Anytime a life changing experience pokes its head into our comfortable existence makes us suddenly view our own mortality and gasp that this can not really be happening.
Eighteen months after my initial stage 2 diagnosis, I was deemed a survivor until my fairy tale view of cancer land was slammed into the reality of a free fall into hell. I dealt with this by perusing the internet to find out the good the bad and the ugly of this disease and was not encouraged by what I discovered. The first few findings scared the crap out of me--three years median life expectancy, no cure, 40,000 die every year, 113 die every day, no cure, no cure, no cure.
The "no cure" clause stopped me in my tracks because with all the publicity on cancer survivorship, I was under the impression if I caught this cancer bugger early, zapped the heck out of it and now, with keen vigilance to any unusual aches or pains, I would be cancer free after my initial diagnosis.
Not quite so fast, I unfortunately learned. It took me several months to wrap my head around all of this and sort out exactly how I/we were going to manage it--the fact that I could be gone in three years kept echoing in my head. Nothing seemed hopeful or promising and quite frankly, I was scared to death (inappropriate word to use describing this experience).
The turning point into seeing a better outcome was the fact that research done five or ten years ago is now keeping me alive longer. New innovative treatments are rapidly coming to fruition and hopefully will move those horrible statistics to a more encouraging playing field for all of us. Research--the word that is coveted by all metsters--is what will determine the next round of ever changing statistics.
Today I mark this anniversary with a quiet celebration thankful to the researchers who have gotten me to this point as they continually search for answers. Their valuable work will again make a significant difference five years from now so my daughter and granddaughter may live in a true cancer free world.
To make this happen for us, please donate to UW Carbone Cancer Center and keep all of us around for many anniversaries to come.
Thanks for reading #527 of 7777.