Cancer Survivorship – What Does It Mean?

by NotDownOrOut

Lately I have been writing about life “post”-cancer. There are no promises that it is over. For some of us, cancer returns. Treatment can continue for the rest of a person’s life. For others there are long-term effects from cancer treatment. Sometimes these effects are also life-threatening. Regardless of the outcome, there is no going back to the way things were before my diagnosis. Denise has posted this week some observations made about people’s initiatives for taking on life after diagnosis and treatment. I liked it as I was feeling a fair amount of pressure to cope yet again with challenges to my peace of mind just when I hoped to kick back for a week or two of relative leisure. This posting reinforced the messages of support I had already received from many friends and bloggers. I’m taking no prisoners. Some of the suggestions are a little extreme for me, but living a happy life means different things for different people. The Rx in this posting has ideas for all kinds of situations. Thank you, Denise, for inspiring me!

It was time for our annual 4th of July family gathering to celebrate the 17th birthday of my nephew, Tyler.  His father, my former brother-in-law, is a 35 year survivor of Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I’ve written about Trent before as his life is inspiring.  He was not expected to live, and when he did live, he was told he would never have any children because of the strong chemo drugs he went through in the late 1970s.  The drugs Trent had to endure are no longer used.  These drugs were used for torture during World War I.  Plus, Trent had no anti-nausea drugs like we are so fortunate enough to receive now.

As Trent and I stood talking, my nephew who resembles his dad in so many ways, walks up and immediately with a smile says, “cancer talk” as he could tell  by our demeanor what Trent and I were discussing.   It is a secret language when cancer survivors get together. …

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