Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A New "Normal" Way of Life

After spending many days and nights thinking about being diagnosed with a chronic cancer, it finally came to me that my life as once known was no longer. There being no cure for chronic leukemia, means that every day I wake up, this will be part of me. Many times each day, the thought pops into my head, "I have cancer".

It was then brought to my attention that no matter what I did from this point forward, my life as I once knew would no longer be possible. Yes, I could make the choice to deny that I have been diagnosed with cancer and try to fight the shift towards a new way of life or I could accept the change and make a decision to live life.

Some have made the analogy that cancer is like a 800 lb. monster in the room. You can try to fight the monster or you can embrace it and learn to live with it. Every person must make many choices when faced with a diagnosis of any type of cancer, and one of my choices is to embrace the monster, hope for a cure, make the best choices I can for my own health and most of all, live life.

Embrace can be defined in many ways, to take or clasp in the arms, to avail oneself of, to take in with the eye and mind or to encircle just to name a few. It does not mean that I wish or desired this to be part of my life but I accept that it is there nonetheless.

So now come the to accept this new way of life and live it to the fullest. One resource I recently read is the book,
AntiCancer: A New Way of Life by David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD. This book brings forth information, backed by the research, on important aspects of self care that can be taken on by those diagnosed with cancer. Written in a way that is easy to follow, well documented and very practical from first hand knowledge of the authors' own story of cancer.

The following video clip provides a preview as told by the author.

More later

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Where it all began

July 2nd 2007: Stomach pain for 4 weeks leads to MD visit. Referral to GI specialist with blood drawn. Phone call July 3rd 2007: You have abnormal blood levels and we are sending you to an oncologist today at 2:30. Flash forward 4 most likely have chronic leukemia(CLL) and lymphoma(SLL) so enjoy the 4th of July and come back Thursday for a bone marrow biopsy.

Chron-ic: 1. Marked by long duration or frequent recurrence 2. Always present or encountered.

From the standpoint of a 43 year old male, anything chronic outside of happiness and a large bank account doesn't sound too appealing.

Flash forward 1 year after multiple blood draws, CT scans, visits to a specialist and alot of reading, searching and find me here. Something about this chronic disease of leukemia and what is known as "watch and wait" can make one ponder what lies ahead. Watch for symptoms and wait for treatment is what many people deal with when first diagnosed with CLL. Others have written that it is like waiting for the train that is going to hit you, just not sure when it might happen. I have also read that it sounds and feels better to "watch and live". So this is where this disease has taken me at this point.

There are many ways to cope, deal, live with a chronic form of cancer and writing is often listed as one. Inspirational and educational reading is another. Those diagnosed with cancer are often labeled survivors from the date of diagnosis. So thus the name of my site, Cancer Survivor Inspiration. Some written posts will be personal, some what I find inspirational, some what I find educational and some...just plain funny and enjoyable. Will it inspire others? Not sure Will it inspire me? Hopefully.

Anyway, I look forward to many posts of my journey and finding those of others to help me. Names will be changed to (oh you know the details).