Tuesday, September 21, 2010

How Does It Affect You?

How does being diagnosed with cancer affect you? Something I think everyone either has been asked by others or we ask ourselves when sitting quietly. Do you get down, inspired, angry, ready to "live no matter what happens"?

How do you react when someone else dies of cancer, famous actor, athlete, family member or someone you read about in the paper?

Where does your mind go when you get a sore throat, headache, stomach pain? Is it the cancer, another form of cancer, a side effect from treatment?

When you wake up each day and your first thought is "I have cancer", how does it affect you?

When someone you haven't seen in a while, asks quietly, "how are you feeling"? What about when they state, "you really look good". Are they asking in general or are they wanting to really know what is going on with you. And how should someone with cancer look?

Just some thoughts that tend to happen every week and wondered what others think of how cancer affects them.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Living the Double Life

Ever since being diagnosed three years ago, the internal struggle to keep living life in the face of cancer has been wearing. Some days I just want to work and forget that I was ever diagnosed and some days I want to embrace the fact that I have cancer and grab the opportunity to live like there is no tomorrow. Some days I want to work on projects related to my career and some days want to write additions to the book that is slowly coming along. Some days I want to go to the doctor for the small things that won't go away and then I remember I have cancer and do I really want to go in the event the small things aren't that small?

Living life with chronic cancer can be daunting. Treatment has worked so far so "get out there and live." Go to work, play, take out the trash, feed the dogs...just get on with life. But wait, the cancer is lurking, will it show up soon, will it stay away for many years, will the small ache be something really large? Do you turn away from the big "C" and try to forget or do you pay respect to the monster, keep eating organic, keep daily prayer, and prepare for the worse?

We are all going to die, we just don't know when. Being diagnosed just helps to face the known a little sooner and possibly a little harsher in that we get a heads up. The double life that must be balanced is the life of either being a person living with cancer or a person disabled by the fact that cancer has struck. Will I face the monster heads on and keep living or try to avoid the facts and run from the monster to the life that was there prior to being diagnosed? Will I ignore the message that I was given to get on with a life that is worth living because there isn't a guarantee of tomorrow? Do I want to wait until I'm sick again to only then wish I was eating right, exercising regularly and tell myself I won't let this take me or do I pay respect and realize that every day, every moment, every breath is a gift to not take for granted?

My hope is that every day I awake to give life a chance, to breathe every moment I get a chance and to realize that there is no guarantee. To not wait until I get sick again to only then plan to prepare but I get going now. To pay cancer the respect it deserves but not forget that I am a person living this life and not a diseased body just waiting for my turn. I not only wish this for myself, but for all those affected by this illness, to the survivors who bring strength.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Voice of the Patient

Seems like each doctor visit, each lab draw, each scan brings forth another opportunity to come in contact with another health care provider. Someone who has their own struggles, their own dreams and their own day to day chores that we have as a patient. What sometimes happens is that in the rush of work, keeping up productivity and being pressed for time to get through each test, lab draw and visit, the focus on the patient can be lost.

The focus on being present is something that many strive for in each and every day. The problem comes in when being a patient may not fall in line with the lack of focus that the health care provider may have at that moment when we need them. It might have been there for the previous patient and might be there for the next one, but if it's not there for us at that moment, all might be lost. Our voice needs to be heard, not necessarily loud but heard for what we need at that moment. Sometimes a smile, a thank you, an appreciative word might be all that's needed to bring the focus of the health care staff back into the moment.

The voice of the patient is so very important, no matter what stage we might be undergoing with our treatment. Take a moment to watch this video as it brings a lot of power and is worth a brief moment in time to watch. The video is from Urban Zen

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Roly Rolon will give $15,000 to LIVESTRONG. http://VoteRoly.com

Sometimes you come across someone is works hard and tries to make a difference...this guy hits the mark