Cathy Foster, we’re all with you in your fight. It sounds to me like you’ve got the right formula for pushing back on this ugly disease. The right combination of drugs, treatment and your will to live has given the beast one heck of a battle. You’ve survived cancer. Wear that survivor’s badge with honor.
I measure surviving cancer, not by the amount of years you live past your diagnosis….that’s not fair to the many cancer patients who put everything they had into the fight. Maybe they didn’t live more than a few weeks or a few months, but they made an effort and survived until they couldn’t anymore. It was still a victory against their cancer.
There are so many faces of survivorship. We, who fall under the caregiver umbrella are cancer survivors too. The ‘lucky’ ones can look over and see their cancer patient sitting in the chair next to them. All that caregiving combined with successful cancer treatment, produced two survivors.
My situation didn’t turn out to be quite so good. My care giving and almost three years of intense cancer treatment, couldn’t save Leroy from his disease. After his death, there was only one survivor left in this house….me. Resuming life has been a bumpy ride, to say the least. Surviving cancer from a caregiver’s point of view means learning how to re-enter the world again. The world without your loved one and without a need for your “caregivers toolbox.” They call it “re-adjusting.”
The younger cancer survivor has a completely different dilemma. They could have parents who have been struck by the heartache of watching a son or daughter go through treatment. Maybe they have young kids themselves. Could be there’s even a set of grandparents still living who have worried themselves sick over a grandchild with cancer. How do they get back to normal when treatment is finished and the patient has become the survivor? How does this entire family unit go back to their old ways after cancer has changed all these lives?
Each one of us who has been touched by this disease wears the face of cancer survivor.
In so many different ways, we have earned it..yes we have.