Winning the lottery…

It’s like winning the lottery isn’t it?

You’ve heard the words, “YOU have cancer.”  Your world is shattered.  Everything you thought was normal, steady, even routine, changes in an instant.  None of those things apply to your life any more.

You’re a cancer patient now.  You live in cancer world.  Words like chemotherapy, radiation, scans, clinical trials: they all become a part of your new vocabulary.

You have a care giver now, some one who used to be your partner, your spouse.

It’s a different life.

So, you go through treatment and you’re lucky enough to walk away from all of it with the letters, N-E-D written on your medical chart.  No more cancer.  No evidence of disease.  Your medical team says, “See you in 3 months,” and then it’s maybe 6 months, and if all continues to go well, no check-up for a year.  It’s all good.

It’s like winning the lottery isn’t it?  So, how many times have you heard people say, if they win the lottery they would change their lives?  They would appreciate life more and help people who needed a hand?  They would give some of their winnings to needy causes instead of buying cars and houses and gaudy jewelry.  If the lottery changed them, it would change them in a good way.

Now, put those same ideas into the cancer box.  Surviving cancer is a huge accomplishment.  You are a changed person on so many levels.  You appreciate life more and how many times during treatment did you whisper to yourself in the dark of night, “If I get through this, I’ll be a better person?”  “I’ll help other cancer patients who aren’t as lucky.  I’ll reach out and do what I can to make their lives a little easier?”

It is like winning the lottery, isn’t it?  Maybe even more important because the lessons learned help others.

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