Once a cancer patient….

It’s been a busy year of friends going through the stages of cancer.  It seems way too many women I know have come face-to-face with breast cancer.  My thinking is it’s because they are ‘Boomers’ and that age group is the sweet spot for certain cancers in people of a certain age.  I hate it when those stats you hear about actually become a part of reality.

So I’ve gone through the 1) Discovery part, 2) Diagnosis part, 3) Treatment part, 4) Scan part, and now the 5) Hope part.  It’s the last part that’s the long-lasting piece of this disease that bothers me the most.

Hope goes with the doctor’s words “You’re good to go.  See you back here in 6 months, resume your life.”  So slowly my friends have tried to slip back into those ‘normal’ days.  Instead of planning schedules around treatment, they have tried to go back to the old times.  Possible?  Maybe.

As I see them get healthier as the weeks go by because every day without chemo is a day when your body can shed those horrible chemicals that have found a way to be absorbed into the body.  Their eyes get clearer, they walk faster, the color of their skin is back in the pink versus yellow part of the color wheel.  Bottom line, the farther away from treatment they are, chemo or radiation, they act and sound like themselves again.  It’s a wonderful thing to watch.

I know they feel better and they are trying so hard to put those months of ‘cancer care’ behind them.  But every now and then, in conversation they will drop back into their ‘cancer patient mode’ and talk about the possibility of having to return to treatment days.  A new diagnosis; a relapse; a different cancer; a late effect cancer from prior treatment.

It is here, where I jump in with all the HOPE and positive vibes I can muster, and suggest they just don’t go there.  But they can’t help it and I know that because once a cancer patient….


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