In May I will be 18 years cancer-free after a terminal diagnosis. I am often told how blessed I am, how God found favor in me that led to my survival. I agree 100%. I am so blessed. I believe in God and feel that he blessed me with surviving my cancer long enough to see my kids graduate from grade school, Jr. High school, High School and even college! I even was hear for my youngest’s wedding! I celebrated my 30th wedding anniversary!
But a thought just occurred to me the other day. Have all of those who have told me how blessed I am to have survived cancer thought of how blessed they are never to have had cancer? To have never dealt with the Mother of All Surgeries, to have never had to deal with chemo therapy, to have never learned to live with uncertainty for years as we continually get tested for recurrence?
We do survive cancer, but we really never get to go back to our before-cancer normal. I remember missing my “normal” life after I was diagnosed and while I was in treatment.
Most of those who tell us how blessed we are also seem to assume that once cancer treatment, the surgeries and chemo are over, we can just go back to our “normal” lives, cancer is behind us. But in a sense it never really is totally “over”. We will have the designation “cancer survivor” for the rest of our natural lives. Cancer will always be a part of our lives, though the part does get smaller as the years go by (I’m here to tell you that!). We are blessed, but we are also changed.