I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long. Used to be I started my New Years Resolutions on May 1st, as that’s when I felt spring officially started and for me that felt like a time of new beginnings. So I’m looking forward to May 1st, and maintaining this site and writing more often will be my New Years Resolution this year (one of them, I have a few more that I think I’ll officially start on May 1st!).
I’m in a different place than most of you, a place I hope where most of you will join me. I will be a 19 year cancer-free survivor of signet ring appendiceal cancer next month. Next year will be 20 years…wow!
I now no longer fear cancer recurring…I did for many years after my diagnosis and treatment. I feared it for at least 8 years, maybe more. When I got to 8 or 9 years, I stopped getting the CT scans every year, I gave up the “scanxiety” we all suffer from when we get scans that will reveal if we have a future or not, at least a cancer free future. I started to worry more about all of the radiation from my CT scans causing new cancers. Really, it was a lot of radiation. I got scans every 3 months at first, then every 6, then yearly. Most were with and without contrast of the chest, abdomen and pelvis. At some time they didn’t do the chest anymore, but still a lot of radiation. I’d thought that initally I was told if it recurred, it would most likely recur in 3 years. I felt just a tad more comfortable at 5 years (remember many years ago if you were cancer free for 5 years after treatment they called you “cured”…no more), but I liked surviving 5 years. Of course I heard of someone who had a recurrence 13 years after treatment, of course that made me uncomfortable a bit until I passed 15 years.
But now, cancer isn’t foremost in my mind, I don’t think of cancer often or worry about my cancer coming back. I can plan for the future now (I couldn’t for several years after my diagnosis).
Now I’m older, I just turned 60! I was 41 when I was diagnosed. I’ve lived to experience so many things. My kids were in grade school, 10 and 11 years old, when I was diagnosed. I got to see them graduate grade school, Jr. High, High school and college. Both are married now, both are independent and have their own lives. They needed me so much more when I was diagnosed and I was so afraid of abandoning them.
I’m sure though that now I am cancer free and feel cancer free, that their are ways cancer has changed me and changed my perspective and who I am now. I’m going to start thinking about that and writing about that here.
Are any of you long term survivors? Are you newly diagnosed? Where are you in your cancer journey?
Just a thought, and I would love your feedback. I am a professor at a local community college, and now with COVID (need to write about that too!) I am teaching online. I interact with my students twice a week on ZOOM. I can see them and we can converse and hold conversations. Seems everyone is using Zoom nowadays!
Since I’m good at using Zoom nowadays, I would love if I could have online meetings with you, if we could all really talk and communicate, maybe once a month? Your only have to use your first name, or even no name at all! My daughters and I aren’t seeing a lot of each other since the virus, so Weds. night my husband and I and both of our daughters and their husbands all had a Zoom meeting with us, a bit like being in the same room!
If we do Zoom, we can set up a date and time and I could post a link here for anyone to access or I could email you the link).
Let me know what you think!!! I’d love to “meet” you!