Monday, May 4, 2015

I Did Not "Beat" Cancer

OK sorry to start off with such a grim title for this post, but bear with me. I'll explain why.
The other day someone said to me, albeit with good intentions. "You beat this once. You'll beat it again."
Sigh...I have always been a realist about this. I am not a defeatist in the least. But...
I did not beat this disease.

This disease was merely put into remission by my having extensive surgery and 6 months of chemotherapy. You can say that my treatment was successful for a while. Almost 3 years in fact.
But the cancer didn't go anywhere.
Cells remained inside my body, and for whatever reason they once again began to proliferate and grow.
It is not a new form of cancer I have. It is exactly the very same ovarian cancer I have had since my diagnosis in 2012. I don't even have ovaries anymore, yet my body continues to produce mutated, cancerous ovarian cells. If removing ovaries were all it took, no one would die from ovarian cancer or breast cancer for that matter. I have what is known as metastatic disease. That is why people die from this. It moves to other places in your body. Often major organs like your liver and lungs or intestines.
Many women in end stage ovarian cancer die from an actual bowel obstruction caused by tumor involvement.
For example. You may recall MTV personality Diem Brown and her courageous battle with this disease. The Press often got it wrong by printing that she had "Beat cancer twice." and now had a 3rd cancer. This is wrong. She never beat her original ovarian cancer. She just took her chemo and put it in hibernation for a while.
I just want to clear this up. Ovarian cancer is certainly treatable up to a point. Who knows, Maybe Science will eventually come up with a magic bullet someday to eradicate this blight.
In the meantime I continue to seek treatment. I want to put the beast back in its cage for a while or however long God sees fit. I don't feel like my journey is over yet.
I may die from this cancer.
I may also be hit by lightning or run over by a bus.
Death is the inevitable conclusion of Life.
Until then, I like to concentrate on a Life well lived. I seek to show and encourage kindness in others.
This is enough for me.
I may not beat cancer.
But for damn sure, it won't beat me.


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