I know that I haven’t written in a very long time, but basically I’ve been on a downhill spiral for close to six years. No excuses, it just happened. I’ve lost several survivor friends and there’s been a boatload of survivors guilt and I’ve been dealing with it in my own way which isn’t something that I’d recommend, but it tends to be how I deal with things in general.
Now, I’m trying to get used to this version of me and finding that being “real” is something that I feel passionate about… I just had to figure out who the real “me” was. Now that I have… You’re in for a ride!
So allow me to introduce myself… I’m a twelve year survivor of liposarcoma (yeah, I wondered what the heck that was, too). Diagnosed with a six inch by four inch mass all behind and beside my right knee right after I became a runner (which can ruin a runner’s day under the best of circumstances). I went through three surgeries, six weeks of radiation, enough infections for three people, and three months of physical therapy to learn to stop walking like a duck and become a runner once again.
It’s no joke when they say that life post cancer is sometimes harder than going through treatment. For the first year post treatment, I silently suffered from major depression and was nearly at a breaking point when I finally gave in and sought treatment. I had fought anti-depressants for far too long and it was a godsend. I gave me the chance to laugh for the first time in over a year and that was a miracle, so please, if you’re going through treatment, don’t fight getting help with depression… Don’t be a martyr, it’s not worth it. Treatment is difficult enough; don’t allow it to be harder than it needs to be.
I no longer suffer with depression, but have tried to avoid cancer a bit for a while because I’ve seen far too many snake oil salesmen out there and naïve survivors grasping for things that are putting their lives at greater risk and it’s angered me to the point of walking away. It was a mistake.
I’m back! Not only that, but I’m going to take a stand for those that are fighting the battle and go back to living for the hope that REAL treatment can offer. I’m not saying that natural therapies help alongside traditional treatments, but these people selling this story that if you eat the “right” foods, live the ”right” way, believe the “right” things and drink those ghastly damn green grass drinks you won’t get cancer are seriously getting under my skin! Eating right, exercise, and taking care of yourself can help, but don’t kid yourself, cancer can strike ANYONE. Is it fair? Hell, no, but it can happen.
For those of us that were doing the “right” things when we were diagnosed, we get a little angry when we hear these stories. I lost a dear friend that was a vegetarian and a runner to lung cancer, when she NEVER smoked a day in her life and wasn’t around second hand smoke. She was destroyed, when she was diagnosed and when she heard this kind of talk, it only made it harder.
I was in the best shape of my life when I was diagnosed with liposarcoma (a rare fatty cancer) and someone even when so far as to suggest that it was the sin in my life (nearly got violent over that one). People that have never dealt with cancer need to start thinking before speaking because you can about destroy an individual fighting the battle of their life with your thoughtless words.
It doesn’t matter if they haven’t lived the best life, DON’T play the blame game! We know what we’re dealing with FAR more than you do, so just stop!
You don’t need to say anything, just be there. I lost just about EVERY friend I had when I was diagnosed and though it hurt like hell at the time, I quickly learned what mattered and who mattered. Be who matters to the survivors in your life… Be there.
If you’re a newly diagnosed individual or even someone like me that is long past treatment, feel free to contact me through this site. I want to help other survivors get through the chaos. I want you to know that you can get through this and even if the prognosis isn’t good, you have a friend.
Welcome to my site… I’m going to share how to we, as survivors can rock the world and make a HUGE impact.
And the picture really has nothing to do with this piece, but I hope it makes you smile… My very own flying monkey (every girl should have one!).