My Guide To Surviving Cancer

Cancer is such a buzz kill. It’s worse than swine flu and harder to talk about than herpes. But it touches all of us in some way. Right now, you either know someone, or know someone who knows someone with cancer.
Living with cancer boy, your job is to keep him on track in every way.  You are his cheerleader when he gets blue, his home care nurse when he looks green, his medical insurance coordinator when he’s in the red, his tough-loving lecturer when he starts a black downward spiral, and most importantly, his standup, sit-down, lie-down comic when he gets too serious.
When we first learned about Steven’s cancer we could barely comprehend the magnitude of the diagnosis.  It was overwhelming. We felt numb. We knew exactly what it meant and we didn’t want to think about, it but we had to.  There were tons of decisions to be made right away. Most were really scary because they were so extensive. It can be almost paralyzing if you allow yourself to consider the outcome of a bad medical choice. That’s pressure!
Cancer came into our world seven years ago. My way of addressing that big fat elephant in the room was, “You could die from this, and that would suck…for me.  Don’t do that”. That was the only time the subject came up.  We acknowledged it and moved on.  And from that moment we’ve tried to make the most of each day, to laugh in the face of cancer when we can, and to take each hurdle as it comes.
When things get tough, I bring it back into perspective with my arthritic toe.  I have one.  It hurts a lot.  Especially when it gets cold or I’ve been wearing heels or I walk into the coffee table.  Doctors concur, it will never go away.  I like to remind Steven that lymphoma can be treated, but my arthritic toe will ache forever so I have it much worse. That absurdity is monumental, disarming the scary, solemn moments.  Luckily we both find my arthritic toe funny, which is good because (boohoo) there really is no cure!  Every caregiver has an “arthritic toe”. Find yours.
As we get further along, living with cancer, I oversee Steven’s history and future.  I think he has amazing insight, strength and leadership.  He is one of the smartest people I know.  But both his spelling and grammar suck. So I’ve designated myself to be the Recording Secretary of Living with Cancer.
I also prefer keeping accuracy in describing chains of events and details.
Steven likes to use “Chemo Brain” as an excuse for informational mistakes from memory lapses.  What the Chemo Brain has made him forget is that his memory wasn’t that great before the chemo. The good thing is that I can tell him he promised to take me out for dinner, and he just assumes he’s forgotten.  So for me, cancer has brought a lot more dinner dates!

One thought on “My Guide To Surviving Cancer

  1. This post was very well written, and it also contains a lot of useful facts. I enjoyed your distinguished way of writing the post. Thanks, you have made it easy for me to understand.


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