Chapter 19: Survivorship

Tonight we had the good fortune of attending the National Cancer Survivors Day celebration at our church. They had a panel of three local oncologists (general, surgical and radiation) who briefly presented on their approach to treating patients and what is new/coming soon in the field of cancer treatment and survival. While very little of what was discussed actually applied to Don’s situation (neuroendocrine is an oddball cancer, for sure!), it was very interesting and hope-filled. And sitting in a room full of cancer survivors is a good thing.

So when I got home I immediately saw a picture in my mind of how I have been feeling about all of this. My coworkers have heard me say “my foggy brain” which is true, but finally I could actually visualize what I mean by foggy. When you, or someone you love, gets a diagnosis like this, it impacts everything. It rocks your world. It seizes you out of the comfort zone (the normally good but stressful, busy comfort zone) and into a new plane of existence. As you can see here in the blog, I also call it the roller coaster ride, but now a little more bumpy.

BrainOnCancer2

My brain before cancer landed in our family

I bet that the picture above is similar to what we would see in your thoughts, too. Lots of balls in the air, mostly good, some challenging, all vying for attention.

BrainOnCancer1

My brain after cancer landed in our family.

It may be hard to see the foggy words, but they say:
Neuroendocrine Cancer —> surgery   —> recovery  —> insurance  —>
    monthly meds  —> symptoms

So this is the fog I am living in. There are probably other foggy sub-bubbles that I did not list here. Don probably has the fog, too, although this blog is my perspective, not his, so I won’t claim to speak for him. And I submit to you that while our fog at this moment is cancer, the fog can be any major stresser or trauma in our lives. I think my therapist friends and social worker friends would confirm this for me.

The opening speaker tonight said, “If you didn’t drop dead when you heard you had cancer, you are a survivor!” Right on.

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5 thoughts on “Chapter 19: Survivorship

  1. I am pulling for you guys 100%. I have seen many survivors and have great confidence in the new and ongoing studies for cures. Does Don have a local oncologist? I know surgery is at Duke.

    Liked by 1 person

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