Today is my cancerversary. Two years ago on this date, I was diagnosed with advanced lung cancer.
While my current status is No Evidence of Disease, I know the cancer is still lurking in my body; it’s only being suppressed (not cured) by the targeted drug crizotinib.
I’ve felt myself sliding towards depression this week. I know from past experience what depression feels like, and I do not want to go there again. I suspect subconcious awareness of my cancerversary is part of the reason. Physical discomfort due to treatment side effects (especially hand pain), steroid-induced excess weight and a newly-diagnosed partial hamstring tear aren’t helping matters. It also bugs me that fatigue has kept me from being as supportive as I’d like when my husband recently had cataract surgery.
When I woke up this morning, I realized that somehow, sometime, I had adopted a victim mentality. I have been passively accepting the crap that my body was handing me. That is simply not acceptable.
True, the cancer ain’t gone, but neither am I! Through no small effort of many people, including myself, I am alive. I am not going to waste the gift.
I can’t choose not to have cancer, but I CAN choose how I want to feel about it. Today, I choose to feel empowered and hopeful.
I can’t choose not to have side effects, but I CAN choose not to let the discomforts of my body keep me from exercising. Exercise makes a huge difference in my mood. Today, I choose to go swimming for the first time in years.
I can’t choose not to be fatigued, but I CAN choose how I react when the irritability rises unbidden. Today, I choose to hold my tongue and listen for understanding.
Today, my cancerversary commemorates not just the start of my cancer battle, but my renewed efforts to LIVE.
To celebrate, I bought new underwear. Take THAT, cancer! 😛