Another year and another milestone with my battle with cancer. 8 years cancer free. I view it as having two birthdays: September 14th, when I came into this world and August 1st when I was given the chance to fight for 8 more years. My life odometer is approaching 49 and it seems like yesterday that I noticed my blinking “check engine light.” I recently got my (now yearly) dose of needles, xrays and the seldom loved CT scan. While I have had my urologist reset the engine light for another year, general health maintenance is always wise. Not that I desire anymore needles since my second birthday, I was just treated to a cortisone injection into my left shoulder to help fight arthritis and shoulder stiffness. The pain relief was instant but my eyes got wide with what looked like a pipe instead of a syringe.
Another year has passed and there are people who have lost the battle. It remains difficult for me to hear of people in my local community who did not get that 2nd birthday as given to me. Children who have lost the battle to cancer remains the most troubling for me. While I have had the opportunity to grow into an adult, no child deserves to have their short life ended prematurely due to an illness. Surviving over children who have lost the battle with cancer still causes me some guilt. Knowing that I am a fighter brings some relief. The majority of the relief comes from talking about the illness and promoting early detection via education. Get yourself a yearly checkup no matter what is your current situation. I’m living proof. You are no different than an automobile when it comes to maintenance and early detection. Continuing to drive with your check engine light on is basically denial which can prove costly for your automobile as well as yourself.
I admire Lance Armstrong for his cancer battle. He inspired me and keeps me going with mine. Farah Fawcett remains a remarkable woman for the documentary of her own battle with cancer that she ultimately lost. Patrick Swayze is as courageous as anyone could be with his own battle with cancer. With these type of people as inspirations (Randy Pausch included), I cannot stop fighting for those who have lost the battle with cancer.
I’ll keep fighting for you, one second birthday at a time...