9 years and counting…

It’s a year later and I’ve hit my 9th year being cancer free. Being only a few months short of my 50th birthday I’m at an age that I thought I would never see due my diagnosis back in Aug 2001.  Our 3 kids were small back then and my wife is a positive thinker.  For me, I’m a realist and engineer and the data on the statistics was what scared me.  The statistics of missing early detection still scares me.  Mental focus is the thing that saved me.

It’s still difficult to hear of familiar people who unfortunately have not been saved.  This past year has been one of hearing about colleagues and their loved ones who have been claimed by the disease.  For me reaching out and helping still remains and will always be part of the responsibility of surviving.

This year I was glad to see a colleague get a good prognosis on bladder cancer.  Through early detection, action and diligence the outlook is bright.   In fact this is the best medical treatment: early detection, removal and monitoring for certain types of cancer.

In my opinion besides undetected cancer that has metastasized, denial and procrastination are the two attributes that end up costing people their lives.  I’ve always been a get it done type of guy with everything, as my wife Ellen and kids will attest, so it helped me with my battle of cancer.  It still does today as I’m “tone locked” on what I have to do each year for follow-up.

I keep fighting 1 year at a time to remember those who can no longer fight…

Get yourself a check up.

It saved my life.

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4 thoughts on “9 years and counting…

  1. Bob,
    This is awesome news!!! Keep the push for awareness and NO procrastination going…it is the key as you know. BTW, I know the scare and can only imagine what you went thru….

    I had a scare 5 years ago with a bone tumor in my tibia; although I had biopsies and then major surgery to fill it in, the good news ended up being that it was benign. I just got “clearance” at my 5 year check up. What a relief.

    Hope you enjoy the rest of the summer and beyond, for many years to come!

    All the best,
    Julie “Rao” Martin

  2. Bob, your message is good. We cannot let the numbers play games with our minds. We must give the fight all we have. We have over 500 cancer survivor volunteers who are willing to talk to a newly diagnosed cancer person or supporter. Your friends just need to contact our Bloch Cancer Hotline at 800-433-0464 to talk to a survivor of their type of cancer and to request our free books, “Fighting Cancer”, “Cancer…there’s hope”, and the “Guide for Cancer Supporters”. We and many other organizations are here to help a person get through their cancer journey.

  3. Bob – you make an excellent point. Numbers are only numbers — ride the right of the statistical survival tail! Those stats don’t tell how many people survived, only medians (and in some cases, means). Statistics really don’t tell us much. What makes the difference? As a survivor diagnosed at Stage Four, I believe that it’s not being afraid to experiment with alternative treatments in tandem with traditional medicine (under a knowledgeable healthcare practitioner’s guidance), a positive mental outlook, and preventative measures such as cleaning up your personal environment and following an anti-cancer diet. David Servan-Schreiber is a wonder primer on adjusting your lifestyle in his book Anticancer: A New Way of Life. A fantastic read for your blog followers or for anyone for that matter. Early detection is certainly important, but for some of us that wasn’t an option. Congratulations on your success and best of luck to you!

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