This week on the Open Book Blog Hop we’re writing about a personal experience. I thought I’d put a slightly different slant on living with cancer.
I recently read that one in two of us will suffer from cancer at some point in our lives. It used to be one in three, but apparently the goalposts have moved yet again. Some aggressive cancers of course are difficult to treat, but in these modern times cancer often doesn’t cause an early death, but instead the sufferer has to learn to live with a chronic illness, just as I have been doing for nearly 12 years now.
To keep a serene mind, I’ve found the question it’s best not to ask at the initial diagnosis is ‘why me?’. If you’ve been looking after your body and not smoking, drinking or eating to excess, it’s easy to rant and rave and ask why. I have never smoked, drink only very occasional alcohol, and have never allowed my weight to creep up, yet I was struck down with advanced thyroid cancer in 2004 at the age of 47 (the same age as my father and his brother were diagnosed with other cancers back in the 1970’s). Thyroid cancer had probably been in my body for years and had caused no symptoms, and it was only finally noticing a lump in my neck that caused me to make an appointment to see the GP.
Therefore, I carry on with my life the best I can and I’ve answered this question with ‘why not?‘ Therein lies the solution! Why should I have been spared amongst millions of others? What makes me so special? That’s the problem – I’m not special at all, and cancer is indiscriminate.
Don’t think it’s the end of your life if you are diagnosed. Keep a positive attitude and undergo suitable treatment. I’ve lost count of the number of operations and procedures I’ve had, but hey, I’m still here and now I’m doing the job I love….writing. Cancer has given me the opportunity to take early retirement and write novels. Okay, I’m not so keen on the marketing aspect of writing, but neither is any other author. I earn a modest income from Amazon every month to supplement my pension, and writing takes my mind off any health problems I may have and transports it somewhere else where my characters can come to life. I’ve also recently found a suitable publisher with Creativia, who hopefully look set to take my novels to the next level with their marketing street team.
One thing is certain – when it’s your time to go then it’s your time to go. Not one of us gets out of this life alive, and I’m well aware of this fact. I make sure I eat healthily and take exercise every day, and I make the most of every day as it comes. Long ago I discovered that it’s no use catastrophising and worrying about what might happen; it’ll happen anyway with or without my consent. I make appointments with my spiritual healer, who is so laid-back about life that he’s almost comatose, and on the whole try to forget on a day-to-day basis that I have cancer. Side-effects from treatments sometimes make it difficult to forget, but then I mentally stick two fingers up at my foe, take one day at a time, and realise just for the moment, that I’ve won the battle.
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