Thursday, September 17, 2009

Beautiful but deadly

The photo above is beautiful isn't it? Looks like it could be somewhere under the sea, but it is not. It is an enlarged photo of breast cancer cells. It was 2 years ago on September 18th at 1:07pm that I was told "It's cancer." It seems like so long ago, and sometimes it seems like only yesterday. On the evening before my 2 year "cancerversary" I pause to reflect.

There are some of times that I wonder why me? Why did I get this disease? Why did I have to go through all the chemo, radiation,surgery, hair loss, depression, sadness, anger, bullshit of this, having large amounts of medical bills to pay, which I will probably be paying off way until I am in my 60s, explaining to people what happened, having over 10 doctor appointments in a month, waiting sometimes at least a half hour for those doctors (which kind of drives me crazy but that could be a whole other blog) chemo brain, having my hair turn grey,having my skin feel scaly, having no appetite,insomnia, being so freaking tired I could sleep where I stand (I am sure they wouldn't appreciate that at the local grocery store or walmart) not being able to play hockey for 2 years.

Now most of you who know me and have read this blog know that I have kept a pretty positive attitude through all this, but some days it was impossible to do that.

2 years, 24 months, 730 Days. That is a long ass time. I have been through a lot in that time. More than some survivors I know, also less than some survivors I know. Some people have called me brave and courageous, I disagree with that. I just did what I had to do. I have read many other survivors opinions on this, some get angry when people call them brave or courageous, that what other choice did they have? I had one friend who didn't make that choice, who decided to wait until it was way too late, I blogged about him before, what would those people say about him, that he wasn't brave or courageous, that because he was uninsured he waited and now he is gone. I am not going into a discussion of the health care debate. My opinion is this go to the doctor, get a physical, if you need further treatment for cancer or some other disease, get it, they can't turn you down, its better to be alive and broke than dead.

One friend of mine told me I am a lot more pleasant to be around since my diagnosis, I asked him what he meant and he said I don't get as upset as I used to. That is the truth for sure, but I thank the medication I am on for that mostly, but I guess cancer has something to do with that as well, I fly off the handle less.

Cancer has given me a voice, strength I never knew I had, and ability to advocate and help people. It has made me a different person, sometimes better, sometimes not.

Has it made me a better person? I don't know.

I do know this, I am grateful to be here.

Mel is the producer of the Vic McCarty show. Listen live Monday-Friday 10am-noon eastern standard time on