I was thinking about how all of us are so different. Some people face cancer as a battle, some look at it as just another hassle and no big deal, some choose to laugh at cancer and some live in denial. Of course, there are many other ways people face cancer in their life but I thought “Why not share my point of view”? So, here is what carcinoid cancer is like for me. Maybe other bloggers might want to write something similar without going too long? It might be interesting and we can all link to other blog posts. Just a thought.
A Little Background
Unfortunately, circumstances conspired against me and this cancer had already spread throughout my body before I was diagnosed. So, I went from normal to stage 4 in a few weeks. My family was rocked, my bank account emptied and was my body has truly taken a beating. Since my initial diagnosis, my cancer has continued to spread. Only recently has the growth been halted through the use of radiation. It is a treatment called PRRT. You can read my first post about it if you’re interested. Read More
What Carcinoid Cancer Is Like For Me
I do have a long version of my story and actually an updated version as well if you are inclined to read it. Read More and Read More (updated) We’ve really been through the ringer but that’s the short version. So, let me share with you what carcinoid cancer is like for me.
Reading this will be a little like condensed soup. I am keeping it short deliberately but I have written tons of posts to read on my blog that expand on everything. Anyway, here’s how I see it.
I Choose Life
Since being diagnosed in 2013, and fighting every day since then, I can say that I am sad every day because I may die from this disease or have my lifespan shortened. I have always loved life and losing any time on this planet makes me sad.
For cancer patients, there is always a decision to be made when receiving cancer treatment. It involves quality of life or quantity of life. I will choose quantity over quality of life every time. In fact, it always bothers me when a doctor or a friend or family members presume to make that decision for me. I am not you. Maybe you will choose to die rather than deal with pain or misery but I do not. If I was bed ridden all I would ask is to be near an open window and to be given a fresh flower to smell. I would be good…never mind the pain…never mind the fatigue. One more good experience is all I want.
My Poor Little Family
I am sad every day because my loving wife and 8 year old son must also bear this burden. It is true, life is a randomized thing and you never know what it will bring but I so wish my little family was spared from all of this pain and suffering that we must endure. Our souls are woven together like a huge and beautiful tapestry and when I suffer so do they.
It sorrows me that I cannot give more to my son and play ball with him more, help him with his homework more, ride bikes with him like other dads or chase him around the yard at a birthday party. I’ve never been a lounge chair dad. I’ve always been involved, running, jumping and maybe starting a few water fights. Yes, I can still do some of those things and yes, he is a happy boy but, it couldn’t be any more frustrating to ME.
Finally, it seems that people are willing to overlook his hurt, pain and suffering because he his a child. I have hear things like don’t worry “Kid’s bounce back” and “He’ll get over it.” Well, I have already seen things that he will never “bounce back from” in his life. He is already in danger of being detained from continuing on to the second grade. He has cried at the airport when we had to leave to get my cancer treatment. Has had to stay away from me because of radiation after that and constantly talks about my chemo, my “medicine”, will I be better. It’s not fair to him. He is a human with emotions and should be treated as such by others. Lisa and I always treat him with respect and acknowledge his emotions.
As for my wife. My bride of almost 30 years. What can I say? We are a perfect match. We almost never fight and when we do we are quick to apologize and forgive. All of this is done with complete honesty. I never hide my feelings from her, hide my pain physically or emotionally. Oh, and that is a two way street. She has always shared those things with me as well. Of course, we share joys too.We are soul mates, as they say.
Imagine then, as I know some of you can, having to deal with the pain of your losing the one person who understands you. The one person that “gets” you. The only person that can bring you from the depths of despair to turn and face the sun and cheer up. Imagine seeing that person in physical and emotional pain and suffering every single day and not being able to fix it. Last Sunday at church, she was in tears because of this very thing. On top of that our hard earned savings is gone and everyday is a financial struggle now. That is what my poor wife must deal with. If only I could change things….but I cannot.
I Am Thankful
Yes, my life may or may not be shortened. Yes, I may die from this cancer…although I don’t believe that I will. Yes, all of the negative things I have outlined are true but I am truly thankful to God for my life. From the moment my eyes blinked open and I breathed my first breath, I have been lucky enough to see beauty, meet my wife and start a small family. Every sunset, sunrise, flower, musical song from a bird, towering tree and twinkling star above remind me of his creativity, care for me and that I am not alone. I am thankful, so thankful to have my little family. 😀
God knew the path my life would take. God knew that I would get cancer and what the outcome will be. I Trust God as a child trusts a parent but, unlike our earthly parents, God’s love is infinite. I rest my life and my family’s life in his all powerful, all seeing hands. There is no better place for us to be.
I Am Not An Optimist And I Am Not A Pessimist
Some people only see the sunny side of life. They say things like “Everything happens for a reason” and “If God closes a door he opens a window.” That’s not me. If “God closes a door” maybe it’s because there’s bees outside. Maybe you should stay inside the house! ha ha ha!!! 😀 As for the idea that everything happens for a reason, I often find this is used by people as an excuse to NEVER REASON. That’s just not my way.
Of course, there’s the flip side. You know, they are the people who say “The glass if half empty so I might as well dump the rest out”. Every day is a new complaint and if they sneeze…well, we better gather the family because it might be their “time to go”. Often, they want to die or, at least, that’s what they say! 😀 I know you know one of these people. 😀 That has never been my style either. I have seen too many hopeless situations turn around to think like that.
I am more of a realist. Yes, I have an incurable cancer but it’s only incurable until the first person is cured and then it’s curable. I plan to be first in line for the cure. 🙂 There’s a famous rap song called “Get rich or die trying” (no I’m not a big rap guy) but I would rather change it to “Get cured or die trying”. Now, that really speaks to me. With God’s help, I will assault the mountain of my cancer and bring my family to the top on my back. Of course, we’re a team but this is my point of view. I won’t quit. I might get knocked down for a day, a week or maybe even a month but sooner or later I get back up. I am determined to beat this. 🙂
How I Try To Live
I make the most of every day. I’ve always been like that and I’m more like that now. I wake up and I don’t think, “Great. Another day with cancer”. I actually wake up and look forward to the day and the future with hope and faith and all of my strength to try and change the path I am on with my cancer. I don’t dwell on the negative but I fully acknowledge it. I try to keep a sense of humor. 🙂 Even cancer has it’s funny moments. Yes, I will share. 😀
As you may already know, we have been traveling to Houston, Texas to get my PRRT treatments for my cancer. That travel usually involves flights to and from Alabama to drop my son off at my sister’s and brother in-law’s house. Previously, I have not been able to walk through the airport and have used a wheel chair AND my son likes to push.
There was this one trip. It stands out in infamy. As you know, the airports can have hills within the hallway leading to the gates. David was pushing me and we were going pretty fast downhill. We got to the bottom and David was laughing his head off. “David”, I said, “not so fast next time.” Lisa looks at me and says “Honey, he let go.” The little stinker was running behind the chair but had let go. I was free wheeling down the stinking corridor. I guess that I should be thankful that he was running behind me…I GUESS…BUT, I will tell you this, he does not push me down hills any longer! ha ha ha!!! 😀
So, that’s me. What is your cancer experience like? I would love to read about how you deal with your journey on your blog or even as a comment on my blog. 😀