Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Staying Alive

It's been just over a year since I received the diagnosis, and nearly exactly a year since surgery. I feel almost normal, physically. There are reminders, like lymphedema. I'm frustrated by the guilt I saddle myself with about drinking alcohol or eating sugar, and somewhere deep down I know that I am still just barely out of the physical and psychological trauma of cancer treatments. But what can you do? Keep moving forward. I've got another check-up next week. I've hardly thought beyond the logistics of a quick trip to Berlin. No big deal? I guess we'll find out soon.

A confluence of music and curiosity brought me to an article about surviving cancer treatment and moving on. The choices people make when they face down the threat of a slow, painful, inevitable death, and then the slow, painful treatment and recovery. What then? The cliches hold. People can do amazing things, from enjoying their day-to-day lives completely to learning to fly airplanes.

Then the Guardian posted this article, also about cancer and survival. I like this one in particular because it helps remind me that taking care of myself is important, but it's not the whole story. If a guy can be in peak physical shape and still get cancer three times, I guess I don't have to guilt trip myself about relaxing with my husband over a beer after a 2 hour walk with the dog. As much as I wish I could save myself through action, I may have no control whatsoever.

Happy music anyone?