Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: A Recap

In the last 12 months, I've lost four friends to breast cancer. Amazing women all, their deaths weren't really shocking as all were diagnosed Stage IV.

My diagnosis was Stage II, primarily based on the size of the tumor (about five centimeters or two inches). Not needing chemotherapy, my prognosis was good and I've been NED (No Evidence of Disease) since 2004. And as amazing as that sounds, it does nothing to alleviate the fear of someday being diagnosed Stage IV myself.

In many ways, having had cancer has made me extremely careful. Always into healthy eating and fitness, I've been even more careful about what I put into and on my body in the last five years. Still have some difficulty eating five fruits and veggies a day, but I strive for it.

But in many more ways, being a cancer survivor has made me reckless in ways that have shocked me. Whether it is texting or talking on the phone while driving too fast or throwing caution to the wind with my finances, it's almost like somewhere in the back of my mind is what I call a "live for today because it could come back tomorrow" mentality. That's the lasting legacy that cancer leaves in its wake. Although it sometimes takes a back seat to the more pressing issues of work, family and that nagging need to buy groceries, it's always there hovering around and floating through the transom of my mind - and it totally sucks...

Please let this be the year where major steps are made towards finding a cure...

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