I received an email from Sylvester Cancer Center informing me that June 4th is National Cancer Survivors Day. As a result, they are planning a fun-filled week of activities. I had never heard of National Cancer Survivors Day, so I went to the website to learn about the day.
According to the website, National Cancer Survivors Day® is an annual, Celebration of Life that is held in hundreds of communities nationwide, and around the world, on the first Sunday in June. It is a CELEBRATION for those who have survived, an INSPIRATION for those recently diagnosed, a gathering of SUPPORT for families, and an OUTREACH to the community. On National Cancer Survivors Day®, thousands gather across the globe to honor cancer survivors and to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be fruitful, rewarding and even inspire. It is a day for everyone, whether you’re a cancer survivor, a family member, friend, or medical professional.
The day provides an opportunity for all people living with a history of cancer – including America’s more than 15.5 million cancer survivors – to connect with each other, celebrate milestones, and recognize those who have supported them along the way. It is also a day to draw attention to the ongoing challenges of cancer survivorship in order to promote more resources, research, and survivor-friendly legislation to improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.
I thought I would share this information on my Blog, as getting brain cancer was the impetus for me starting Nurse Advocate. As you know, I was diagnosed with a central nervous system lymphoma November 24, 2014. I underwent aggressive chemotherapy which worked and currently I am tumor free. Despite complications from the chemo which has impacted my executive function, mobility and left me unable to drive, I am doing well as I work to adjust to my ‘new normal’.
My doctor has cautioned me, that the tumor can re-occur so I get an MRI and blood work frequently so we can catch ‘it’ early if there is going to be a re-occurrence. When I think about it, my doctor and I have not discussed re-occurrence in detail except to say, if I have any problems to call him right away. When I asked the doctor what problems I should look for he said, I don’t want to tell you what to look for, just call me if you notice anything out of the ordinary. If I am honest, there are a lot of things that are ‘out of the ordinary’ in my life today. In fact, I usually have a list of things that I noticed that are different today than they were prior to finding the brain tumor. I bring my list to the doctor’s visits and share my concerns, but as my scans are clear he does not seem to be worried about them. So I keep on going.
I am not sure if I qualify as a survivor, but I am grateful to have had a good outcome and to be alive today.
There is never a minute when I don’t wonder how I got brain cancer and if it will it come back. I know no one can give me the answers to these questions, so I go on with my life the best I can and try to live every day to the fullest.
Thank you for reading Nurse Advocate and for supporting me with your thoughts, positive thoughts, and well wishes. They are much appreciated!