After almost 59 years of life, I now face the age of my mother when she died of cancer, yes I know it is possible I can die, or survive depending on how I handle my own cancer. Cancer has run in my family now for generations and sadly it has taken some of the better members of my extended family by surprise. Cancer as we all know is a deadly disease that they have one hell of a time stopping once it starts and can reoccur at any time in the person’s life. It is never really eradicated is it folks, it just become dormant until it overcomes the medications or radiation and chemo and comes back like a bad penny. cancer my friends is a nasty killer and it doesn’t matter, sex, religion, color or any other thing does it, it kills all.
My journey with cancer began in 1971, when my mother dragged us back from Florida where we had moved less than 6 months before, her father had cancer and had died of it it in a Nursing Home, Pancreatic cancer took him.My mother and her brothers and sister buried Grandpa and time went on with out any thought of it again. But cancer has a way of coming back and reappearing in family you may not even know about.
November 1984, I received a phone call as I sat home one night. When I answered it my Aunt Betty whom I barely knew called to tell me, my real father had died of lung cancer in a New Jersey Hospital. I was surprised and shocked cancer was on my father’s side too, and I packed up my wife and kids and uniforms for I wa serving Uncle Sam’s Navy, took leave and went to bury him. Sadly I had barely knew my father for he and my mom separated when I was nine months old, and I had only met him twice, still I attended.
Time would go on, and I never thought twice until after i was discharged in 1989, my wife and I split and went our separate ways in 1990. I returned home to my parents house who took me in for a short time, and I arrived not knowing my step-father was dying of cancer now too. I watched him slowly get eaten up by cancer too, slowly getting thinner and smaller over a short period of time, in the end he died of cancer in October of 1990 and another funeral was my next step. During his dying, my siblings and I were called to a hospital and sat down by a doctor who told us mom too was dying of cancer. By October of 1991 mom passed away in a back bedroom of my sister’s house from lung cancer gone another parent, taken by a deadly cancer, lung.
Sadly, there is no way to tell where in your family or life cancer may raise it’s deadly head again. I moved on after grieving both parents and married again, only to run dead into cancer again, once more as my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. We faced it together for her sake and took her to many doctors and spent many hours in consultations. One doctor said taking the breast was the way, another said it wasn’t necessary. Luckily we took her to Sloan Kettering in New York, where the opinion was the limp nodes under her left breast could be removed without breast removal. It worked and she has survived 8 more years already now.Thank God! That was 2006!
2013, August, As I went to see my Veteran’s Administration Doctor at a Veteran’s Hospital, and went through a check-up I started coughing up blood and phlegm, and my doctor stuck me in a cancer survey and had me take an MRI, diagnosis Lung Cancer for me, nice huh! I was sent to a surgeon in less then a month and operated on, and a lobe and 1/3 of my right lung removed and no more sign of the cancer now! I survived and I was lucky enough to do so without chemo or radiation, so I am healthy enough to keep going for a bit.
The bottom question is, none of us who have had cancer and survive it today, know if it will ever come back or what causes it, we need to get to the bottom of it folks, we need to kill cancer before it kills anyone else! Fight Cancer and yes it is Breast cancer Awareness Month in October here, so pay attention and fight cancer in all forms.