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A few thoughts I had running around my mind

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  • A few thoughts I had running around my mind

    Its been 19 years since I was diagnosed and coming to this site and reading everyone's posts brings all of the memories right back as if it were yesterday. In Russell's Moms thread Lost Identity I got a glimpse at what life is like for the people on the other side. Not something I gave much thought to in the past because I was the patient. I think it is easier for the patient to face cancer then for the family members that look on helplessly. I know from my own experience that what I endured was not easy but at least I was in control of it. Not that I could control the disease but I could control my feelings and thoughts. Almost every night during my stays in the hospital I would lay in bed and review the days events. Kind of go over what it was that I endured that day and make some kind of sense out of it. This really helped me to put each days events behind me and go on to the next day with a positive and fearless attitude.

    Scott wrote in one of his posts "pain is inevitable; suffering is optional". That statement couldn't be more true. I endured pain time and time again but I never suffered. To suffer to me means to feel the pain and get beaten down by it. To feel helpless and hopeless. All of that is controlled by your own mind. Simply stated its all choices. You can choose to think positively or negatively. You can choose to see the good or the bad in everything. When talking with family and friends I get funny looks sometimes because I am so easy going and positive. I rarely get upset. Especially when it comes to things that are out of my control. From my battle with cancer I have come to realize that there are many things that are out of my control. I could choose to fight a losing battle or go with the flow. Like in nature you can try to stop the flow of a stream but the water will simply find a new path. My wife is the exact opposite. She would try to stop the stream until she has exhausted all of her energy.

    The above paragraph brings me to question I have for all of the other cancer survivors here. When you talk to your family and friends do get the feeling that you see the world differently then they do? I know I do. I appreciate life a whole lot more and find that the little things they are bothered by receive almost no thought from me.
    Sorry to ramble. Just had some thoughts I wanted to write about.
    Last edited by Jay68442; 09-11-07, 11:27 PM.
    If you look for the truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away. ~ Tung-Shan
    If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of. ~ Bruce Lee
    Please sponsor me for the 2011 LiveSTRONG Challenge Philadelphia.
    My Blog

    Diagonosed 1988. Left I/O - 3 rounds of chemo
    Relasped 1989. RPLND - 3 rounds HDC - Bone Marrow transplant.
    There is Army Strong, There is Live Strong and then there is me. Crazy Strong

  • #2
    I agree with you 100%. In the days leading up to my I/O till now I have looked at things differently. I wouldn't say that my views of the world have changed or that I've come to life changing revelations.....but I have definitely learned what is important in life, and what isn't worth getting upset over. As you eluded to, I think people are too emotional about things which they can't control, and I'm only starting to notice that. It's only been since my I/O that I become frustrated by people complaining about little things that they have no control over.......but I guess that is hypocritical of me since I have no control over them complaining, so for the most part I just keep my opinions to myself.

    Bobby
    4/26/07 - mass confirmed w/ no elevated markers
    4/27/07 - left I/O
    5/2/07 - Dx: 100% seminoma stage 1A
    Surveillance: CT/blood (6 month cycle)
    4/27/13 - 6 years cancer free!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Jay68442
      When you talk to your family and friends do get the feeling that you see the world differently then they do?
      The short answer is yes. I really want to elaborate on this, but that's going to have to wait until later in the day (long experiment today).
      "Life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." -Ferris Bueller
      11.22.06 -Dx the day before Thanksgiving
      12.09.06 -Rt I/O; 100% seminoma, multifocal; Stage I-A; Surveillance; Six years out! I consider myself cured.

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      • #4
        Cancer had a few lasting and noticeable effects on me. I'm much more conscious about enjoying the moment instead of just planning for the future. I exercise more often and enjoy it more when I do. I'm more willing to cut people some slack. I feel a constant, nagging need to do something to annihilate cancer.
        Scott, [email protected]
        right inguinal orchiectomy 6/5/2003 > nonseminoma, stage I > surveillance > L-RPLND 6/24/2005 for recurrence, suspected teratoma but found seminoma, stage II > chylous ascites until 9/2005 > surveillance and "all clear" since


        Your donation funds Livestrong services for people facing cancer now. Please sponsor my ride!

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        • #5
          Jay, I loved reading your post. Hard to believe as I am looking at your very young face, that cancer has been in your life for 19 years. Cancer has been in my life for 1 year and exactly 2 months today and I really feel the change it has made in my life.

          As I type this, Boyce is sitting before his boss, listening to him say that no matter how hard he worked during chemo...it was not enough. And I am waiting for the phone to ring, feeling a bit rough in the tummy knowing the news will not be good. But you know what....no matter what he calls and says regarding the discussion with his boss...It is NOT cancer. All things in my life have simply been boiled down to that....it is cancer, no?...okay then, it is not the worse news we could get, is it?

          What surprises me the most is not how changed I am, but how unaffected our family is by it. They seem to think that enduring a year of treatment and fear is now behind us and we never have to think or talk about it again. When I see Boyce's bald head peeking out over the top of the couch, while he sifts through the 'want-ads' looking for a new job, I am reminded. And seeing your face and hearing your story reminds me. So does watching Joe sail through the finish line after the bike race, or seeing Dadmo's son, lying in that bed....I will never forget, I will be forever changed. But it is the best kind of change.

          See...and you worried you had rambled. Sorry guys!
          Co-survivor with husband Boyce, Diagnosed 7-11-06, orchiectomy right testicle on 7-12-06- Stage 3A: Mixed germ cell tumor with inguinal seminomatous and kartotypic carcinoma. One tumor over 10 cm, second tumor 4 cm, Chemo 4xBEP: Bi-lateral RPLND Dec 2006, nerve sparing but left sterile.
          Current DVT
          Current testosterone replacement therapy, Testim.

          "You must abandon the life you planned, to live the life that was meant for you" ~wisdom I have learned from my family on this forum

          Comment


          • #6
            Boy do I ever understand this one
            What surprises me the most is not how changed I am, but how unaffected our family is by it.
            We were asked this weekend why are we still worried, tc is no big deal.
            Son Jason diagnosed 4/30/04, stage III. Right I/O 4/30/04. Graduated College 5/13/04. 4XEP 6/7/04 - 8/13/04. Full open RPLND 10/13/04. All Clear since.

            Treated by Dr. Rakowski of Midland Park, NJ. Visited Sloan Kettering for protocol advice. RPLND done at Sloan Kettering.

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            • #7
              We were asked this weekend why are we still worried, tc is no big deal.
              All I can say is
              AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
              I Love My Pack!

              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by dadmo

                tc is no big deal.
                I always think maybe people that think like this should call Danny and Michael and get educated. Or at the very least a good lashing.
                Co-survivor with husband Boyce, Diagnosed 7-11-06, orchiectomy right testicle on 7-12-06- Stage 3A: Mixed germ cell tumor with inguinal seminomatous and kartotypic carcinoma. One tumor over 10 cm, second tumor 4 cm, Chemo 4xBEP: Bi-lateral RPLND Dec 2006, nerve sparing but left sterile.
                Current DVT
                Current testosterone replacement therapy, Testim.

                "You must abandon the life you planned, to live the life that was meant for you" ~wisdom I have learned from my family on this forum

                Comment


                • #9
                  TC is no big deal for those that have not had the pleasure of knowing it personally. The truth is you could go on for days trying to explain it to others but until they live it they will not understand.
                  If you look for the truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away. ~ Tung-Shan
                  If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of. ~ Bruce Lee
                  Please sponsor me for the 2011 LiveSTRONG Challenge Philadelphia.
                  My Blog

                  Diagonosed 1988. Left I/O - 3 rounds of chemo
                  Relasped 1989. RPLND - 3 rounds HDC - Bone Marrow transplant.
                  There is Army Strong, There is Live Strong and then there is me. Crazy Strong

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jay68442
                    TC is no big deal for those that have not had the pleasure of knowing it personally. The truth is you could go on for days trying to explain it to others but until they live it they will not understand.
                    Common Sense, sensitivity, and compassion are becoming extinct. Ever get, "Don't worry, look at Lance Armstrong"? OK, seems like a heck of a nice fella, now what? I've had people tell me I shouldn't have gone the Chemo route. That stuff will kill you. I have a second cousin distantly related to a third aunt who had stomach cancer and they went to Albania and sat under a heat lamp for a month and ate only cabbage and they're completely cured. Do they have any friends left? They've got to smell like stinky cabbage by now. I'm not exagerating that much folks! The biggest change in me since Cancer is I just have NO tolerance for people with that mentality anymore. At this point though, I just stop the conversation, shake my head, and walk away. My time is too precious for that nonsense.
                    I Love My Pack!

                    sigpic

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TCLEFT
                      The biggest change in me since Cancer is I just have NO tolerance for people with that mentality anymore. At this point though, I just stop the conversation, shake my head, and walk away. My time is too precious for that nonsense.
                      Yup, that sums it up.
                      Retired moderator. Husband, left I/O 16Dec2005, stage I seminoma with elevated b-HCG, no LVI, RTx15 (25Gy). All clear ever since.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Margaret
                        And I am waiting for the phone to ring, feeling a bit rough in the tummy knowing the news will not be good. But you know what....no matter what he calls and says regarding the discussion with his boss...It is NOT cancer. All things in my life have simply been boiled down to that....it is cancer, no?...okay then, it is not the worse news we could get, is it?
                        Hi Margaret,
                        Sorry you and Boyce have to deal with the possible loss of his job after all that both of you have been through. I like to believe that all things happen for a reason he will find a better job as a result. I have adopted a similar philosophy with regard to your "it is cancer, no?...okay then, it is not the worse news we could get". When confronted with difficulties in my life I simply say "can it kill me? No, then its not that bad."
                        Last edited by Jay68442; 09-11-07, 12:22 PM.
                        If you look for the truth outside yourself, it gets farther and farther away. ~ Tung-Shan
                        If you love life, don't waste time, for time is what life is made up of. ~ Bruce Lee
                        Please sponsor me for the 2011 LiveSTRONG Challenge Philadelphia.
                        My Blog

                        Diagonosed 1988. Left I/O - 3 rounds of chemo
                        Relasped 1989. RPLND - 3 rounds HDC - Bone Marrow transplant.
                        There is Army Strong, There is Live Strong and then there is me. Crazy Strong

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Jay68442
                          Hi Margaret,
                          Sorry you and Boyce have to deal with the possible loss of his job after all that both of you have been through. I like to believe that all things happen for a reason he will find a better job as a result. I have adopted a similar philosophy with regard to your "it is cancer, no?...okay then, it is not the worse news we could get". When confronted with difficulties in my life I simply say "can it kill me? No, then its not that bad."
                          Yep, that is a good way to see things. Still no word, he did speak to his boss, but his boss said they would discuss his job after the 3:00 pm conference call today. Nothing like making us fret all day long.
                          Co-survivor with husband Boyce, Diagnosed 7-11-06, orchiectomy right testicle on 7-12-06- Stage 3A: Mixed germ cell tumor with inguinal seminomatous and kartotypic carcinoma. One tumor over 10 cm, second tumor 4 cm, Chemo 4xBEP: Bi-lateral RPLND Dec 2006, nerve sparing but left sterile.
                          Current DVT
                          Current testosterone replacement therapy, Testim.

                          "You must abandon the life you planned, to live the life that was meant for you" ~wisdom I have learned from my family on this forum

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I agree with what is being said here, as a father watching his son suffer with TC, I don't care how curable it is, I am forever changed.

                            I want to hear what all the survivors have to say. Again, as a father I don't know what has gone through Alex's head then and now. How does someone 19 years old deal with this and keep going. I have no refrence, he doesn't talk much about it and I worry.

                            My wife and I had dinner with a good friend who went through cancer in her 30's. She gave some great insight into what was going on inside his head and that made my wife feel good for awhile. Lately though she lies awake at night and waits for the next shoe to drop, he's away at school and he doesn't sound right on the phone to her. She worries our younger son is 17 and we have another year or two until he has to face it.

                            She knows this is irrational but she can't help it, once a part of your life cancer never leaves. I hate it with all my heart and want to see it eradicated!
                            Domenic

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                            • #15
                              Cancer and I go back a long way. This coming May will be 30 years since I lost my mother to breast cancer. I’m still angry. As I get older, I feel more and more robbed. Robbed of the relationship we never got to have as adults, and of all the wonderful things that have happened in my life that we never got to share. I hate cancer. This first encounter with cancer certainly changed me. It made me feel old. At 16, I had to be an independent adult. In some ways maybe it helped me to re-order my priorities, I’m not sure. That was a long time ago. With out a doubt, it helped to save my life, because when I met cancer again in 1988, I was ready. No screwing around, 2 days after I found the lump, I was at the doctor’s office, and less that 1 week later, the testicle was coming out. Now I got to see things from the other side. I hate cancer. My second encounter changed me again. This time, I guess it gave me a sense of urgency, a firm realization that I was not going to live for ever. It also gave me the ability to start to see outside myself. I joined a program called CanSurmount, which paired cancer survivors with newly diagnosed patients to provide support and encouragement. One of my patients was a retired veteran who was dying of lung cancer, I can still see the sadness in his eyes. I hate cancer. I finished grad school, moved to Maryland, and decided to put all of the cancer business behind me. No more bad dreams. But cancer is a patient enemy and it waited, for 11 years it waited. Then it pounced again. Four months after I married my best friend of 15 years, I was at war again. I changed again. I was mad as hell. I hate cancer. I absolutely did not want to fight with cancer again, but I had no choice. I was not about to surrender. For the second time in my life I had cancer, and I had been lucky, I found it early. But I didn’t always feel all that lucky. So at age 42 another change was in store. Most of you know that a lot of people don’t understand the toll cancer takes on patients and caregivers. Such people are now in the periphery of my life, I have little time for people who haven’t learned to care for others. Compassion is perhaps the greatest gift we’ve been given, the ability to reach out to help someone else, without the prospect of anything in return. Cancer taught me the value of compassion.

                              So here I am 4 years passed TC2. As I’ve said before, I can’t say having cancer has made me realize how wonderful life truly is. I still wake up in the middle of the night, occasionally, in a cold sweat, wondering if cancer is still lurking, hiding somewhere. I hate cancer. But all my experiences, for good or for bad, have created the person I am today, and I’m not sure I would attempt to change anything. I think, I’ve become a pragmatist. Good things will happen, bad things will happen, maybe in the end it all averages out. I don’t know. But cancer brought me to this forum and I met some really wonderful people, that otherwise would have remained strangers. As I’ve reached out to help others, you’ve all helped me, probably more than you know. Every day, this forum confirms my faith in humanity. I still hate cancer, but I think that I am a better person because of it.

                              Sorry for the ramble.
                              Fish
                              TC1
                              Right I/O 4/22/1988
                              RPLND 6/20/1988
                              TC2
                              Left I/O 9/17/2003
                              Surveillance

                              Tho' much is taken, much abides; and though we are not now that strength which in old days moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are; one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will; to strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

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