Sunday, December 7, 2008

Forgetting cancer

It's sometimes hard to believe that I ever had cancer. Of course, there are many reminders––dry mouth, wacky taste buds and that hole in my stomach. That's a beauty. But it's been over a year since my last treatment. And it seems like it was another lifetime.

Maybe that's a good thing. When you find out you have cancer, it consumes your every moment. The questions are never ending. When will it be gone? Will it spread? What can I do to get it out of my body right now? What is it going to do to my family? When can I be normal? What will normal be like? Is this normal? Why? Why? Why? A thousand times, why?

In trying to fight cancer you constantly try to forget you have it, because you don't WANT to have it. No one does. No one wants you to have cancer. No one knows what it does to you. Lonely? Yes. I felt as if I didn't want other people to be burdened with the knowledge that I had cancer. I didn't want to be treated any differently. I didn't want people to stay in touch with me only because I had cancer. I didn't want my family to know the pain. I didn't want cancer to beat me, no matter what it took to stay alive. I wanted to keep it to myself.

Tomorrow is a check-up, with my skin cancer Doctor. Besides the head & neck cancer team of Doctors and the stomach Doctors, I have a skin cancer Doctor to help me fight any MORE skin cancer that might creep up on my body. Check all the moles, every inch of exposed skin. For some crazy reason, the skin cancer worries me most. And that's a cancer I can actually see! Skin cancer was caused by all those years in the sun. And being a SoCal boy, I love the sun. (It doesn't love me so much). And when I feel the warmth, I just forget everything else. Until my mouth starts to get dry and reminds me I need to find my water bottle.

No, I don't think I'll ever forget cancer. But I hope to have at least one day where I don't think about it at all.

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