Friday, May 30, 2008

Face It. Fight It. Survive It.

Throughout my battle with cancer, I have come to the conclusion that there really are only two possible decisions I could have made when I received my diagnosis. Back in December of 2007, I was told about the head and neck cancer along with the rough road I would take in order to survive. At this point, I was faced with basically halting everything that was in motion and laying it all down to fight for my life.

The two choices I had to plot the rest of my time here on the planet was to give up or find the will to fight cancer. Thinking about my family, the decision was a simple one- I was not going out without a fight. That is what is so important to new patients getting diagnosed with head and neck or other cancer. You have to fight for your loved ones, family, friends and colleagues. Giving up is not an option. It is not an easy decision to make, but you will never regret fighting as it gives you more time with the treasure we have here on earth, the love we have in our families and friends. As I found out, nothing I owned, lost, earned or gave up is worth more than the love you have for your family, their love for you and the blessing of true, good friends.

The first few days were tough, the rest of them tougher. The fight plan I had included staying creative doing what I loved- graphic design and creating electronic music. Many days, I was simply too tore up to participate, but I tried to at least have fun, think about the creative process (which kept me from thinking too much about the side effects) and generally, stay positive. My family were like angels who had a safety net open for me and kept me in the fight. It was nothing I did for myself physically, it was the momentum of caring supplied by my Home Team that made each day bearable, livable and one for the survivor books. I will be glad to answer any questions you may have regarding any of this, I realize this is all very generic and vague, so please send along your questions or other dialogue.

The fight during cancer treatment for me was just as simple as a daily effort in overcoming nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, chemo brain constipation, diarrhea, not being able to swallow, mucositis, dry mouth, scratchy throat, no saliva, pain, no appetite, weight loss, hair loss, some neurological issues and other nasties with my surgery. It wasn't an epic battle at dawn with Megatron but a daily, if not hourly overcoming of the nasties. That's it. I fought from my bed and chair with a bunch of meds and as much nutrition as I could get down. No Transformer weapons of light sabres, just a daily commitment to Face It. Fight It. Survive It. For me, that's been enough. Day by day it gets better and I get a bit stronger. I wish all the other fighters and survivors strength and courage in their battle! Have a great weekend!

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