I Am Now a Five-Year Cancer Survivor

Hope is a precious commodity.

 

Amazing. Unbelievable. Lucky. Blessed. I am now a five-year cancer survivor.  Although some define the 5-year period as beginning at the date of diagnosis, I prefer to use the date of my Whipple surgery for pancreatic cancer. February 12, 2015. So, exactly five years ago today.

I am kind of melancholy about reaching this point. But I don’t feel the euphoria about beating the less than 10 percent survival rate for PC that I expected. I just learned this is not uncommon. According to Dr. SP, a leading psychologist, my melancholy reflects a lot of subconscious feelings about the traumatic events during my journey. Even though I try as hard as possible to be upbeat on a daily basis. Also, it relates to my profound sorrow about others with cancer who have not been so lucky. And my own continuing challenges.

Live life every day. Live as long as you can, as well as you can.

Observations about Surviving Cancer

From Cancer.Net:

“A person who has had cancer is commonly called a cancer survivor. ‘Co-survivor’ is sometimes used to describe a person who has cared for a loved one with cancer.”

“Not everyone who has had cancer likes the word ‘survivor.’ The reasons for this may vary. For instance, they may simply identify more with being ‘a person who has had cancer.’ Or if they are dealing with cancer every day they may describe themselves as ‘living with cancer.’ Therefore, they may not think of themselves as a survivor. Living with a history of cancer is different for each person. But most people have the common belief that life is different after cancer.”

“Other common reactions that people have after cancer include:

              • Appreciating life more.
              • Being more accepting of themselves.
              • Feeling more anxious about their health.
              • Not knowing how to cope after treatment ends.”

           

        • Now, check out this video.

       

All Not Rosy on World Cancer Day

YOUR support is needed. Please help!

Tuesday February 4, 2020 was World Cancer Day. While some progress has been made over the years, a lot more needs to be done. YOU can help by donating to a cancer research program of your choice.. Thanks.

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As Felix Richter reports for Statista:

“Honoring the 20th anniversary of World Cancer Day, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as part of the WHO released two coordinated reports highlighting the current state of the world’s fight against the disease. While the WHO’s Report on Cancer aims to ‘set the global agenda on cancer, mobilize stakeholders and help countries set priorities for investing in cancer control,’ the IARC’s World Cancer Report ‘focuses on prevention and offers the most comprehensive overview of relevant research available to date.’”

“The latter report highlights that, despite steady progress in cancer prevention and treatment, the global cancer burden is still increasing as the number of new cases is expected to grow by 50 percent between 2018 and 2040. As the following chart illustrates, the IARC recognized 10.1 million new cancer cases in 2000, 18.1 million in 2018, and is expecting 27 million new cases per year by 2040. According to the report, cancer is the first or second leading cause of premature mortality (i.e. deaths at ages 30-69 years) in more than 90 countries worldwide, killing 9.6 million people in 2018 alone.”

“Further highlighting the relevance of cancer as an issue concerning all of us, the IARC cites estimates from 2018, stating that 1 in 8 men and 1 in 10 women are likely to develop the disease during their lifetime. Aside from the millions of lives lost prematurely each year, cancer also bears a huge economic burden. According to WHO estimates from 2017, global cancer care costs are piling up to more than $1 trillion annually.”

PLEASE DONATE! Click here to contribute to the American Cancer Society.

All Not Rosy on World Cancer Day

All Not Rosy on World Cancer Day

 

Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

Live life every day!

As we look forward to the future, we need to be thankful for what we have. And not be unhappy for what we don’t have. Now, we offer our annual message. To embrace life and choose happiness in 2020. 

Why We Should Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

As many of you may know, I am a VERY lucky survivor of pancreatic cancer. Thus, I am thankful each and every day to celebrate the blessing of life. On February 12, 2020, it will be five years since I had my successful Whipple surgery. My longevity is related to my embracing life and choosing happiness.

Only 7 percent of those diagnosed with pancreatic cancer survive for 5 years. Thus, I am both happy and sad.

Embrace Life and Live Well in 2020

Today, I want to share some FREE resources I have developed and tell my personal story. Why? To provide hope and serenity for anyone with a serious disease and their loved ones. We must never forget that our caregivers suffer and endure along with us.

Resources to Better Embrace Life and Choose Happiness

Since recovering from my surgery and follow-up chemotherapy, I view my life’s mission as assisting others with a terrible illness. To me, this is a responsibility that I welcome as one of the relatively few long-term pancreatic cancer survivors. In my mind and heart, I MUST give  back.

So, please take a look at these resources.

Surviving Cancer and Embracing Life: My Personal Journey

With this book, I want to share my personal cancer journey with you. I want to offer hope and support to those dealing with a terrible disease and their families. Why? To quote the late NY Yankee star Lou Gehrig when he was honored at Yankee Stadium while dying from ALS: “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

The book is a hopeful, but realistic, view of my journey from diagnosis through treatment through return to work and my being able to walk my daughter down the aisle at her wedding. It has some humor and many quotes to ease the reading.

Click the book cover to download a FREE copy of the book. Then, share it with someone you love.

Embrace Life and Choose Happiness in 2020

LIVING WELL While Surviving Cancer

During the summer of 2018, I started a new blog to share health-related information and inspirational stories. It features infographics, videos, articles, and more. And despite the title, it relates to a wide range of health issues.

Click the image to visit the blog. Then, PLEASE sign up to follow us.

Embrace Life and Choose Happiness in 2020

Other Resources

Finally, check out these resources. and sign up to join me Welcome aboard!

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    • My personal advice:
            1. Do not avoid the doctor because you are afraid of what he/she may find.
            2. Early detection is the best way to mitigate your health problems. Have regular checkups and blood tests.
            3. Listen to the medical professionals!
            4. Surround yourself with family and friends who are supportive.
            5. Be upbeat; getting down is counter productive. [(a) When diagnosed, I set two goals: to dance at my daughter’s October 2015 wedding and to deliver a toast. Mission accomplished. I never thought these things wouldn’t happen. (b) People don’t believe me when I remark that I never said “why me”? Instead I say, “boy was I lucky to be diagnosed so early.”]
            6. Seek out your friends/acquaintances who have also dealt with cancer. They can be a wonderful resource and sounding board (when you don’t want to further burden your family).
            7. Be active. [I went to the gym while undergoing chemotherapy.]
            8. Live for tomorrow and the time thereafter. 
            9. And to give back as much as I can, since July 2019, I am  volunteering twp days a week with United Cerebral Palsy of Long Island. I LOVE it and find it so rewarding. If you decide to volunteer, you’ll see that it’s a win-win!!!!!