I am most thrilled to report that my cancer-free status has been confirmed by a CAT scan! This is my second scan since my Whipple procedure in December and my first since the end of my adjuvant treatment. Thanks be to God. Yippee!
This is most wonderful news on the verge of our annual pilgrimage to Istria, Croatia. It will make our visit to 89-year-old Nona Ana's an even greater cause for celebration.
Several months ago I wondered what it meant to be a "cancer survivor". With the passing of time, the answer is becoming clearer to me.
As with so much related to cancer, it has to with the absence of something (bad) rather than the presence of something (good). This is awkward because it is the opposite of the way our lives are geared, in general. Cancer is that unwelcome guest that you are most happy with when he/she is gone.
I am beginning to understand that being a survivor is choosing not to be a victim. This is not to say that cancer might not get you in the end even if you choose to be "a survivor". But, for me, it seems that to choose to be other than a survivor would almost assure a bad end.
As I look around I see that we each face similar if sometimes less dramatic choices in our lives periodically. We can choose whether to be a victim or survivor after a bad breakup or divorce, when we lose our job, when we are hurt or disrespected by a loved one or face any of a number of injustices.
I believe that the circumstances are, ultimately, less important than the realization that there is a choice to be made and choosing the light. A life-threatening illness may be a bit unique in that there is not much time to emotionally adjust to the news before having to make the choice. Still, all you can do is all you can do – and that's always true.
There is no other choice but a full life for me. I thank God that life is choosing me back.