I am a Cancer survivor, with my family to thank for their wonderful support, during what seemed the darkest of times. In addition to my family, we had wonderful doctors, nurses, and a great Cancer Support group, all of whom always shared much compassion with my family and I. I could not imagine dealing with such a challenge without all of their love and support.
My first battle was in 1990, just before my 26th birthday. A lump had formed in my throat (size of a walnut), causing some discomfort when I swallowed. I ended up in Surgery, removing the tumor and half of my thyroid. The Cancer was determined to be Synovial Sarcoma, however it was in the Thyroid. According to the doctor's, I was the sixth documented person to have it in the thyroid. Lucky me.
My surgery was followed by 6 weeks of radiation therapy to the throat and upper chest area (total of 6,000 rads of radiation). This made life interesting to say the least, with the worst challenges appearing in my throat. It was real difficult to swallow, causing much pain, and resulting in weight loss (30 pounds). Once the treatment was over, I did put the weight back on pretty quickly. Little did I know that this would not be my biggest challenge.
My second battle came in 1993. It was an aggressive form of Testicular cancer, causing a great deal of pain in a highly sensitive spot. I had surgery to remove the left testicle, which was completely consumed with the tumor. The Cancer was determined to be Embryonal Cell Carcinoma, 100% pure, and very aggressive. This resulted in a second surgery, called a radical node dissection of the abdomen. The lymph glands on the left side of my abdomen were removed, with two more tumors being found in the removed glands. The doctors said that I was at stage 2, and would require Chemotherapy. Oh joy..
I then received 3 cycles of Chemotherapy. This was the biggest challenge of my life, ever.. Each cycle began with 5 days in the hospital. Each day I would receive (I do not remember the correct spelling) Cisplatnum, and Etopecide, with 1 injection of Bleomiacin during the stay. After the hospital stay, I would return once a week for another injection of Bleomiacin. The cycle lasted 4 weeks long (3 weeks of treatment and 1 week rest).
This was an experience I will never forget. It is something that cannot be described, and only chemo patients understand. It is both physically and emotionally draining, to both the survivor and the support members. Again, without the support of my family and friends, this would not have been bearable. Especially my wife, who was at my side in the hospital from the time I opened my eyes, to the time I closed them. Sometimes all night, in a very uncomfortable chair. Thank you so very much Barbara..
A great book that I found one day in the book store is The Cancer Conqueror: An Incredible Journey to Wellness by Greg Anderson. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is dealing with cancer. I found it EXTREMELY helpful with the emotional challenges that inevitably come with Cancer. It is easy reading. Everyone that I have given a copy to (over 15 copies), has loved it.
The best way I can describe my experience with Cancer is a ride on a roller coaster. It was filled with highs and lows, extreme fear, then extreme excitement, and all you can do through the entire ride is hold on. Always remember that the true measure of life is the quality of the journey (the highs and lows), and not the length of the journey. Make the time to smell the roses, walk along the beach, watch a sunset, or a sunrise, with a cool breeze blowing against your face. At that moment, you will feel how good life is.
Anyone that is reading this, and may be dealing with Cancer (whether a survivor or support person), know that their are many resources to help you and your family during this challenging time. Just check with you local hospital, church, and the internet.
Please feel free to email my wife or myself anytime........
in Memory of Stacia Hunter (Click on the Angel)
A Great Book.... Click on the book for more info...