It’s that time of year

….at least  for me!

Today is my 22nd anniversary of my 1st cancer, and the protocol I was fortunate enough to get into at Jefferson Hospital, and have Dr.Charles J.Dunton as my oncologic gynecologist.

Chemotherapy ,radiation and a hysterectomy later, I was blessed to be good to go.

I’ve had two other cancers since then, breast and thyroid, and mercifully I got through them. It pained me , though, that I lost my 18 year old niece ,Alyx, to a mid brain tumor, and yet I was still here, thanks to my employer’s health plan.

This is always an anniversary for me: it reminds me God’s not done with me yet. 

 

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Exercising 6 of my 9 lives

The reason I had a rough time concentrating at class last night was I was told I had skin cancer last night. I was glad that I had it to be at it, because it made me focus on something else.

I managed to get an appointment today to find out I had Bowman’s carcinoma in situ, meaning that it was caught early.Not early enough that it could be frozen off, but it was cut out.I was glad, because my theory on cancer is to get it out of me, period!

There is a hideous looking bandage on my face I’ll have to wear for 3 days to make sure I don’t bleed through, and keep the stitches in line. After Sunday, I get to clean the site with soap and water and dress it with vaseline, because the stitches are there. They are due to come out toward the end of the month.

I don’t like skin cancer, of all the cancers I have had***ala Groucho Marx”and I’ve had a few”***, because skin is close to blood vessels, lymph nodes, glands, and it can spread like fire.I feel a little better that it is out, but the final swoosh of relief will be in two weeks when the last stitches come out.

It was 20 years ago today….

with apologies to the Beatles….

I had my first cancer diagnosis 20 years ago today.

I thank God, Charles Dunton, M.D.,currently of Lankenau Hospital, and his protocol
for starters: they got me through it-the chemo, radiation, radiation implant,and
surgeries.The nursing staff of the oncology floor of Jefferson Hospital were also
awesome.Top it off with a supportive family, and I am still here today.

Thanks, God.

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Clenching of the jaw….

Things are really amazing in life, you know?
You can go from 0 to 60 MPH in a heartbeat.

Then, in the next breath, you get news that old buddies are on the verge of their last heartbeat.

Please hold a good thought for us as we get caught up, momentarily, in life’s speed up.

Hold a peaceful thought for my old friend, who managed to become diagnosed with cancer in
the seven years since he retired. He is losing his battle, and may his trip be a
peaceful one.

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A very special Friday thanks…

It’s 20 years ago today that I finished my first total completion of cancer treatment.

I had cervical cancer at age 33. I lucked into Jefferson Hospital and Dr. Charles Dunton. I had radiation, chemotherapy and a radiation implant. The treatment was so successful, the tumor was gone, and I had to have a hysterectomy to make sure it hadn’t spread further.

Without all of this, I wouldn’t be here. I am truly thankful this Friday.

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Eighteen years redux….

I am cheating.

With the help of some editing, here’s a post from last year, brought up to date..thanks for bearing with me.

Now nineteen years ago, I was thirty-three years old. I had moved out on my own. And three months into my independence, I had a really bad lower back ache. You know how when you are hurting eventually you can get yourself into a position to fall asleep? Well, that November, I had my first 48 hours of NO sleep-the pain was that intense.

A visit to my gynecologist, who was an old guy in his late 70′s and on staff at Jefferson, revealed a cervical tumor the size of a grapefruit. Funny how as I never had any issues before in my life and here you go: what do I get butmy first one comes out of the gate like gangbusters. I was on the doorstep of stage three cancer.

Welcome to the world of cancer.

Fortunately, I had the luck of being sent down to a oncologic gynecological surgeon, Charles Dunton, who was working on a protocol for cervical cancer. I had daily radiation, chemotherapy, a radiation implant, and two weeks prior to my scheduled total hysterectomy, my pre-operative exam found NO tumor! The surgeon said he would have never know what was there, if he hadn’t been in on my case from the beginning. They had to do my surgery, because there was no guarantee the cancer hadn’t gone into my lymph nodes.One of my BFF’s, Kate, would come down from Pittsburgh on the weekends when I was in Jeff and there is no better buddy in the world…**Note to Kate-how I remember those 7th floor Gibbon visits-you ALWAYS were my rock!**

Fast forward through later cancers and health issues, loss of family members, finding my Jim, gaining two girls named Zush and Kasia, and my mother’s dementia and earlier this year, her passing.

God has me here for a reason, although when friends are suddenly gone due to cancer, I will be the first to admit the survivor’s guilt is great. I no longer wonder why I am still here. I just accept it, give thanks for it and realize a greater statement was never made than….” If it doesn’t kill you, it makes you stronger.

Here’s hoping to see you all for 20.

Thanks for reading.

Feeling a little blue

 

….and I came upon this sign.

 

This church is down at the “Undisclosed Location” and we pass it on a daily basis.

I have been weathering a lot recently, Mom, and then Jim and his shingles,and just couldn’t seem to shake the malaise I felt.

I saw this sign and thought to myself that truer words were never spoken.

This Thursday, the first of March, will be 19 years since I have been clean from my first cancer. Yup. NINETEEN. Through radiation, chemo, radiation implants…..NINETEEN.

 

Malaise, whatever….I am grateful to have two feet ON the ground.