One of, for me, the trickiest question in the whole ‘Cancer’ experience.
I guess nobody survives Cancer (whether you’ve had it before or not) until we die of some other cause, which isn’t Cancer.
The question should really be, have my odds of dying from Cancer reached those of a ‘normal’ person of my age/lifestyle etc.
I’ve wrestled with the declaration for a number of months – it seems naive to say that I’ve beat it, but looking at what’s been accomplished, it would appear that I have.
The problem is that, though I no longer want to be known as ‘that guy who had the rare brain tumour’, I worry that as soon as I make this declaration, everyone will just assume that I’m magically up to 100% and if I do, by chance, have the Cancer come back, or develop it in a different place, the second time is going to feel more bitter for my friends and family than it did the first.
Here’s my current situation:
- All of my MRI Scans have been clear since July 2014 when I completed radiotherapy. That said, I will be scanned frequently for the next ten years instead of the usual five (which I’m very much in favour of, I’d recommend them for everyone each year on the NHS were they not so expensive!)
- I’m about to trial an increase in working hours which increases my input to 34.5 hours a week – my contract is for 35. It’s taken since January 2015 to get to this stage.
- My left hand still lacks the fine co-ordination skills that it had and my co-ordination is still a little wobbly at the best of times – this is just a norm now, left over from the surgery to that part of the brain. They’re not anywhere like severe enough to class as a disability, more a minor inconvenience.
So there you have it, my current quandary, I was always told by NHS staff that there is no medical point where you declare that you’ve survived Cancer, it is just something that “happens” when the time feels right. I 100% agree with this and in my opinion I think nobody ever ‘survives’ Cancer – they just win the battle and live to fight the next – be it Cancer again or some other disease in the future.
I seemingly get to live to fight another day, hurrah!
“There is no glory in illness. There is no meaning to it. There is no honor in ‘dying of’. John Green, The Fault in Our Stars”