I have read that 40% of adult Americans have, or have had cancer. My recent diagnosis and treatment made me part of this least desired group.
The rest of my life will include testing and vigilance, but my pathology reports indicate that my life will not be cut short by cancer. I got very good results.
Since my diagnosis, I have felt immense amounts of love and support from those walking this same path. Some have survived and are in treatment. Some are in remission and some are not. Some have not survived.
Of course, I am very grateful and relieved. At the same time, I feel a real depth of loss for those I have come to know who did not get the positive report that I got. When my results came in I found myself crying, but for them, not for myself.
Life is precarious, and always temporary. A cancer diagnosis may mean death, or it may not, which leaves one with a deeply disconcerting uncertainty. This diagnosis shocks the system in a predictably unpredictable way. We seem to share various responses of being stunned, ours minds turning to mush, chunks of time are forgotten, denial sets in here and there, then the denial lifts and there is fear and tension.
Some of us get a reprieve. Some of us don’t. Walking on the same road, facing the same fear, gives me a much deeper sensitivity for those who suffer through this illness. I really, really wish everyone got the report that I got.