2 years. And a little bit, admittedly. 2 years since I had total body irradiation, and all manner of chemicals and poisons pumped into me. 2 years since I’ve had the stem cells of some stranger halfway around the world pumped into me. Time to be a little bit introspective and think about my health in general and the future.
Cancer is a horrible, horrible thing to live with. Horrible. No one can quite encapsulate the horror of cancer without going through it themselves. This applies to the patient, the patient’s family and their friends. The horror of cancer (yes, I refuse to give it an uppercase C) isn’t the cancer itself but the uncertainty that follows.
Ironically, the treatment for cancer is often as deadly as the disease itself. My mentor, when I was living in Australia, suffered from breast cancer. And she always said that cancer and the subsequent treatment, is a race to see what kills you faster. It’s very toxic. She’s not with us anymore unfortunately and with my latest visit to the doctor 2 weeks ago, He said everything was ‘perfect’ and far from being good news, it got me thinking.
Technically, if one is leukemia free for 5 years, one is cured. But can one ever be fully cured? If may be that one never suffers from leukemia again. But the treatment exposes one to other form of secondary cancers (more aggressive, less treatable). The chances of someone random suffering from an aggressive cancer late in life is pretty small, something in the region of 0.01%. In my case, it’s 1%. That’s 100 times more.
But!! It’s only 1%. So for now, I’m going to live as much as I can and not think about it. Cos who knows, in 30 years, cancer may be eradicated.