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five years


Debi

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Five years ago tomorrow, I had the cancerous nodule removed from my lung, along with 2 of my lobes. I NEVER would have thought at the time that I would be celebrating this day, 5 years later. Hell, I didn’t think I would live to celebrate ONE year, let alone FIVE!

I have few regrets but one is not letting the fear go earlier on – I lived so in fear – fear that it would come back, fear of not seeing my son grow up, fear of every little ache and pain. I was so fearful, it was hard to live. I am better now, but it took me a long, long time to find my way back from the hell my cancer brought me to and I wasted so much time. I finally can live my life now as unburdened people do, making vacation plans, buying cars, packing Christmas stuff carefully away so that it will be okay for when I unpack it next year. I’ll go for days, sometimes weeks, even a month without thinking about cancer- I am totally amazed that I was able to forget, when I remember.

Another regret is that its too hard to come here sometimes, I miss so many, their loss weighs so heavily- those first few years I thought everyone would be around forever. For a long time I have wondered why I am still alive, and so many died- with survival comes its quiet companion, guilt. I have slowly eased into an understanding of sorts this past year- I feel that I am still walking the earth for a reason, I’m not sure what the reason is, but I find great peace and serenity in the fact that there is one- it helps me to accept living easier. I try to appreciate my life every day and never see a beautiful sunset or anything beautiful and awe inspiring without thinking simultaneously of the people who no longer see the things that I can. I have learned how much a gift life is.

I need to thank Katie (& Rick) for never thinking of closing the site down even in dark times, and everyone else, past and present for your continued support which has so greatly sustained me these last 5 years. Thank you all.

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Debi - CONGRATULATIONS on 5 years!

Your words of wisdom are actually guiding me to try and just "let it be" in terms of not worrying so much. You have made such an influence on me that even my GP noticed the last visit and commented that "something was different - I was less fearful". I told him about you and how much you helped put it into perspective and that worrying about it returning wouldn't change the direction. He looked at me and said "I've been telling you this s__t for two years now and do you listen to me...NO?!?!" I just laughed and told him that he hasn't walked this journey so I pretty much ignore his opinons on the emotional level. I don't think I can put into words how much you have helped me in so many ways. You have been my life line and I hope someday I can pay it forward for someone else.

You have been able to help me in a way that friends and family never could and I hope you know you will always have a special place in my heart.

Celebrating with you five wonderful years Debi and wishing you many more to come!!!!

Hugs, Linda

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Congratulations, Debi.

Is it ok for me to stop worrying about you too? You have no idea how much I worried about you when you chose not to do the miserable adjuvant chemo thing. And of course, that was exactly the right choice for you. :D

Then when I had the second tumor, I worried about you even more. My logic was that if I did chemo and it came back then what kind of trouble were you going to be in, having decided against chemo. Well, that just shows that everybody is different.

I am really happy for you.

Muriel

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Congratulations on 5 years. I say you come to Michigan and we celebrate this milestone with a huge shopping spree. I am so glad for you. I still remember you coming here, I remember your surgery, I remember your daughter posting for you, and now look at you-- it is amazing how far you've come. I am so happy for you.

Rochelle

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Debi,

I am so happy for you that you have figured out how to put the guilt at bay and live your life. Congratulations on so many things in life. Your new job, your son, your honesty about your feelings. I too have made it for over 5 years and the guilt sometimes eats me alive. I miss so many who were once a part of this board and many people I met at the oncologists office and through radiation. I completely understand and you give me hope that soon I will be able to shake it somewhat and begin to figure out what it is I am meant to do. I hope you post a little more often. You are an inspiration for all of us.

Nina

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Debi,

Congratulations! I totally understand the part about putting your life on hold and what a waste that was because I did the same thing. But, I also think back over the past five years and I realize that intermixed with the worry and the looking over my shoulder, I did have a lot of good times, and had many more normal days than bad days.

I am so glad that we got to know each other...somehow I felt better knowing other people were feeling the same way I did. Not that I wanted anyone to feel like I did on some days, but at least I knew my behavior wasn't out there any farther than anyone else in my situation.

Anyway, I'm so happy you're doing well, and I'm also happy that you check in here once in a while. The losses are tough, that's for sure, but the successes certainly brighten my day when I read about them, and today, you brightened my day.

Five years today since your surgery, and my surgery was five years ago on the 20th. At that time, I didn't know what the heck I'd feel like by now, or even if I'd still be here. I'll be celebrating your success all day today!

PS--Great new photo!

Cindy

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Congratulations Debi-- I'm so happy and thrilled for you, you should be proud of yourself. Your certainly have been through a lot and you offer so much hope and inspiration too so many. Keep it Up!

We all have those fears of the unknown perfectly understandable and very hard to get past it at times. As fas as why we are still here, well that's up to God and no one should feel guilty there alive. Like you said we are here for a reason, just have to figure out why. Does get hard to come hear at times with all the sorrow but keep in mind the flip side of it. Members being cured, surviving longer and all the hope, caring, sharing and support. Post when you can, no written rule one has to post every day etc or one has to feel guilty if they don't. We all understand and know each of us approaches things differently. Take care and God Bless. Rich

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey Debi,

It's been awhile since we've comminicated and I am so happy to see you are a 5 year survivor!!!!! I have a year to go but the stress gets a little easier with time.

I totally understand the guilt, why did God take some of the wonderful people he took and leave me? I have no answers, obviously. I have often wondered that about my dad, such a great man, he lost his battle with this dreaded disease but I have made it four years and counting...I miss him so much.

I'm sooooo happy to hear you have let go of most of that fear and are enjoying life :D

Kathy

P.S. Sorry about the late response.....great picture, you LOOK happy and healthy!!

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