That group, cancer survivors, now includes me … as I understand it. Apparently I can keep the “title” unless-until I become a dead guy. The newspaper article you’ll see by clicking the link lists some of the multitude of problems we face. Thankfully, I don’t suffer depression or any worry about the cancer coming back.
Bill “The Boy Wonder Doc” Mitchell, better known as my cancer doc, says the odds favor it reappearing someday. However, I’ve led my life under the assumption our Father won’t take me that way. My cancer was nonexistent when I had my last CT in March. Although they don’t use the word remission with lung cancer, no one can stop me from using it, or feeling it’s the truth. Yet the “chronic condition” part does fit. It’s debilitating in many ways. The effects it imposed on me leave me drained of energy, no longer possessing the juice I once had. I feel worn out most of the time.
Thankfully, there’ve been no “personal relationship” problems, mainly because I don’t have one. That was taken care of by the year of depression leading to homelessness from 2005 to 2009 and my diabetes. It’s safe to say the combination of those two and the fact I’m now 63 years old make that a non-starter in the “problems” area.
The fatigue thing is one, along with the feeling of malaise and being run down. The lingering pain mentioned in the article is only true in part. The reason I take pain pills these days is for the ache in my left knee, but that’s been with me for years. It’s worse now than it has been in the past, but I attribute the increased “ouching” to the fact I’m getting older. Even Bill agreed with me on the idea when I saw him on May 10th, saying it doesn’t worry him.
He had no specific answer on the fatigue beyond saying it’s commonplace after chemo. As the chemotherapy I endured from December through March of this year is my first exposure to that world, I took his word for it.
It’s the little things like having it be an act of exertion to get out of a chair that impress me with the degree of debilitation. I’ve never experienced such a feeling of drain when I’m doing the simple actions of day to day living. The major adjustment for me to such everyday items is a burden of sorts, but one I’m learning as I acquire it.
What the article didn’t talk about is the faith a man generates when dealing with something so devastating and potentially life changing. He stuck with me during the 4⅓ years I was living homeless and has continued to assist me ever since. Some of the readers have told me in comments and direct e-mails they also suffer from depression based on aging and the strain of life as they live it now. We’re in a troubled world in so many ways.
My advice now, coming from the perspective of a man who’s recently faced hearing a doctor say I’m going to die and lived those homeless years with daily examples to prove death would be better than living, is to focus on His help. Just because the “experts” say you face any specific development, it doesn’t mean things are “over” for you. That’s up to Him and the deal the two of you work out. I know. It works for me.
I’m just sayin’.
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