Have I recovered already?

Well over a hundred family and friends from all over the globe have sent me their love, well wishes, and prayers as I shared bits of my situation on my personal FB profile over the last two days.

I am beyond grateful for each and every heartfelt word of sympathy and empathy and care. As Bette Midler’s song goes, each of you are the wind beneath my wings.

Yet I want to clarify my thoughts on something today.

Many wished me a speedy recovery. Makes good sense… you get a disease, you treat it, you recover.

And cancer is a disease. In fact, it’s the generic term used for a whole slew of diseases, with the common trait of abnormal cell proliferation. In simpler terms, it means our body creates an abnormal cell that goes on to divide uncontrollably and moves on to destroy many of the healthy cells that make up our body. Untreated it often leads to suffering and death.

In July, I was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in my breast. I had the lump removed surgically. And my post-operation recovery went well.

Does that mean I’ve already recovered?

The post-op lab report informed me that my body is a fertile playground for more abnormal cells to grow. Not good, that.

But there is no indication that I still have the disease of cancer itself. At least that is what I choose to believe right now.

This year-long treatment program I described in Why this journey? is about cleaning my body’s playground to make it more difficult for abnormal cells to grow there.

The process to do this cleaning is taxing on the body and usually causes nasty side-effects. It remains to be seen which ones I will get, and I take this on day-by-day, as I always have, and by staying present and positive. Right now, on day 2, I’m feeling fine.

Accepting “what is” is part of my character makeup. I readily accepted that my life would change course with this diagnosis. It won’t be the first time, and hopefully not the last.

You have to be willing to give up the life you planned, and instead, greet the life that is waiting for you.

Joseph Campbell

So, let’s see and embrace what more I need to recover from. Hopefully just a few side-effects, and in the long term it’s not cancer again. That’s done.

Do you think I’m being over-simplistic, over-optimistic? Share your thoughts or experience.

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8 comments

  • Dear Francisca,

    To follow on my story. My cancer (breast as well) treatment journey started off 11 years ago with a partial mastectomy and with axillary dissection. I was a little bit late in identifying the breast lump, after the disease had already invaded into my lymph nodes. Fortunately, only a few lymph nodes were found to have been infected and they were successfully removed during the partial mastectomy. I got chemotherapy over a few months and in between the white cells dropped to a dangerous level and body condition weakened leading to a need for hospitalization for a short while. No big deal. Procedures went on with extensive radiation therapy and hormonal therapy thereafter for 10 years. Life as usual. All procedures completed last year, though continue monitoring is still required.

    Mine one….not too bad…an experience once in life. Comparing to other types of cancer, I believe breast cancer is less disruptive, as long as it was not discovered too late and is properly dealt with. I also have a strong belief that keeping a “no big deal” attitude helps a lot. Accept what it is and face it. Keep a good mood and very important to me, keep good appetite and continue interest in food during the treatment adds energy required to fight against the disease.

    My observations. Life could be short, or may be long. Who know…Can’t tell…Don’t care. Enjoy the days one have while saving some money in the pocket for tomorrow. Treatments whenever needed and for whatever reasons could costs a fortune, unless one has a super insurance!

    Dorothy

    • Thanks so much for sharing your journey, Dorothy. It puzzles me that I didn’t know about it at the time, but then again, we don’t live so close by or see each other often. I’m glad you are in better health now. Philosophically, I agree with everything your say. Nothing in life is guaranteed and staying present to the joys right in front of us is what really matters and what living is about. 🌸🙏🌸

  • Hi Cisca,

    Thanks for sharing this. I’m not active on Facebook so I didn’t see your earlier posts. Did I ever tell you I was also diagnosed with cancer five years ago. Like you I had surgery, then chemo, then radiation and I’m now on oral chemo. Your story will bring light and hope to others on the same journey. Sending you hugs.

    Greg

    • Aaagh, no Greg, I did not know! Thanks for the encouraging words. Please drop in here occasionally to share your experience, too. And now tenders hugs to you. May light and healing be for both of us. 💮🙏💮🤗💮

  • There are many adjectives I could use for you, Francisca, but “over-simplistic” is not one of them. Neither is “over-optimistic”. In my eyes, you are one of the most realistic people I know. And I think this was a very realistic post. All I know is today my dear friend Francisca is feeling fine so today is a good day. As for tomorrow, I’ll tune in again tomorrow.

    • Well, that’s good to have confirmed, my friend! Realistic with a dash of hope for the best ahead. Yes, today is today, tomorrow, tomorrow. Thanks.

  • You asked for comments. Here goes. Off the top of my head…I know for sure that you’re in the game. You’re not sitting at the sidelines waiting for something to happen. I also know that the definition of winning and losing is as you define it to be, but the definition of it can also change as you progress through this journey. I expect there will be many wins and a couple of losses especially as you talk about side effects. Overall though, I believe that at the end of this chapter you will be in the Win column Because that’s who you are. Because you live out loud, you share the wealth even when its challenges and allow us to be a part of it In so doing you become a part of our lives as well. So I wish you well. I wish that today is a good day and take tomorrow on tomorrow. Jane

By Francisca

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