Since I was 14 years old, Cancer has been in my life in one way or another, I am now 63 and it is still with me in one way. Cancer it seems has no respect for anyone, it doesn’t care what color you are, what nationality you are, what race you are, what country your from, it just hits, hangs on and never lets go, till the person who has it can’t withstand it anymore.
Some like me have been lucky enough to survive cancer, because it was caught at it’s first stage and removed totally by competent and dedicated Doctors who know what they are doing. Others are as we all know, not so lucky and cancer ravages as it advances.
My run in with cancer began at 14 years old when my grandfather, my mother’s father was diagnosed with it in 1970. He died from it in 1971 at the ripe old age of 71 years old. He was a gentle man, who loved kids and who always smiled and treated all with kindness. He died of Pancreatic Cancer.
A brief interlude would come about, but two years later while in high school, I met a girl who was a very cheerful, happy go lucky girl, who had bounce in her step and a smile everyday of her life in one way or another. She developed ovarian cancer at a young age in her late teens. I give her credit for she fought with everything she could for all her life against this cancer and even gave birth to two sons and had two marriages. She recently passed away a few years ago at 62 years old. He cancer affected her whole life and she was brave and courageous and never gave in, until, the cancer took out her kidneys.
The 70’s and 80’s for me, were without real problems, raising their head ,in my life. Except for the fact, my real father died of lung cancer in 1984 in a New Jersey Hospital.
I was a military man and lucky, I served in three branches of service, and did 16 years. I was married at the time and we had two beautiful daughters, redheads. The first marriage ended in divorce in 1991 actually after a two year separation and medical discharge from the service.
Yet cancer is always present and when I returned home in 1990 awaiting divorce I found out, cancer was not done in my life. The man who raised me, who I called dad and who brought me up from the age of 9 months old, had cancer. He was dying of cancer, prostate cancer to be precise, it would take him from us in October of 1990, 10 months after being diagnosed with it. It took him from a man 6 foot 2, 280 lbs. down to a man of skin and bones, he died in the hospital, his last words to my mother were, I am not going to make it. He knew his end was here.
In July of 1990 as my step-father was dying, my mother was caring for him each day. There were four out of five of us kids around at the time and one of us had died. We all received a call to meet her at the hospital of her choice. We were sat in a conference room with her and her Doctor came in, she had lung cancer and was dying also. She told all of us and so did the Doctor and then she told us to not tell dad, our stepfather. So, we buried dad in October of 1990 and one year and one day later, my mother died of lung cancer in my baby sister’s back bedroom. Cancer had struck again in my life and in my family. It is hard to deal with each time it does.
By 200o, I had started to rebuild my life, after the misery and pain of all the death and divorce. I found a woman I loved and we moved in together and had married and bought a home. We set up the home as we wanted and lived a peaceful existence and life.
2006, Cancer raised it awful head one more time. this time my wife was hit with it, she has breast cancer, we fought it hard, scans, radiation and chemo, over and over for a year. It went into remission finally and we saved her life. But cancer wasn’t done with me or my life or those in it. It persists folks.
August 4th, 2013, my phone rang in my home. I answered it to hear the voice of my Primary Physician at the Veterans Hospital here, talk to me. She stated and I quote, I needed to get to the hospital as soon as possible and see a doctor, when I asked why, she blurted it out, I had lung cancer. The battle for me began immediately, that day.
I saw a specialist within a day or two, and we met at the Hospital. he showed me the pet scan results I had and then asked me what I wanted to do. I looked at him and told him, remove it now.
September 4th, 2013, 6am. I wa slaying on a stretcher in the pre-op area of the hospital surgical unit. They were preparing me for lung surgery, and to remove my cancer, my Doctor told me he has going to remove a little more of my right lung because he thought it looked suspicious I said do it.
The Operation started a lil before after 6;30 am, I did not come out of surgery until 14 hours later. Complications existed, and when he removed a lobe and one third of my right lung, he had trouble stopping the bleeding. Yet I had survived the surgery and started my recovery in the hospital that day. I had breathing devices to practice on and expand my lung capacity to use at home, once released.
By September 16th, 2013 I was on my feet and walking and thanks to my baby sister and her boyfriend at the time, my wife and I and they all were in Boston watching a ballgame at Fenway Park, for the first time in my life. Yes I survived it and saw the game 12 days after surgery.
I may have escaped cancer in my body and survived so far, but cancer went away. It rose once more in my wife in 2015, and she fell out of remission and back into more treatments, more scan, more tests, and finally more radiation and chemo. Again we fought and fought and fought. 2015 is a long time ago now and it is now August 2019, I am still here my wife is still here and we have graduated now from her taking taxol chemo drugs to immunotherapy drugs for her. It used to be once a week for taxol treatments and her hair fell out, and her arm grew from lymphoma. It swelled like a balloon and she lives with it.
Now every three weeks we go for her immunotherapy, it last about an hour and a half, her hair is growing back and her tumor markers are down now. she is now triple negative for her markers. The Cancer has gone from her breasts to her blood , and her bones. We fight and argue over her condition and her lack of energy, because i try to motivate her and push her some. But she is still here, and fighting, each day I wait for her to awaken in the small recliner I bought her in our living room, so she can sleep comfortably. Cancer it seems will not let me be, or her.
It is August 2019 now, and recently on tv and in the news I see President Trump, saying he is going to cure cancer, I wish he would and soon. But, he should never make promises, especially false promises, so many of us who have had cancer. or live with those that have cancer, know the promises, we have heard false promises before, we are tired of it.
Cancer must be defeated, I doubt Trump can defeat anything or cause cancer to be defeated. I doubt it will be defeated in my lifetime, all the better if it is, I agree. fight Cancer, fight the deadly diseases we all face, I agree. But for those like me, and other victims of cancer and with loved ones who have it, I say this, we will fight it, we will live with it as long as we can and we will persist and never give up until, we have no choice, for life is precise, love is precise. So Don’t promise what you can not do, don’t give false hopes to us all, just keep at it and when you announce they found the cure, let us all know. We don’t have time, we don’t have the patience and we don’t have the right to be lied to, or mislead or promised something, but we do have the right to live as long as we can and fight on!