Cancer a word that haunts me, haunts my family, haunts my wife, haunts my history and which is unrelenting and deadly! It never gives up, it never stops taking and killing people, in all ways it can.
Cancer comes in many forms and science has made some advances in fighting it in the recent years. Although in most cases the battle is lost by the victims of cancer, a few are saved and have their lives prolonged to almost a full life span.
Valerie Harper died recently of brain cancer what kind exactly is between her and her doctors and her family. She gave us plenty of laughs and tears over the years of her acting career. She brought to the screen Rhoda a as character on The Mary Tyler Moore Show, a show that had a cast of great actors and actresses beyond measure. Harper’s Rhoda brought many women and men laughter and tears and surprises at many turns with her interpretation of Rhoda. She will be remembered in many fond ways by those of us who are her fans and will be for our lifetimes.
Cancer is a word I wish was never invented or spoken by the human race, and I wish God would find a way or show us a way to eliminate and kill it, instead of it killing those we love and respect and care about.
I can say this for I have lived with Cancer in my life since 1971, when my Grandfather , my mother’s father was struck with it and died, from pancreatic cancer. He died at 71 years old and, he was a man who loved children of all ages. He would come see us and bring a pocket of coins he would jiggle and hand out so we could get ice cream from the Good Humor man. Always a smile and laughter and though he spoke very little english, always there and fun.
1971 is a long time ago now, and I have watched cancer take many famous people and not so famous people also. Famous people are memories for acting, singing and other areas of life. But it is the close personal ones that affect me most.
My next bout with someone with cancer would occur in my high school years as a female friend I knew, came down with ovarian cancer. She would survive till 62 years old, and the cancer would kill her, by taking her kidneys first, before she gave out. She died a few years back, 2010 I believe.
But, before she would die, I lost more to cancer, my real father would die of cancer in 1984 in New Jersey when I was still a sailor in the Navy. Then cancer would disappear for a while from my life.
In 1990 I came home from the Navy and was awaiting a divorce, when I found out, my step-father was dying of cancer also. He was diagnosed with it in February of 1990, he would die of lung cancer in October of 1990. During his bout with cancer, his wife, my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer also, . We would bury dad as I called him and one year and one day later mom would follow him in October of 91, we put them together for eternity, shortly after she died.
Cancer does not give up, it does not disappear it remains in my life. I met a woman in 1993 and we lived together for 7 years before we got married. In 2005, cancer raised it’s ugly head once more in my life, my wife came down with breast cancer, treatments of radiation, and chemo would go on for over a year, until it went into remission for her. Cancer doesn’t quit folks it keeps coming
.In 2013, my phone rang, I had gone to my primary physician at a Veteran’s Hospital for a check up. When I went The Veteran’s Hospital was doing a survey on Veterans who had a family history of cancer. I told my doctor of it in my family and was immediately scheduled for a pet scan, to check me.
On August 4th, 2013 my phone rang, it was my doctor at the Veterans hospital, I was told to get down to the hospital as soon as possible I needed to see a Doctor, I had lung cancer.
September 4th,2013, I had surgery and one lobe and one third of my right lung removed. Five holes were put in me to get the cancer out, and it took them 16 hours to do it, due to complications with veins in my lungs. I survived it folks, and recovered. Twelve days after my surgery, my sister and her boyfriend took themselves and myself and my wife to Fenway park to see the Red Sox and Yankees play. It was my sister said, a reward for my surviving the operation and recovering.
Nine years after my wife went into remission from breast cancer it came back again for her. Now we have been through targeted radiation for her lymph nodes under her left arm of which 29 were removed by operation. Then radiation was needed for where the cancer has spread now into her bones, and certain areas.
Since 2016 we have fought her breast cancer continuously, between radiation treatments, chemo treatment and shots. Recently about two months ago, the chemo treatments of taxol has failed and stopped working. She was switched now to Immunotherapy and a new one that is for her triple negative hr factors. Since then she is holding steady, the cancer is holding it seems, but it can only stop it for so long we are told. Nothing lasts forever in her case.
Soon within the next two weeks, it is time for her scans again, they will tell us if the cancer is spreading or stopped and holding where it is or not. It will tell us if the Immunotherapy is working or not period. we can only wait and see and hope.
Each day is one day at a time now!. Cancer will not leave us be, so whats next, time will tell !.