A couple weeks ago, I had an interesting conversation with an acquaintance who developed colon cancer in her 30s.
"I am kind of jealous of the ones with breast cancer," she said, "because NO ONE wants to talk about colon cancer."
We did find many things we had in common, however:
We both wish people would treat us like we've never had cancer... except when we need them to understand that we've had cancer.
We both find we've reached a broader perspective on life... you can't really call it enlightenment, because it sometimes involves wanting to smack the shit out of other people for being so stuck on the petty stuff.
And we've both made bargains with the Universe to do whatever it asks of us, anything at all, just as long as we get to see our kids reach adulthood.
And speaking of long-term survivorship, I read this article in Cure magazine last week while waiting to see my oncologist for a follow-up. It's pretty badly written, so I'll cut to the chase for you: New studies of survivors suggest that it can take years for life to go back to "normal" after cancer. Pain, fatigue and fear of reocurrence can persist even 11 years after diagnosis.
All I can say is: O RLY?