How the Health Are Ya?
I often reflect back to when I was a little kid; how, at family gatherings -holidays, funerals, weddings, bar mitzvahs, etc., the “old people” would eventually get around to discussing their ailments. Every family has members who have gone through, or are currently going through some malady of one kind or another. By the time I reached my teens, I had grown tired of hearing the elders talk about illnesses and accidents. There were time when I even said out loud to my close friends, “If I ever become one of those people that talks for hours about their operation or their restricted diet, or their dialysis, or their chemo and radiation – just shoot me.”
There were time when I even said out loud to my close friends, “If I ever become one of those people that talks for hours about their operation or their restricted diet, or their dialysis, or their chemo and radiation – just shoot me.”
Well, if you’re baby boomer like me, you already know where I’m going with this…
I was diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer myself in May of 2014. I was already in Stage 3 by the time the doctors caught it; and all anyone I spoke to once they found out – was the damn cancer. Everyone wanted to tell me about a favorite diet, or herbal supplement, juicer, a favorite book or Youtube video that they wanted to turn me on to. And I did check a lo of these resources out, because, well, lets face it, I didn’t have anything better to do. Cancer has a way of keeping you from too much activity, and the doctors would not let me be in situations where I might be exposed to colds or flu because the chemo and radiation could weaken my immune system.
So I stayed in bed most of the time – researching all the suggestions I was getting.
Over time, I came to realize that my friends and family really meant well, but what they didn’t realize is that I,besides having made that solemn oath to myself not to be one of those “old folks” that talk incessantly about their tumors or the horrible liquid they make you drink, or the details of the tests and treatments… simply found it exhausting to talk much about ANYTHING.
Another aspect of this ordeal… I was caught without any savings or way to pay for the treatment, the surgery, medical expenses, supplies, food, a place to stay, outstanding credit card bills. I was in a pickle. No health. No wealth. But I did keep my sense of humor. Out of desperation, I created Hal’s Pain In the Butt Fund at GiveForward.com….A fundraising website where friends and family could contribute to get me through this ordeal.
The page includes a section for updates, so I began to keep an online journal. Not so much because of the therapeutic value of blogging about it. But so that overtime someone asked me how things were going, I could tell them where to read all about it instead of having to repeat myself during every conversation with a well meaning friend or acquaintance.
Truth is, I was too naive at the time to realize how close to death I had come.
As time went on…
I began getting a lot of comments and compliments, mostly through my Facebook page, that my updates were very positive, uplifting, and humorous. Truth is, I was too naive at the time to realize how close to death I had come. So one could only surmise that it was my positive spirit and sense of humor that kept my mind, body and spirit alive!. Of course, I also wouldn’t discount the fact that I cut out all sugar from my diet for a year and began eating much healthier, which allowed my body to fight the tumor that probably would have grown to kill me had I not stopped feeding it.
I’ve collected all of the updates that I had posted during the time I spent after the initial diagnosis, before the surgery, and during the recovery period over the course of about 9 months; the better part of a year out of my life. It is available in the form of a free eBook which I hope will provide some insight into the life of a cancer survivor and provide some humor and positivity to hopefully lift the spirit of someone you may know going through a similar situation.
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