August 15, 2013

One Day at a Time ~ by Guest Blogger, Ray

In the years prior to my cancer diagnosis, I was active in running and cycling.  (I still am, but it has taken a back seat due to down time from 2 surgeries and not always having the spare horsepower to work out). After running for a few years I decided I wanted to try a marathon.  I was woefully undertrained but thought, “I paid my $90”; I'm going to run it. It was tough event.  I ran 16 miles and walked the remaining 10 to complete in just over 6 hours.  Through that experience I learned that to endure, you just have to make it to the next snack stop, the next mile marker, or make it up the next hill.  You can't focus on the entire race, just the next little milestone.  When I received my cancer diagnosis (during my first routine colonoscopy) I was faced with the daunting blackness of the unknown.  I didn't know it at the time but it has turned out to be a marathon.

My take on navigating the ups and downs of a cancer diagnosis and treatment is that I really don't feel I have a choice but to just deal with each challenge as they appear.  I still have a life to live, a family to enjoy and financial obligations to meet.  Time for another chemo session, time for some not so great blood marker results…I struggle through it and move on…one day at a time.
This past weekend as I was leaving a party, a friend of mine called me an inspiration.  He'd been struggling with the death of his sister; she attempted suicide and while not initially successful, she succumbed a few weeks later due to complications post resuscitation.  After his remark to me I just sort of smiled, said my farewells and thought to myself…one day at a time.
Believe me, there are times where I fall into that dark place, where i am just tired, frustrated, amd sick of it all!  I had an especially difficult time dealing with a continued cancer presence after a grueling 12 hour surgery called HIPEC, my second surgery a little over a year after my initial diagnosis.  It took several months to really get back to a normal, even keel.  At some point I recognized that I can't go through this scraping the bottom; I had to just deal with things...move day at a time.

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