One year ago today I became cancer-free.
The experience has been a sobering one, and I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for many things in life once taken for granted.
Sure, you hear the usual litany and lists of rediscovered sunrises and smelling the flowers and finding time to do things we ought…and I totally agree with that. I discovered walks around the pond behind our house, sunlit afternoons in a porch swing, and saw parts of my home in a whole new light—because I usually leave the house when it’s dark, and some days don’t come home again until long after sunset.
I also gained a new appreciation for baths.
Baths are very therapeutic, whether you’re recovering from major surgery, or just a tough week at the office.
I’d forgotten that.
I now have webs between my toes.
I learned that gravity is not your friend (women over 40 have known this for generations), not because of the pull on tender tissue healing, but because gravity has the annoying habit of pulling everything to it, most of which eventually winds up on the floor. That requires either stooping, bending, or in some extreme cases, rolling to a prone position to retrieve an errant item, food substance, or article of missing clothing.
Cancer is a release in many ways.
We lose our inhibitions about discussing once-taboo subjects—like Cancer—and learn to develop more healthy attitudes about discussing life, death, and options. Having Cancer also releases inhibitions about your body, while creating other levels of modesty, even around your spouse.
By the way--there is no way I could have possible survived any of this without my bride. She cared for me, sustained my hope, and nurtured my spirit, and never allowed me to doubt her love and devotion to me, even when it appeared I would be a good candidate for replacement on a plumbing defect warranty.
I have been probed, inspected, irrigated and invaded in places and ways that I never dreamed. I still dream about them, too, only they’re not pleasant experiences to recall.
I’ve also become more self-conscious of the lasting imperfections resulting from invasive surgery. Still don’t like having my scar examined, and am now more inquisitive before allowing anyone to come near me with any chrome, plastic, or gleaming instrument or appliance.
Am I glad to be alive? You bet.
Are there still issues unresolved? Certainly.
Each day that we live alters us physically.
Cancer just fast-forwards the process, but knowing you’re cancer free has a redeeming value.
The Apostle Paul wrote fellow Christians at Ephesus to redeem the time that they had for good things.
Being Cancer-free is like a new lease on life, with a better appreciation that the lease is good only one day at a time.