How, if at all, do you mark your 10-year cancerversary during a pandemic?



In April 2010, I heard the words, you have a cancer. Fast forward a decade to spring 2020, and lo and behold, the entire world is in the midst of a pandemic.

Talk about two ways you would never want (or expect) to start a new decade, right?

These two events, though impacting me differently on a personal level, nonetheless, have both been pretty darn significant events in my world. I’m sure most Cancer Havers would say the same.

As I wrote about already, the parallels between the two experiences are many and indeed striking.

I read a piece the other day by my friend Ilene that struck a chord titled, Community Born of Solitude, in which she writes:

Sometimes we don’t want to see what may hurt us, and I think in the beginning of this coronavirus crisis in the United States, we suffered from SEP.

What is SEP?

Somebody else’s problem. (Read more about it in Ilene’s post.)

I wonder how often we subconsciously, or even consciously, say to ourselves something along the lines of, that won’t ever happen to me. Or, that’s someone else’s problem. Yep. SEP.

If we are honest, probably pretty often.

My mother died from metastatic breast cancer and yet, before my diagnosis I don’t think it truly registered that the same could happen to me.

Sure, I knew that I, too, could develop breast cancer and even die from it, but yet, I didn’t really think either would happen. Not to me.

I also never would have imagined that the majority of the country would one day be practicing stay-at-home and other measures in an effort to try not to contract or spread a deadly virus.

Such a think could not really happen could it? Not to us. Not here.

And yet, here we are.

Why do we so often think bad things won’t happen to us?

Why did I?

I do not know.

Self-protection. Denial. A sense of privilege, even arrogance. Perhaps these (and other factors) all play into the equation to one degree or another.

But back to that cancerversary of mine…

Even before the pandemic, I was wondering what to do with this milestone. I feel like I should have something profound to say, but can’t say that I do. In fact, it feels sorta odd to even bring it up right now.

Btw, I don’t like the term cancerversary because it sounds ridiculous, but sometimes the right words don’t exist for what we’re trying to convey. (Come to think of it, it’s not even actually a word. Is It?)

Do I blog about this milestone? Do I mention it to anyone? Do I wait til later? Is there a more appropriate time? Do I just keep quiet? Is it far too insignificant considering the world’s present situation? Does it even matter?

Honestly, I do not know the answers here either.

So for now, I’m doing what I often do; I’m sharing my thoughts with you, Dear Readers. (Thank you for “listening”.)

I will likely write more about this ten-year mark, but for now, I’ll just acknowledge it.

Acknowledging whatever it is that’s on your mind is usually a good place to start.

When my thoughts aren’t so jumbled, I’ll likely share more.

It’s been ten years since I heard those dreaded words. Ten years. I’m still very much here, and I am grateful. Yes, of course, I am.

For now, that seems like enough to say.

Quite enough indeed.

If applicable, how far out are you from hearing those dreaded words?

Do you mark any of your cancerversaries and if so, how?

Why do you think we often think bad things won’t happen to us?

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