A Very Special Birthday
It was my birthday last Saturday. Not very remarkable or even special except for one thing.
It is nearly five years since I was diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer and given a 50/50 five year survival expectation. In the event it is now clear that I will not die of cancer any time soon. In many ways I feel very lucky but I think there is much more to it than luck.
Since that initial diagnosis, treatments have improved significantly and there have been advances in imaging and therapy including one which can target a critical protein that is not found on most normal cells but is in cancer cells, especially those that have spread. This therapy is seen as a lifeline for men with metatastic prostate cancer.
Another critical issue for me has been the mental side of living with cancer. It is almost certainly the disease which people fear more than any and once you have had it you will always wonder if it will come back again. It is life changing and I suspect that only people who have had cancer really understand the emotional upheaval it causes. That is why this community is so valuable, we do ‘get it’ because we have all been there in one way or another and the support I have received here has kept me going. I feel sure that the comfort and confidence I have felt through being part of the Community has been a big factor in my wellbeing.
It is good to know that cancer treatments are advancing all the time and that there are also organisations such as MacMillan Cancer Support and our very own community which can and do help us manage the mental turmoil of living with the disease.