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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Cancer in Modern Day

Well I just had to make note of what I had done so far today (and yesterday too).   I shovelled at least a mountain of snow....and I will soon have to go and do it again.   Not that I am complaining...although every muscle in my shoulder is not quite as accepting.   I was thinking while I was doing this how much has changed for cancer patients/survivors over the past number of years.   I mean,  the fact that I am alive after nine years is in itself a miracle, but that I am still doing what is expected of any normal Canadian citizen after a major storm is even more amazing..  If I want my mail delivered I need to make sure the path is clear and safe for the mailperson, and if I want to drive my bus I need to
 1.  first shovel to get to it, and then
2.  shovel so that I may remove it from where it layeth. 

I just wanted to comment how much I appreciate the ordinariness of these things.    There is a really good book I read many years ago by Frank Arthur (or maybe it was Arthur Frank ...these two first name names can be so confusing) called 'At the Will of the Body'.  In it he describes the ever changing lives of people who have cancer in this day and age.   He talks about the fact that with modern medicine we have people in our society that are not completely healthy and yet are not totally sick either.   They are ill, and so not maybe as productive as bc (remember bc is before cancer) but still very capable of being active in their lives.  He calls these people members of the 'remission society'.  I think that is still where I am because I am not yet in active treatment.   So as a member of this society I am expected to do things that most healthy people do.  Not that I mind, but sometimes I shake my head and think 'as long as I can do them a little less perfect and at a much slower rate" I am going to do them.  Although, it is not my nature so I must work very hard at doing things slowly...and as for perfect...well we are working on that too.

So today I shovelled, and I did so slowly, and with enjoyment.    Normal activities can take on a whole new perspective....shovel/rest, shovel/rest, take a breath and look around, shovel/rest.  And then stand back and look at what you have succeeded in doing.....still more ahead than back but enough to get the bus out......toss the shovel and lets go 4-wheeling in the snow drifts.......see if you can catch me.....OH NO a patch of ice....

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