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Votes

Column: “CanSir”

When it comes to being a cancer patient, even more so a multi-year cancer survivor, I have always erred on the side of caution. And by caution, I mean being respectful to the disease, courteous of its comings and goings, mindful of its potential damage and afraid of its intangibles. And by intangibles, I mean the unexplained and the inexplicable, and most fearfully, its power and unpredictability. Therefore, my behavior toward it has been intended to be as polite as possible; never to be perceived – in any way imaginable – as arrogant, presumptuous, in control, all-knowing and most especially, victorious.

My philosophy has been to remain as positive as I could, never buying into the generally unfavorable statistical models, while taking any success I’ve had as much in stride as humanly possible. Moreover, to the extent these successes have prolonged my life – and of course they have, considering the original “13 month to 2 year” prognosis I was given back in late February, 2009 – I still want to maintain a low profile and never boast or speak loudly, and never confidently, about the amazing good fortune I’ve experienced since I was diagnosed as “terminal” five years and exactly five-months-to-the-day ago (27th of the month). I’ve always worried that the reason I’ve survived is that somebody (some entity) somewhere made a mistake in their accounting and skipped over my name, sort of like a reverse typo. Irrational I suppose; nevertheless, I see no advantage in rocking the boat and/or bringing any attention to the fact that yours truly is still very much alive; flying under the radar is my preferred route.

Granted, I do write about this fact and I do bring attention to it, but not out of any need for self-aggrandizement. I do it because if I didn’t, I’d probably be much less able to endure under my circumstances. Apparently, the need to express myself publicly is too overwhelming to deny. And thanks to my Publisher, Mary Kimm, I have had and continue to have the means, motivation and opportunity to do so/share my feelings about life as a cancer patient/survivor; hardly a crime. But never have I written any words because I matter in the discussion; rather because the subject (cancer) matters. And since I’ve been able to do so in a relatively quiet, honest and positive manner – never intending to be the story, only the storyteller – my life, my pursuit has continued.

Certainly I realize, as an originally-characterized-as-terminal cancer patient, that I’m up against an immovable object, generally speaking; still, statistics do have a margin of error, and human beings do have an immeasurable desire to live. Yet living to one’s ripe old age is hardly guaranteed, as I’ve learned all too well. Accordingly, as you regular readers know, I’ve made many changes in my life, incorporating a variety of anti-cancer remedies into my daily routine, and so far, so great. What you may not have known, however, is how I’ve actually lived my life while changing. I have done so by always being grateful for the gift of life I have received and reverential to the powers that be. What I’ve done, I could not have done alone and elevating myself would seem to be the definition of counter-productive.