Acceptance and the Will to Survive.


During my last Herceptin infusion, I sat next to a lady who was undergoing chemotherapy for a recurrence of cancer. She had the Mastectomy last February 2014, chemo and radiation afterwards. By April 2015, she was diagnosed with malignant tumor in the middle chest. There were also some findings in her lungs. She was originally at stage 3b of breast cancer.

This was uncanny, as I was worried about some inconclusive findings on my chest X-ray. Some apical “opacities” were noted and the use of the apicolordotic viewer was suggested for a clearer picture. My Oncologist, however, was not alarmed (or maybe she tried not to look alarmed?) and just asked me if I was coughing, and I wasn’t.

Contemplating the worse scenario, I felt like the lust for life was snuffed out of me. The treatment is not even over yet, and what if I have to undergo a series of chemotherapy again like that lady?

I was amazed at how the lady accepted her condition saying that something like it can be expected when one has cancer. There was no trace of anger or bitterness and there was the will to survive.

In contrast, my brother-in-law who had naso-pharyngeal cancer 2 years ago never went for check-ups with his Oncologist after the chemo and radiation, saying if there was a recurrence, he’ll not do anything about it.

Well, I thought if after undergoing everything the doctor told you to undergo and still there was a recurrence, maybe God wants you to go.  For can you call the endless trips to the hospital and laboratories, the constant suffering incurred from chemotherapy and being a liability to your family, a life?




One thought on “Acceptance and the Will to Survive.

  1. I think these are the thoughts of almost everyone who has had cancer. The conclusions may vary, but the ponderables do not. My husband asked me if I would go through chemo again & my answer is a solid “It depends!” Sometimes chemo relieves suffering, sometimes it adds to it; if the goal is to cure, the answer might be different than if it is just to extend life (or prolong death in some cases); so as with the first round, the answer depends on many variables.

    Liked by 2 people

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