Sunday, March 21, 2010

The magic wand for cancer

There isn't a magic wand. I was discussing this with a friend yesterday who also is living with cancer. She said people shouldn't consider themselves cured after treatment for early stage cancer. Once you have it, there is no cure. They can treat it until there is no sign of cancer to be found through surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and other therapies. They can run out of tests to find it. They can tell you that you are done with treatment. They can tell you that you have a good prognosis. But they can't tell you, you don't have any cancer cells left in your body.

Once you have a cancer diagnosis, early stage or not, you can't assume that you are safe once treatment is done. You have to be vigilant and get follow up tests and treatments. You can live a normal life but you can't escape the fact that it was in your body once and they didn't cured it - they removed any signs of it and can't find any more - but they have no way of knowing if they got it all.

Am I being grim and morbid? Or am I facing facts? My friend was telling me this because another friend of her's just died who was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer just three years ago. She was treated but it came back. There is no magic wand.

5 comments:

Vera Viner said...

Breast Health and Healing has come up with the Breast Health GPS! This is a mammogram locator and will be an iPhone application dedicated to the Pink Virus Project. This GPS can be used to locate the nearest certified mammogram screening center, will have a link to the Theresa Quilt, a link to all the social networki...ng sites, a link to the foundation, and a main page centering on the Pink Virus Project. Best of all, this application is completely free! It just came out yesterday. Please take advantage of it, especially since there is nothing of its kind out there.

The Breast Health GPS is very easy to use. An ITunes account is necessary. It can be downloaded through the App Store. It will allow you to look up medical facilities near your closest location and it has links to the website, the blog, and all other social networking sites promoting this organization. Please get this GPS; it may save your life.

ria said...

to me, you're facing facts, and you do it very eloquently too! I love this post-thx Caroline!

WhiteStone said...

"There isn't a magic wand."

Dang. I was hoping!!! (just kidding)

You're right. I don't want my doc to ever tell me I am cured. Because I would know he was lying to me. I want to know what my test results are...I want to know if I am recurring so that I can make good decisions on treatment. I don't want to live in lala-land on this issue.

But I DO want to be enjoying every moment of life while I can. And thankfully, at the moment, my quality of life is good and my treatment is working (at least for now).

Bless you!

Debby said...

Unfortunately, there is no magic wand.

Dee said...

Hi Caroline, you're right, there is no magic wand. From my own reading, every one of us has cancer cells running around our bodies. The problem is that in some people, our immune system breaks down and can't fight it, so then cancer takes hold. Once they detect cancer in your body, your immune system has been out of whack for years. Those who do not develop cancerous tumors have immune systems that are strong enough to kill them on a daily basis. That's my understanding, anyway. The trick is to strengthen your immune system, which you can do through diet, less stress, exercise, and trying to limit your exposure to environment toxins.