Does anyone resent their cancer? It’s a funny question. Nobody enjoys being diagnosed with cancer, I’m pretty confident in that. No one likes the treatments, I’m sure of that too. The inconvenience it places on your life is where I’m coming from.
I just had a great conversation over the phone. Not the normal reminder calls from Nuclear medicine. Follow up calls from doctors receptionists, or my wonderful at home nurse, are you ok for your injection this Friday.
No it was a call from a real person. A conversation about me, my health, my dearly departed wife and her parents. I spoke out loud to someone about my love of running and how cancer has robed me of that. It’s the first time since 2017 I had a chance to talk about that. Since my diagnosis in 2016, I lost contact with my running friends, the disruption to life, changes everything.
Yep, I feel pretty resentful about my cancer. I love my caring practitioners, people who want me well, but I do wish I didn’t see my GP September 2016, who sent me for those tests. IGNORANCE IS BLISS.
It's great to hear from you again.
I don't resent my cancer. It changed me and has helped make me into who I am today.
If I resented the cancer, then that would mean that I resented who I am today, and I can't spend the rest of my life resenting or hating myself. These experiences make us who we are today and we grow as a result.
Life rarely goes the way we want it to.
In my late 20's I had a hobby that I really enjoyed. Riding and racing motorcycles very fast (just club racing).
That was who I was. I was a motorcycle racer.
One day I had a very serious accident doing something I had done many times before. But I made a simple, but catastrophic mistake. I came out of the corner accelerating too hard, and holding too much speed (speed started with a 2) for my lean angle, which resulted in a high side (OK, so it's not that simple, but will suffice for here).
I spent the next 2 months in acute care of a major trauma hospital with a severe TBI, in a pretty bad way. I was lucky to survive.
I can remember the day that it was broken to me that I wasn't going to be racing a motorcycle again.
I was mortified.
But I'm a motorcycle racer. How can they do this to me?
Prior to the accident, I was overweight and unfit.
Literally just weeks before the accident a friend had introduced me to a book "Training for endurance" by Philip Maffetone, and I had got a couple of 2 km jogs in.
When I was learning to walk again after the accident, I remembered this book and the training. I started to jog 1 km very slowly on the treadmill and increased my mileage gradually.
After a few years I'm running 120 km a week and I love it.
I'm no longer a motorcycle racer, I'm a runner.
Fast forward to a couple of years ago.
I'm planning to complete my first ultra marathon later in the year.
But then I was diagnosed with bowel cancer and they want to completely remove my large bowel.
I'm no longer a motorcycle racer because of the head injury.
I over came that (sort of) and redefined myself as a runner.
Can I still run long distances without a large bowel? I was shattered.
Who am I now?
Probably the longest distance I've run since the surgery is probably 6 km.
A mixture of a lack of fitness, kids and work has made it hard to build up my aerobic base again.
But I'll get there. It's another hurdle to over come.
But I don't resent what has happened.
I wouldn't take back the head injuries or the cancer, because the experience has made me who I am today.
Likewise, great to see you again.
Thank you for sharing your experience with me. I for one admire your defiant courage. To get yourself up & reinvented after more than one life changing experiences is commendable. It is further proof, we aren’t all born equal.
I read and reread your post. It’s a great post, I hope lots of people read it & take your courage from it, for themselves.
Young people who have cancer in their lives, should take comfort in the knowledge that it isn’t the end. I saw a post from a 27 year old woman who felt like there was nowhere to turn, she felt alone. I hope she reads your message to me, and understands there is hope and it’s not all gloom and doom.
In most of my everyday life, I just take each day as it comes. I wouldn’t consider myself a merchant of despair, or a woe is me type, but sometimes I do think how different my life would be now, if I hadn’t been told I had a rare cancer in 2016.
Not blaming the messenger or myself. No blame placed anywhere, just a back of brain thought from time to time, in the quiet of a 1am sitting room.
sch, just a self indulgent message to you personally. I hope you get to compete & complete your ultra. I hope the time you achieve is up to your expectations and most of all, I hope that euphoric feeling washes over your body, when it’s finally over.
Thanks for your message, reply and inspiration. No doubt we will catch up again soon. P.S. avoid Barefoot running shoes, fast but crippling. Just a thought.
I guess I am a bit like Sch, I don't resent it, in fact I am not that disappointed that it occurred (saying that now that I am 'well' again), don't get me wrong I never wanted it and for a long time hated and despised it(but never 'why me') but in the long run I think it produced a better person in me because of it.
What did I lose or encounter, my career (missed 6+ years of work), 17 years of my life, unending visits to GP's, specialists, countless hospital visits and stays, obscene number of tests mixed in along the way with three major cancers, twice diagnosed as terminal, and a BMT transplant which incidentally was far harder to deal with (mentally and physically) than all the cancers put together.
Do I regret it, no, but for that I would not be here today. Still got plenty of 'legacy' issues, heart, kidneys, skin, hearing, lungs etc etc. Still very pleased to be here. It robbed me of many things a lot of them material but was made up for by the people I met, in and out of the cancer wards, many of who are no longer here. I am grateful for all of the care and love I received (and still receiving) in all these years. I still regularly see 4 different specialist and my ever so able and capable GP . Do I resent it emphatically no.
Great to hear Colin and thanks for taking the time to respond. I appreciate your thoughts.
I got where Sch was coming from, as I do with you.
I-read a lot of the posts & take inspiration from quite a few. I guess it’s an attitudinal thing.
Thanks for your thoughts & all the best with your ongoing treatment....Lindsay
Thanks for the message regarding completing the ultra marathon.
At the end of the day, I run for no other reason than the fact that I love to run. That is all. I love the journy. That is my only motivation. To get outside, running with sun in my face and the wind in my hair and the feeling of freedom. There is nothing that feels so satisfying than that moment. The further I run, the more satisfying and rewarding it feels. I don't know if that makes any sense or not.
If I get good time, then that is just an added bonus.
One day I'm sure I'll have to give up running, and then I'll find another hobby/sport.
Barefoot running? Is this where I tell you I used to run in Merrell Vapor Gloves on the streets?
If you don't mind me asking, has cancer affected your ability to run?
Thanks for your reply. Merrill Vapour Gloves are a brand of Barefoot shoe. I haven’t tried those after the experience I had with ALTRA ZERO DROP.
Many years ago running magazine writers beat them up into a frenzy. I tried them over a couple of hundred kilometres and about 3 months. Just not suited to me & my gait.
Yes, I have had my running all but stopped due to my cancer. I have, as a result of a few procedures, four hernias. I have 2 inguinal, an umbilical and a abdominal hernia. These hernias make it very painful to run. I have seen a surgeon, in the hope of having the 2 hernias in my groin repaired. He is reluctant right now due to my future upcoming cancer treatment, with Lutate. And no I don’t mind you asking. I sometimes find it cathartic to write about those running days. My wife loved the camaraderie of the runners, their families and the travel. The racing season was happy times for her. Kept her mind off her cancer. So no, ask away Sch, I’m a open book.
thanks once again for the personal response ........Lindsay
As a 24 year old with a passion for singing who got diagnosed with tongue cancer, yes I absolutely despise my cancer. Its robbed me of my only talent and something I was so proud of. I was about to join my college's choir right before I was diagnosed. Singing got me through the toughest times in my life and to have it ripped away from me just really upsets me.
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