La Mirada #7 – Two Cancers Gave Me… -guest post

2cancersgavemeHere I am writing from my son’s living room in Boston.  The twins are asleep.   I have been reading books about web design, HTML, and CSS alternating with John Irving’s new novel Last Night In Twisted River. Many ideas developing for Being Cancer website in the coming year.

But  what readers are due for is the week’s Guest Post.  Today I looked to the thyroid community for inspiration and soon found my answer.  This week’s guest blogger is a survivor of dual cancers, thyroid and breast.  She writes at Painting 2 cancers .  In this post she offers a lively clarification of just what cancer has done for her approach to life.

~   Aside from fear, chaos, doubt, stress, grief, anger, a changed body, disorientation, confrontation, a sense of loss, loss of people I thought were friends, loss of people I thought would be there for us …. ? The list is long, but I’ll cut to the chase: (Some) people ask whether the experience has changed my outlook on life. No, it hasn’t. I was living quite aware before. It has given me the courage and the strength to act upon that outlook though, to actually do something in going after what I feel is important, to find my people. I’m no longer such a procrastinator at life. I go for what I want (to do), I’m much more selective with the company I keep. I drifted further away from family, but it’s okay, I no longer feel that responsible for contact gone awry, I feel that’s a good thing. I’ve learned to forgive, because I do not want to fret or use up my energy thinking about what went wrong, what I or someone else said wrong, to feel angry or bitter. I’m getting to know my strong points and my pitfalls. I’m getting to know some old patterns I seem to be repeating in my contacts with my doctors, but they’re also happening elsewhere. The latest one is pretty big: if I turn to you for help or support, if I come to ask you something and you ignore me, dismiss me, patronize me, turn me down or away, I will-with loads of pain&frustration, don’t get me wrong!-do it myself, I will not give up until I can solve it myself or until I find someone who can and will help+ I will never turn to you again … That mechanism seems to make me (even) stronger as a human being, it allows me to take good care of my body/myself and I hope I will be able to do that for my life-time!-I can see it now: I will be a long haired, grumpy, tenacious, feisty old woman ;)-I think that, from now on, I will trust those old processes. I think that they make/made me a survivor. So what did these two cancers give me other than …? My two cancers have set me free to celebrate my life!

from: Painting 2 cancers

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About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.

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