The “P” Word
In a little over a week, I’ll be able to say that I’m celebrating eight years in remission from Stage 4 colon cancer!
Incredible? yes; but not without worries.
I’ve heard the word “cured” used to describe my situation, and it makes my hackles rise in fear. I’m not looking to be “cured,” nor do I expect that label will ever pertain to me. I have the MSH-2 gene mutation (part of the Lynch Syndrome family), and there’s no telling when those mutant cells will rear their ugly heads again.
There was a time, not long ago, when a Stage 4 diagnosis was a death sentence. Now we’re witnessing people living long, active lives well after their diagnosis and treatment. Every day brings new treatments and insights, research, and renewed hope.
When interviewing doctors for my chemotherapy protocol, my family asked one oncologist when I would be considered “cured.” His immediate retort was, “when she dies of something else.” Maybe this wasn’t the best example of a good bedside manner, but his words resonate with me. There will always be—until the day I die (of this or something else)—the very real possibility that this will come back.
If anyone who’s ever battled cancer tells you they’re not scared of a recurrence, they’re lying.
That’s one of the reasons I’m always encouraging others to get screened. The best “cure” is not to get the disease in the first place! So maybe I’ll replace the “C” word with the “P” word: Prevention.
Robin Lurie Braverman,
Director of the Board,
Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation
Are you at Risk For Colorectal Cancer?
- 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths for men and women combined
- Colonoscopies not only discover cancer, but can also stop cancer
- 50% of Americans still do not get colonoscopy reimbursement
- Colon cancer research is still vastly under-funded