My web site is devoted to medical and treatment information about this rare cancer. My blog is devoted to sharing what has been the more difficult part of the journey for me, the emotional and spiritual road I've traveled as a rare cancer survivor.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Second "C"

We all know the big C- cancer.  But there is a second C those of use diagnosed all want, the second C word is Cure. It seems like a word now not often used in the cancer community.  Though 11 years cancer-free, I am still considered "long term remission", still see an oncologist (thought only annually now).  The "cure" word we want  would mean we are forever done with cancer, don't need testing or oncology appointments, that we can move on with our lives and not feel vulnerable anymore.  But we don't get that word now.  We don't get the "second C".  I thought of that as tonight I received an email from WebMD....don't remember how I got on their mailing list, but the topic of today's post was "The Big Question: Am I Cured?". 

I remember in my younger years, if someone survived cancer free for 5 years, they were considered "cured".  But some cancers recur many years later- my aunt had a breast cancer recurrence 17 years after her initial diagnosis.   After 17 years of being cancer-free, her cancer came back.  Some renal cancer patients have recurrences up to 20 years later.  So now, the medical providers are afraid to use the word "cure", though we so long to hear that word.

Also, the NCI cancer bulletin was also delivered to me today, it seems the anti-depressant drug Cymbalta can help treat some of the peripheral neuropathy that we get from chemotherapy drugs like FOLFOX.  Read more here: Study Shows First Effective Drug for Cancer Patients with Peripheral Neuropathy






4 comments:

Carter BloodCare said...

Great post. We're hoping for a cure as well! We're also glad to hear you're still doing well. We celebrate the gift of life and our mission is to try to help others enjoy it as much as possible. Learn more about what we do here: http://bit.ly/LkrEzP

alternative cancer centers said...

I also believe that the second C matters in most of our patients. I think in this case, all you have to do is to believe that you can do and overcome the same.

Anonymous said...

Carolyn,
I agree that now we are to be happy with living with "controlling cancer" or preventing angiogenesis. I, like yourself have beat the odds so far but know that I will never be cured. So that is definitely a sore spot as I wait for those once a year appointments-congrats on that! I asked my doctor why the benchmark isn't 4.2 years or 5.3 years since it doesn't really matter. Frustrating. I had a friend who also had relapse after 5 years.
My question for you is have you ever heard of a GCC as large as 8cm. (3B, 3 nodes, rt. hemi.)? I'm just wondering if this long term chronic inflammatory "condition" would be normal for something like that but can find no comparative example. 4cm. is the largest I've been able to research and 2 1/2 seems to be the line of seriousness.

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