Monday, June 14, 2010

My Bout With The "C Word"

Once fallen, getting back up on the horse becomes the objective. A veteran rider might merely laugh at the circumstance, shake off the dust, and get back up, while a novice could procrastinate. Although he or she knows that getting back on is inevitable, shock and the imaginative thoughts that go with it could prolong the process.

I’m a veteran chronic pain sufferer, and I took quite a fall in the early Spring of 2008. I thought I had already composed quite an impressive portfolio of afflictions until I got the walloping news: I was diagnosed with cancer. I have to admit that even as a veteran chronic pain sufferer of over thirty years, I found myself in a world of procrastination. I had to go through the denial, anger, etc, and the ‘why me?’ and ‘don’t I already have enough things wrong with me?’ routines pretty quickly because there were important decisions to be made. And, all my research of chronic pain and suffering has taught me that immediate and informed, intelligent actions are the most important defense against any affliction. So, I had to dust myself off as quick as I could and get back on that horse because the rodeo of my life was coming my way.

Many refer to cancer as the c word because it is so socially dreaded, and they can’t quite come to terms with it, even enough to say the word. I have to agree that the word is an unpleasant one especially when you’re referring to it in conjunction with yourself. I didn’t much like discussing it, but the subject was obviously unavoidable; I had to deal with this new disease. The only realistic option for me was to have surgery. So, I let the surgeon put his skill to work. I took time off to learn about my new adversary – and to spend an itty-bitty bit of time feeling sorry for myself.

I've now confronted it and I am ready for the fight of my life. I’ve added this new condition to my fine resume of afflictions that I am dealing with. I can now say that I’m a cancer (or c word for the less courageous) patient.

–Dave Navarria

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