Six years this week, y’all. It was on April 5th, 2005, that a chest CT scan hinted that my unresolved pneumonia might in fact be a neoplasm. I didn’t actually know what a neoplasm was, and I certainly didn’t think there was even a remote possibility that as a nonsmoker I was a candidate for lung cancer.
Several days later a needle biopsy provided confirmation and I heard the unthinkable words “you have cancer”.
The rest is not quite history.
As someone who has never been NED (No Evidence of Disease), I would once again like to propose another acronym: NDY, or Not Dead Yet. There is, in my opinion, far too much emphasis placed on cure, life after cancer, and being a survivor. Many of us will never be able to speak of our cancer in the past tense, as we are instead been there, doing that.
Just as cancer has invaded our bloodstream, it is also integrated into our daily lives. We are living with cancer.
Another way of looking at it: every day we do something death defying simply by surviving.
Six surprising, at times difficult, but absolutely wondrous years. And counting.