Singer Anastacia has had to cancel her European Tour after being diagnosed with Breast Cancer for the second time in ten years. What her statement doesn’t say is if this is a reoccurrence of the first cancer or a new case. Fingers crossed that she has found it quickly and she’ll be fit and well again soon.
For me that is the scary thing. It’s been even and a half years now since I faced my own experience with cancer and when that phrase “all clear” is used you assume that you are finished – in my experience you are just a few steps along the path. I had teratoma cancer of the testicle and because this is an aggressive form of cancer the doctor was concerned and had me in the operating theatre within days. I caught it in the very early stages and the consultant decided to take a risk and not treat me beyond the operation – no chemo or radiotherapy. For the first year after the operation I was back in every month, the second year every second until now when I am just in once a year for an x-ray and blood tests. The fear was it could appear in the other teste or start travelling through my body in an inverted triangle to stomach, lungs and ultimately brain.
Around a year or so after the initial diagnosis I started getting really bad headaches and the doctor got me straight up to the hospital where the CAT scan, X-ray, blood tests and full body exam took place. I was so frightened that the battle I thought I had won was not the war, just a fight survived. Fortunately it wasn’t the cancer and now I’m sure that they are just symptoms of the anxiety I suffer from. That reminder set me back further than I realised and it took me a long time to come to terms with things again.
The scariest part is walking back into the clinic each time; it doesn’t matter if it is a month or a year later you are reminded that you had cancer and there is still a chance you could get it again. I now have little chance f the same cancer coming back which is why I wonder is Anastacia is facing new battle or round two. The latter would worry me more I think because you’re dragged back into those emotions and doubt that you have when faced with such a proposition.
I still worry that I’ve not escaped altogether and that my victory only bought me some more time. Statistically I know I’m pretty safe but it doesn’t stop it from preying on your mind. It does fly in the face of the notion you have been given a “second chance” because for me and many like me who survive this illness we know that there truly is only one chance and we are lucky to have it.