We recently celebrated the first anniversary of him being cancer-free. The irony was that another member of the family was given the news on the very same that cancerous cells has been found during recent tests. The latest news of cancer in my family made me start counting up the numbers.
- 75% of my grandparents had cancer.
- 66% of them died OF cancer and one died with cancer.
- 100% of my parents have had multiple types of cancer over the years. Both are survivors.
- 57% of my immediate family has been diagnosed with cancer. 57%. That is unreal!
That last number - as I uttered it to my husband - made me gag. The look on his face matched the thought that had just... at that very moment... come home to roost in my head. "If more than 50% of my immediate family has had some form of cancer, the chances of me getting cancer of some type at some point are quite high." Here's the good news. 57% of my immediate family diagnosed with cancer kicked the Hell out of it and survived it.
I eat well - lots of veggies, water, very little red meat, mostly organic when possible. I drink in moderation. I don't smoke (and never have). I exercise. I expose myself cautiously to the sun. I am careful about the chemicals I expose myself to, what I breathe, and the atmospheres I allow myself to be in. I don't use drugs or have any other high risk behaviors... but it seems that there may be some predisposition to cancer that I may not be able to avoid. But then again... maybe I can.
Here is the choice. Dwell or deal. My mom will read this and say "I know my Polly - she will let this sink deep into her head and worry over it." Well Mom... don't worry. The answer is "Deal".
As Dad says, "If you're born to hang, you'll never drown." I've never known exactly what that means or how it is relevant in the ways that Dad uses it... but it doesn't really matter because unless I visit some very convincing mystic (why would I do THAT?!?), I won't likely know until I KNOW how I am going to die.
So... the "deal" part means that it's up to me to manage the risks. Keep eating healthy, maybe drink a little more red wine (it's GOOD for me!), keep exercising and shrinking my backside till I reach my goal weight, continue to reduce the amounts of chemicals and toxins that I am exposed to... and enjoy life (while keeping an eye out for suspicious changes). I can live with that. The alternative would pretty much feel like I was inviting cancer in and that is not happening.
Part of this sudden slap in the face with this reality also came to the forefront this week because on two days ago I learned that a good friend from college passed away quite suddenly of a heart attack. She was 42 years old. I am 42 years old. She lived life to the fullest though and in some ways really modeled making the most of the time you've got. She didn't know that she had a heart problem - that was just who she was.
So anyway... Cuck Fancer - you don't scare me! (Okay - yeah, you do. We don't need to meet in person ever. Really. And just in case you are listening, you really need to start picking on the rapists, pedophiles, serial killers, and other miscreants and leave the good-for-this-world people alone!)
Here's to living a good life as long as we're kickin'. Cheers!