I was diagnosed with metastatic Neuroendocrine Cancer – 26th July 2010. Until I arrived at my 5th anniversary, I hadn’t thought much about how (or if) I should mark these occasions. I never thought I would dwell on such things as ‘Cancerversaries‘ but I now totally get why many patients and survivors do.
There are several types of ‘Cancerversary‘ that for some, could trigger a mix or range of emotions including gratitude, relief and fear of cancer recurrence or growth. These milestones could be the date of a cancer diagnosis, the end of a particular type of treatment (anniversary of surgery etc) or a period since no signs or symptoms of cancer were reported. Everybody will handle it their own way – and that’s perfectly understandable.
The 5-year milestone was significant, I suspect, because it’s a period very frequently used in prognostic outcome statistics. When I was researching after my diagnosis, the 5-year figure for metastatic Neuroendocrine Cancer wasn’t that great, in fact, it looked less favourable than more aggressive cancers. Then I gradually worked out that the prognostic figures for Neuroendocrine Cancer were very dated (like many other things about Neuroendocrine Cancer online) and did not consider improved diagnostic techniques and the introduction of a plethora of new treatments, in particular somatostatin analogues. Consequently, I no longer pay any attention to prognostic statistics – I’m more influenced by the substantial number of long-term survivors I see out there.
Check out the fantastic response to my 7th year ‘cancerversary’ post. Click here to be inspired.
Check out the fantastic response to my 8th year ‘cancerversary post’. Click here to be inspired.
Check out the fantastic response to my 9th year ‘cancerversary post’. Click here to be inspired.
Check out my “10th cancerversary I’m still here” post. Click here.
My cancer is incurable but treatable, but I will never call it terminal. Despite some issues so far, I’m still here and I intend to be here next year, and for many more years after that!
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