Valentine’s Day 2015. As I was towel drying my body after a shower, I caught a peek of my back in the mirror. I noticed this huge mark that I hadn’t seen before. It was an odd-shaped mole. It looked exactly like the one in the above photo. Because I had been doing some research on the subject, I knew there was a good chance the mole was cancerous.
A month later, a biopsy confirmed my somewhat informed diagnosis. It was Melanoma. In April of 2015, a two-hour surgery removed the cancer from my body.
Today is the sixth anniversary of finding that cancerous mole. Although there have been a couple of minor skin cancer episodes, there’s been no sign of Melanoma returning. Today, I’m cancer-free for six years.
I beat cancer! I won the battle against cancer!
Even typing those words makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. I didn’t beat anything! I didn’t win any battle. I was just lucky to find the mole early enough before it could do any damage. Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. This was one of those times.
There are no winners when dealing with cancer. There certainly are no losers. Basically, it is what it is. I don’t know how you can call someone who had a short surgery without chemo or radiation a winner, while the person who dies after living with cancer for a decade or longer has lost? The terms are insulting to both sides.
We need to change the language of cancer. We need to drop the win/loss from our cancer vocabulary. Cancer isn’t a game. The results will not show up in any box score.
Today, I will spend a few minutes noting the anniversary of finding the cancerous mole. I’m grateful for all the circumstances surrounding that day. I’m grateful that it wasn’t worse. I’m grateful I’m alive and cancer-free. But, I’ll also remember that I didn’t win anything, I just was lucky. That word is good enough for me.
Related Post: Five years melanoma free. What’s next?
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