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My Cancerversary is Looming

My Cancerversary is Looming

Normally around Christmas and New Year, I become a bit maudlin, melancholy and reflective. I suppose a part of that is natural. Winter is officially here. The days are short and dark. And a new year is on the horizon. It is a time to think and reflect. To see what has gone well and what hasn’t. What we plan to change to make the next year better. And for me, the 19th of January will forever be a date in my diary to be acknowledged.

A day I’ll never forget

The date I was diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia… an evening phone call, around 7.30, that started a series of events that I would have never foreseen. A student in her early 20’s just enjoying being a student. And then all of a sudden she was a girl with cancer.

And nearly 12 years later, I’m still that girl. Well, now that I’m 34, I’m probably a woman – with cancer. And I still remember that day so vividly.  The walk home from the doctors across George the Vth Bridge in Edinburgh.  How cold it was but a bright sunny day.  Speaking to my father to let him know I had been to the doctors that morning and had a blood test as I hadn’t been feeling quite right.  And then putting it out of my head as I didn’t think anything much of it.

There is no end of treatment date for me. No 5 years clear and off you go. I’m currently on 4 weekly check-ups and haven’t had a check-up less frequently than that in years. But that’s ok. I’d rather this and all the treatment changes and regular appointments than 3 or 6 monthly check-ups on drugs that are making me miserable and severely restricting my quality of life.

I finally feel like me

Right now, however, I’m not that bothered that my 12th cancerversary is in 3 weeks. And this is the first time this has ever happened! Yes. I will still do something with friends. I’m not going to let it pass without acknowledging it. But this is the first year, other than the 1st one because I was a student with nothing much to do other than get out of bed, that I feel good. Like me. Like it’s not a massive thing. Because my treatment isn’t holding me back. I don’t need to focus on all the good that has come of my diagnosis. Because I feel good. Which is weird. I definitely don’t associate myself with feeling like this and being on treatment.

I also don’t need to make an effort to see people in the same way on my cancerversary as I am now able to see friends when I want to. Even after a days work! This is a first for me. Which is probably why I’m not as bothered as usual about it.

I might feel different over the coming days and things trickle through my memory of how I felt in those weeks leading up to my diagnosis. How my life was about to change forever. But today, I will just focus on enjoying being me. And hoping that this continues for many more cancerversary to come.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Blood-Cancer.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Shane.Lee moderator
    5 months ago

    March 12, 2019 will be my 1 year cancerversary. I was diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia). Funny part was I was seeing the doctor on a check up for a cyst in my right kidney. My PCP called me back to have blood drawn 8 times that weekend. That following Monday, I was told to head for the hospital immediately because i had last ending stages of AML. Doc told me I had only 2 to 3 weeks left max. Recently I found out it wasn’t weeks….it was only days left. Today, almost one year later, I’m doing great, my blood tests are showing perfect. I carry on with life as normal, but with a little more caution, excersize more and i’ve changed my diet to involve more fresh vegi’s. I’m not sure how i’m gunna emotionally feel on my day 1 year later, but I’m going to be very thankful i’m still alive for sure as I am each and every day I wake up. What I took for granted, now is so very precious.

  • Rebimearey23
    5 months ago

    The same hereb Feb 12 was one year since I got diagnosed. I am only 28 years old and my husband left me when I got the cancer. All my my family are in Ethiopia I try to bring one of my sibling who was the match to donate his bone marrow but the trump administration now they denied my brother medical Visa. So I am here alone fighting this evil disaster AML. BUT STAYING POSITIVE AND STRONG SO FAR THANKS GOD AMD THE LYMPHOMA AMD LEUKEMIA SOCIETY THEY BEEN ON MY SIDE. ALSO MY DOCTOR AND NURSE AND THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY HERE.

  • Matt Goldman
    5 months ago

    Nice post Katie, Keep being you, keep being reflective and congratulations on your cancerversary

  • Ann Harper moderator
    6 months ago

    The day we found out we had cancer was definitely a life changer. It changed my daughter life and my life as well. Moving on and living each day is what’s important. On Facebook I just saw a quote that said, “You only live once.” The reply was, “No, you only die once. You live everyday.” It appears that’s what you’re trying to do.

  • greenrg87
    6 months ago

    Hi, Can you get a bone marrow transplant? As time goes on we try not to think so much about it ,But it’s always there !!! I think about it a lot ,just praying they’ll find a cure. Stay positive is what I always tell myself!!!!

  • Shane.Lee moderator
    5 months ago

    greerg87, I fully agree with you. Staying positive to me is the best defense. It’s a lot of stress mentally as it is knowing you have cancer. But by being positive, you have something to fight with, and help keep you mentally strong. Best wishes, Shane (Blood-Cancer Team Member)

  • Carole McCue
    6 months ago

    Katie,
    Glad you are feeling well. You are a survivor. God bless you

  • Ronni Gordon
    6 months ago

    Hi Katie, I’m glad you’re feeling well these days and so sorry that you have to keep living with CLL. Hopefully some day they’ll find a way to get rid of it. You’re so young and otherwise healthy, you’d be a good candidate for the next great discovery!

  • bluchs
    6 months ago

    Katie! Congratulations on 12 years.
    As for me?
    My cancerversary is June 01,2015.
    But for me, I just pray I am still here to see my 4th?

  • Shane.Lee moderator
    5 months ago

    Bluchs, I hope you not only see your 4th year, but an additional 40. Stay positive. Science is constantly finding new ways to fight all types of cancer. For me, it’s AML. Best wishes, Shane (Blood-Cancer.com Team Member)

  • Daniel Malito moderator
    6 months ago

    @katieruane Katie, it’s a weird dichotomy, isn’t it? The farther away we get from our diagnosis the less we seem to worry about it but the more it becomes part of our lives. I’m glad you are starting ot get back to some semblance of a routine. Keep on keepin’ on, DPM

  • Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo moderator
    6 months ago

    @danielpmalito This is so true!

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