It's been 10 years since I was diagnosed with Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma... cancer. I started this blog to share the many emotions, fears, experiences and, hopefully, triumphs that I will face throughout this journey. I have two goals for this blog, 1. To gain some degree of personal therapeutic benefit and, 2. To help others who may one day face a similar struggle by detailing the process of diagnosis, treatment and recovery so that they may know what to expect.

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

10 Year Anniversary - Final Post

October 5 2016 - Today marks the 10 year anniversary since my last cancer treatment.  I didn't necessarily plan to post any more and truthfully I had forgotten how to even log in to this site (chemo brain! :-)) but I got a message recently from a stranger who was just diagnosed with head and neck SCC and who managed to find this blog so I guess it's still serving some purpose.  So if you stumble across this blog in your search for information, I hope you can take some comfort in knowing that there is life after cancer and despite what you may be feeling right now, the day will come when this will all be a distant memory.

I'm not sure precisely when cancer was no longer a daily part of my life but I can tell you that now, 10 years later, my life is my own again.  Sure there are lingering effects from surgery, radiation, and chemo and I suspect they might become more pronounced over time.  But it's all pretty normalized which is to say I don't really think about them very often, if at all.  Even the scar on my neck which was once so prominent has faded to the point where I don't think people notice unless they are really up close.  Cancer and the fear it instills was a burden that was with me every day for a long time... until it wasn't.

Life has changed tremendously over these 10 years.  My son, who was four when this all started, is now 15 and just entering his sophomore year of HS.  I have a new wife and family and have experienced so much, good and bad, that at one time I didn't think I would get to experience.  I remember as part of my ''bargaining' phase asking God to just let me see my son graduate from HS because at the time that seemed so far away.  Now that it's right around the corner, I guess it's time to start making new goals.

This will be my last post in this blog.  I don't really have any profound words of wisdom other than to say that if you're reading this right now because either you or a loved one are just starting this journey, keep the faith because the day will come when you too will reach this milestone.  Go back to the beginning by clicking the links on the right so you can see how it all started and what to expect throughout treatment and beyond.  Of course if you do have any questions, please feel free to email me and I will respond as soon as possible.  I hope that my story will give you knowledge, strength, hope, and peace.

2 Comments:

Blogger Bill Stroh said...

Hello Mike,
I was diagnosed with SCC stage 4 throat cancer in Feb 2015 as you know at first even with friends and family by your side you still look for hope from someone who lived through this terrible thing. I have to tell you that I found that in your blog. Those painful sleepless nights during treatments I was inspired by your words. You also helped me to search out the only Tomotherapy machine in Connecticut for my radiation treatments. This June will be two years post treatment for me and I look forward to the day I too no longer think about cancer. I also started a blog and writing about it really became therapeutic. I want to tell you from the bottom of my heart Thank You for the hope you gave me by sharing your story. Enjoy your sons Graduation and then his wedding day along with your grandchildren. As I plan to do as well. I hope my story can help the same way yours helped me.
https://fightmycancer.wordpress.com/author/busybeeroofingllc/
Bill Stroh

8:23 PM

 
Blogger Opposcity said...

Mike,

It's been a long time, but CONGRATULATIONS on passing the 10-year mark.

All the best from your old friend from TomoTherapy, Inc....
Kevin O'Malley

12:47 PM

 

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