A hero and role model of mine, Ronni Bennett of Time Goes By returned to her blog today just six days after surgery for pancreatic cancer. If you have an eidetic memory you may recall she’s a big reason I blog because I admired the way she wrote and her commitment to the process. She’s also a contemporary of mine give or take a few years, and now she’s also a cancer survivor. I don’t know that I’ve dealt with my being a cancer survivor here.
In my mind, I have prostate cancer. I had it removed eleven years ago, but, of course, cancer is a cellular disease, and there’s no way at this time to do a complete assay of every cell. I have a test for Prostate Specific Antigen done whenever my primary care doctor orders it, but that isn’t as reassuring as one might think because it’s never been 0.0 ng/mL and it goes up a bit every time they test for it. I figure I’m walking around with unexploded ordnance in me, and one of these days it’ll be back. This has worked for me for eleven years. I don’t belabor it and have no idea whether or not that will be what finally takes me. Until my annus horribilis when I was diagnosed, then broke my femur, then had the blood clot, and then finally the surgery, I was betting on the heart or maybe the liver.
Nobody was more surprised than I was when I turned 70. Over a lifetime of poor decisions, I have smoked like a chimney, drank like a fish, eaten way too many fats and carbs, throw in cancer, and – pfft – why not? There are a couple of people I’ve hurt whom I shouldn’ have hurt, but I expect I’ll take whatever lumps I have to come for that.
I was not prepared for Ronni to have cancer, especially pancreatic cancer which is notoriously difficult to catch at a treatable stage, and I’m – well, I’m relieved that she’s recovering so quickly. I’m keeping good thoughts that she’ll keep on ticking for at least another 11+ years as I have.
None of you all reading this need to be getting that shit, either.