Friday, December 9, 2011

I AM NO LONGER A CANCER PATIENT! (and beware of the blame game)

When my doctor called a few days following my surgery to give me the good news that I was cancer free my Mom told me something I had not thought of. “You are no longer a cancer patient. That should make you feel better psychologically.” She was right. I am now a survivor.

I wanted to take some time out today to just write about some thoughts I am having. I have been putting together my “experience piece” slowly here and there as promised in addition to thinking lately about the other blogs I want to write here about autoimmune, art and life but for now…I guess I am just checking in. I find that a lot of people are unable to leave anything in the comment section here so I often get tons of emails and FB messages instead. And the main message I am getting lately is of love and it leaves me speechless. So again and as always, thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

It has been exactly one month today since my procedure and I am overjoyed to report that I am doing very well. I am still tired and have some moderate discomfort, but with Fibromyalgia that is expected anyway. Since I had my first expander fill yesterday I will be definitely taking it easy this weekend. My amazing family worked tirelessly the past four weeks to ensure my healing in every way possible and I feel quite blessed. I cannot imagine what it would it is like to be going through this without a lot of support or none at all which has me thinking in all matter of different ways for the future.

But meanwhile, here is what has been on my mind…

This past week a rash of recent medical studies came out by whoever and whomever that there is little link between environmental factors and breast cancer. That a healthy life style and maintaining the proper weight, etc. etc. etc. (YAWN) are the key to prevention. I am not going to bother posting any links because it is simply to me the latest “duh” buzz on the subject. Naturally maintaining a healthy lifestyle can certainly stave off such things or make them not as bad. But it is frustrating that so many women, including myself, who HAVE had healthy lifestyles most of our lives still got caught with the little bugger. And here is what I believe and have even had top doctors admit it to me…we really do not know what causes it. Personally I think it is impossible to rule out anything environmental (which could be anything from the air you breath to the ingredients from over the years from foods thought to be healthy and were not) in playing a role in any kind of illness. There is so much we do not understand yet. And “studies” may just simply not have the right know-how and tools to even uncover what they need to in order to find the link, so they spread this nonsense in the media. For those of you who have followed my blog since the beginning, you probably remember a piece I did earlier on how our society is set up to sort of blame ourselves for our health problems. Grant it, I highly believe people have a responsibility to take care of themselves best they can to ensure they and their planet are as healthy as possible, even with the already done damage. Sill, someone gets cancer and suddenly such a study might make them feel guilty they indulged in the occasional pastry. How absurd. And me? With the issues I experienced following radiation I looked back and decided I should have never done it. But had I not I just know I would question…did my cancer come back because I did not? I know I would play the blame game. And it is not right.

The fact of the matter is the blame game helps nobody, especially the one dealing with disease. So when you hear this stuff in the media, take hints from it, but take it with a grain of salt. I can guarantee that sometime next year another study could link breast cancer to something in like…um…who knows…a certain kind of paper towel. And a year from that finds that false. So breath easy. As an autoimmune patient I was told we tend to get cancer a little more easily, too. And I imagine there are a lot of people out there with autoimmune conditions who maintain healthy lifestyles who are not even aware they have an autoimmune condition. Health is complicated enough. You can only do the best you can do. The bottom line is, be good to yourself. Always. 


  1. Man, did you NAIL it with this post. In my time at CSUN, I saw so many wonderful, healthy, clean-living people keel over dead from all manner of things -- cancer, heart attacks, strokes. I kid you not. These were all people under age 50. It really freaked me out. But what I took from it was, JUST LIVE YOUR LIFE. Do your best. Be kind to others. None of us knows what's gonna take us. I could get hit by a goddamn bus tomorrow.

    I'm so happy for you and wish you nothing but continued healing and time with your family. I know you're gonna do great, and all this stuff will just make you stronger. ;-)


  2. Thank you for writing this. You are such an inspiration to me and I'm sure, to many, many others. Life is uncertain. We just have to live it. You are a wonderful example of life! Not by being stricken with disease and illness, not by surviving, but by the way you have lived every day, regardless of your particular circumstances. Judgment is a difficult thing. Sometimes, we arrive at that place in our lives when we can finally understand that the judgment of others does not define us. That's a great place to be. However, it is a truly strong person who can finally stop the judgment on herself and who lives in acceptance and love, from the inside out. I wish you continued success in your recovery and all of the peace and happiness that you so clearly deserve. Miki, you make a difference.

  3. This is indirectly related to this particular post. My Mom has recently been dealing with a variety of health issues---the helpless feeling of watching loved ones suffer can be emotionally draining. But a few helpful, hopeful words from people such as yourself make all the difference. I support this blog, I toast your health, and I just wanted to take a moment to say "thank you" for your thoughtfulness.

  4. Thank you so much Kate, Allan and Gloism. It makes me feel a bit stronger right now if I at least helped even just a few people. Love always, Miki

  5. Thank you my wonderful daughter for helping.

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  7. I am thinking of you (as always!) and can't wait to catch up (its been too, too long!). You have been through so much but things can only get better from here. You are an inspiration to me and to every woman out there. love, Kris

  8. Wow, cancer free is awesome! I am so happy for you and your family. And great post!

  9. Great post Miki! I guess I missed this one in all the craze of helping Angela with the boys. I'm so glad you're doing so well :0)