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    What is a survivor?
    2lkittie posted:
    Yes, I had colon cancer. Stage 2. I had "the bag", and before that, before the surgery, I was tired, not hungry, losing weight (only a woman who had cancer can appreciate it's not a blessing!) and couldn't get around the supermarket without a motorized cart. But after the surgery, with "the bag" I got to decide on no chemo, no radiation. I got to say, this is where it ends. It was not just because it was my right, the doctor actually gave me the option, and said there was no medical proof that, for me, it would really do any good. Not that I would die or anything. I just wouldn't need it. And then, I had a second surgery, five months after the first, to put my insides back where they were.
    So am I really a cancer survivor or did I just have a super equivalent of having a hangnail removed by a surgeon instead of a beautician? Where do I fit? I see my oncologist. I can't gain weight, lose it some. I still wonder if I'll get another cancer, if not there, somewhere else, like the other people I've been told about since. Yes, I can walk in the store now, but my tummy "talks"--quietly. But I have no scary chemo stories, and my hair, although it thinned from the stress of surgery and, I guess, just the cancer and "the bag", is coming back nicely. No story there, no pictures, either. Am I a survivor? I went through more with the seizures. And yet, had I waited one more day, gone to another hospital, been driving across the desert to see my kin.....the question still rings in my ears, am I a survivor and of what?
    jawcrusher42 responded:
    had colon recal cancer had the bag, been off for about 1year still have problem will things get better?thanks
    mbmpa replied to jawcrusher42's response:
    My husband went thru the same thing. On the bag for awhile, did a resection, went thru matinance chemo, then after that, nothings been the same. Had lots of loose stool, had to wear adult diapers, now going in for the bag. Hopefully, his life will get back to normal. Good luck!
    snowmom60 responded:
    I would say you are a survivor. There are all different dimensions of a survivor, those that have had chemo, those that haven't, those that only had radiation, only surgery, no surgery. What makes you a survivor is you had cancer and you living today. Don't take that away from yourself, you didn't ask to have cancer.Who would? I congratulate you on being a cancer survivor! Pat yourself on the back:)
    snowmom60 replied to jawcrusher42's response:
    I belonged to a different board with more of a younger population. Many on there had resections and spoke of their problems with urgency and accidents. Some took as long as 2 yrs. to get to their new normal. One thing many of them spoke about was making a diary and list what you eat every day. After a while you may notice a pattern of what foods make this problem worse for you. One woman had to emit dairy completely from her diet. Some had to add more fiber, others less, but it's a good place to start.

    Good luck.
    2lkittie replied to snowmom60's response:
    Thanks, snowmom60, I was beginning to wonder. Sometimes when I hear everyone's stories, even my friends' cancer survival stories, I think, what have I got to complain about? But things rarely go back to normal. I guess if they did, the people who get that, like Lance Armstrong, wouldn't be in the news for doing what they did before the big C, would they? Thanks again. And have a great day!
    snowmom60 replied to 2lkittie's response:
    No problem. I'm only saying what's true. Don't take away from the fact that you had cancer just because you didn't do as much as anyone else. We all have our own personal journey and story to tell.

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