No one ever expects to receive the dreaded news: “You have cancer.” Yet, considering the number of new cases diagnosed every year in the U.S., an individual shouldn’t be all that shocked if their number does come up.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the lifetime risk of developing cancer is approximately 38.5 percent of men and women who will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime. This percentage was based on NCI’s 2012-2014 data.
The National Cancer Institute’s latest figures also show an estimated 1,688,780 new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2017.
Hence, the battle for survival ensues.
Unless it has happened to you or a loved one, it is impossible to fathom how the trauma of a cancer diagnosis alters the life of the person who has suddenly been thrown headlong into the cancer-patient arena. The same holds true for his or her family. Their lives will never be the same as they undergo the trials of helping their loved one battle the disease, and additionally live with the fear of losing that family member. We are there.
One final statistic: NCI’s five-year-survival rate from 2007-2013 (the latest figure available) is 67 percent.
Twenty five months ago, on June 8, Mr. Outdoors was given the Big “C” diagnosis.
Yup. His world, and that of our family, turned upside down in a heartbeat.
Bob’s oncologist, Dr. Paula Gill, has told us she will never say the words cancer-free. However, the fantastic news he received recently soothes the soul almost as much as hearing those words.
Last week, The Outdoors Guy learned his CT scan is clean again!! Since Feb. 22, 2016, this is his sixth scan. And it is the sixth where there is no sign of the pancreatic tumor he was diagnosed with on May 8, 2015. There are no words to describe the jubilation we feel each time we receive such incredible news!!!!
Besides the CT scan, the tumor marker is another important part of the equation. Previously, we were told 55 is normal. Recently we learned a number below 35 is normal for cancer patients. Mr. Outdoors’ is looking fantastic at 7!!!
Bob’s liver is also doing much better since he is no longer undergoing chemo.
Dr. Gill was elated as she told Bob, “You are doing "’SPECTACULAR’!!!"
This marvelous news feels like gazing at the exquisite beauty of the heavens on a star-filled night, complemented by 4th of July fireworks!!!
The awe and wonder of God’s grace is all around us.
“And His mercy endures forever!!!” Psalm 136:1