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November 12, 2009

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bint alshamsa

Congratulations, @Drew! I look forward to hearing about what you decide to do with your future.

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=501203508

thank you so much for your support, and for this post. i am already going through a lot of this. this part i think might be AS challenging as the diagnosis/fighting part.

<3

twitter.com/damata

Hey Drew,
First congrats on using your battle with cancer to raise awareness inspire people everywhere! you're the man!

Second, to add to your post chemo checklist, climb a mountain with rockers and other cancer survivors on an epic musical journey! The Love Hope Strength foundation has been doing this for a couple of years and it's a killer way to emotionally cleanse, physically challenge, continue to inspire and results in delivering help to countries/people in need. They just did one on Kilimanjaro with The Fixx, The Alarm, Gin Blossoms, Stray Cats etc kilirocks.org and are using proceeds raised to build a cancer center in E. Africa. We would love to have you in the army! www.lovehopestrength.org

twitter.com/jodyms

I'm thrilled for you @DREW to have this challenging aspect of treatment behind you. Treatment is one part of survivorship. You can say goodby to nausea, needles, needle pokes, blood draws every other day, Zofran, dry mouth metallic taste, joint pain, and all symptoms associated with chemo.

Now comes a phase that no one can prepare you for but in my estimation, needs as much if not more support than treatment. It's the adjustment to having cancer in your life and what is left in the aftermath. Fatigue. Bills. Insurance hassles. Pressure to be a happy survivor each and every day (we aren't, we're all human). Physical alterations from surgery to treat the cancer. Mental alterations from the onslaught of chemo and anesthesia. Mental stress -- for some, learning a new way to take care of yourself.

There's a huge wish to feel DONE. Why don't I feel better? Why don't I like to do this anymore? I didn't cry this much when I was diagnosed, why now?

Why now, indeed? Now's the time you can process everything that happened. For me, that took longer than I expected. I needed both physical and lymphadema therapy. I needed new clothes. When my hair grew back initially it was freakin' weird. I was hot, and bothered, and often felt like a raging bull. But that didn't stop me from trying, or working, or training for and completing an Avon Three Day Walk (it was 20 miles a day for three days in a row!) which I loved.

In fact, here's the beauty of the whole experience: the more I talked to survivors,and FOR survivors, the more I became myself. PLUS some. The more I do to help people with cancer the more strength God gives me.

So, go with the flow. You are already on an awesome path. If I had better understood that there is often a difficult time of adjustment perhaps I could have same myself some grief. Hope it does for you and all who are winding up their chemotherapy right now.

Blessings,
Jody

twitter.com/J_OMalley

Your slate has been wiped clean and anything can happen. Your future is unwritten. You've learned things from this experience that will allow you to take pen in hand and write your own future.

Post-chemo... I got myself a personal trainer and worked with a nutritionist to make my cancer-free body even better and healthier than it had ever been before. I stopped drinking soda or alcohol and started treating myself like the amazing miracle that the human body is. I took yoga classes and long walks and I pull over if I see a really cool sunset so I can take a moment to appreciate the beauty in life.

Use your vacation days. Make a promise to yourself to take your birthday off every year. Take Sarah's birthday off, too, while you're at it. Take lots of photographs. Laugh. Sleep in on Sundays and get the Sunday paper and your coffee and crawl back into bed to enjoy them. Buy a pair of bunny slippers just because they're silly. Embrace silly.

You're going to be fine.

Elaine Marinari

Drew,
I have been following your journey since you jumped out of a plane. Your strength, your smile, your perseverance have been an ongoing inspiration to me, and I am sure to all of the lives you've touched with your story. Thanks for being willing to be a "poster boy" of sorts, and spread awareness and dollars to beat cancer. I #blamedrewscancer that there are not more people on the planet, like Drew.
Elaine Marinari

Scott Joy

Makes me think of Chris Brewer's blog post yesterday from 13 years out: http://livestrongblog.org/2009/11/13/the-fear-of-recurrence-after-13-years/

"...the fight never ends. Cancer may leave your body, but it never leaves your life."

Offsetting all this: new purpose and amazing community.

Cancer disease

very good post !!! nice job !!!

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