The constant fear for cancer survivors

January 16, 2017

Remission can be an invigorating experience for cancer sufferers, but it can also bring with it a number of new challenges.

Amy has said in the past it’s difficult to forget the fact she has cancer.

For her the constant reminder is her tablets which she takes every morning and evening to slow the return of the tumour and prevent seizures from reoccurring.

I had always imagined it would be the same for other people diagnosed with cancer and it wasn’t until speaking with a Leukemia survivor I understood what Amy had meant.

In a way she was living in constant fear one day the cancer would return and she would have to go through it all again.

The seizures; the blood tests and MRI scans; the time spent in waiting rooms; meetings with specialists; surgery; recovery; and if all fails chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

It’s easy to forget about the internal struggles which cancer patients go through, even when they are in remission.

Jarrod Lyle is a professional golfer who grew up in Shepparton and currently plays on the PGA tour.

At 17 he was diagnosed with acute Myeloid Leukemia and spent almost two years out of the game after undergoing chemotherapy.

In 2012 he was told the disease had returned and said the birth of his daughter the same year was what gave him hope to go through a second round of treatment and make it out okay.

Now aged 35 he admitted even in remission he had the same fear it would come back for a third time.

Even so he was never bitter about the fact he had leukemia.

He copped it on the chin and got on with his life as best he could.

When speaking with him the past year the one thing which stuck with me more than anything else during the interview wasn’t his golfing accolades.

It was his off-course battle with cancer which truly made his story remarkable.

He said at one stage during the interview, “it’s always in the back of your mind. I would get a cold and have this feeling that it might be coming back again”.

I instantly thought to my sister’s words and understood finally what she had meant.

She wasn’t in immediate threat of the disease, but having experienced what it was like to know you had no control of the outcome made the thought of it one day returning almost unbearable.

Jarrod said if he could change ever having cancer, he would.

And the same would go for anyone going through a similar situation and their families.

But unfortunately there are some things you can’t change, no matter how much you may want to, and we do what Jarrod has done and cop it on the chin and move on.

Her diagnosis hasn’t held Amy back in any way and as she prepares to make the move down to Melbourne her goals now turn to getting accepted into university and completing her degree in teaching.

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