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Save the Date: Adding a Dose of Hope to Your Cancer Calendar

For this cancer survivor, the new year starts every day.
The holidays of December are upon us, and the dawning of a new year with cancer in my life is about to begin. Dates become milestones for many of us surviving a life-threatening disease. In my case, it’s male breast cancer.

Those of us with cancer can measure our lives by the weeks and months between mammograms, ultrasounds and CAT scans, and it is these intervals separating our procedures, those silent and unruffled times, which we all look forward to; they present us with the space and the tranquility we seek.

When I discovered that I had breast cancer in May of 2014, my list of appointments and schedules and future dates was instantly deleted. It felt like the virus in a computer had suddenly infested my life and replaced a fully active hard drive with blank pages.

With cancer as a way of life, we are forced to make changes in our schedules and plans, and it’s never easy for the uninitiated. My calendar has a lot of blank squares in it, though my long-term goals remain operational. Aside from having my routines and activities thrown off by my cancer, there have been some surprising upsides to my disease.

I no longer take for granted my opportunity to blog and write stories about my journey, or my walks in the stunning Arizona desert where I live. I no longer put off writing the songs that I hear in my head, or delay the occasion to play my banjo or watch a good video with my wife.

But more than anything, I have a new capacity to marvel at the world we live in and to sense my presence in a very big universe that holds secrets that I am incapable of understanding. I can stop for a few precious moments during the day and turn off my busy brain to almost hear the ringing of the cosmos, and actually feel the vibration of the hummingbirds who sip at our feeders outside in the yard.

Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Breast Cancer CURE discussion group.
Khevin Barnes is a Male Breast Cancer survivor, magician and speaker. He is currently writing, composing and producing a comedy stage musical about Male Breast Cancer Awareness. He travels wherever he is invited to speak to (and do a little magic for) men and women about breast cancer. www.BreastCancerSpeaker.com www.MaleBreastCancerSurvivor.com
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