New to Cancer? Me too. Everyday.


A male breast cancer survivor explains why living with cancer never gets old.

Scientists tell us that the average human body replaces cells at a rate of about 2 million per second; so, your body creates more than 200 billion new cells every day.

Think about that number for moment.

There are also an estimated 200 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Coincidence? You decide. After all, according to Dr. Simon Worrall writing for NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, we are all made of the remnants of exploding stars.

Every day of our lives, our bodies and the cancer cells that are in them evolve in unimaginable ways. Physically, we are a new person every time we look in the mirror.

And the methods and procedures being developed for treating cancer are also in a constant state of flux. An average of 25 new cancer drugs are approved every year. While this seems like a small number after our discussion of billions, it’s important to remember that developing a new drug takes a lot of time, money and clinical trials, and many are never granted approval.

But the whole “business” of cancer, internally and externally, is evolving at the speed of light, it seems.

And then we must consider and understand that our own beliefs, philosophies, thoughts and strategies for treating our cancer are constantly evolving as well. Whether you rely solely on your oncologist’s suggestions, or set your own course for the ways in which you grapple with the disease, cancer is always on the move—either ebbing or flowing.

When and if we receive that sought-after pronouncement that our bodies show “no evidence of disease,” there are a billion reasons (as long as we’re talking about astonishing numbers ) to celebrate that news.

And there’s no reason to doubt that we can be cured at any time. It happens.

But it’s important to remember the fact that cancer is not a tumor. A tumor is the name given to a group of cancer cells. Cancer, though found in very small parts, is a very big thing. Cancer cells are mutated cells. And every day you develop large numbers of mutated cells in your body. And every day of your life, your body gets rid of those cancer cells. Your body created an immune system to deal with this, because it knows errors happen. So, your immune system works very hard to keep you alive.

And here’s the point: Yes, we can most definitely be cured of cancer or stop its progression, but that incredible mechanism that works inside of us — just as it works in those billions of stars that appear, shine their light, explode and reappear again as part of a human body — this is both the mystery and the magic of our lives.

And like it or not, life includes cancer.

So if you are new to cancer, you’re part of 14 million people who are diagnosed around the world every year. You’re not alone. And you’re definitely not inactive or motionless in your disease. You and I are reinvented every day. We’re on the move, meandering along through the cosmos with all of those stars, and starting over every day with another billion possibilities for our health and healing.

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