Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Glenn


Meet Glenn, diagnosed with lung cancer in 2010. 

Earlier in February we posted a photo of Dan whose experience with cancer left him fighting for more accomplishments.

Glenn shares one of his accomplishments with us.  He says being able to get through treatment has been an accomplishment. 
"Somebody once asked me if I was a cancer survivor and I don't think that I am, but I am a cancer fighter.  It might just be semantics.  I don't know if I will ever be truly cancer free.  They say that if you are cancer free for 5 years, you are considered in remission.   I don't know if I will make that.  So, there is always this spectre hanging over your head.  I am always one CT scan away from being a patient again.  Only about 17% of lung cancer patients survive 5 years.  The survival rate is ridiculously low.  Somebody's got to be in there.  Pick me".

We asked Glenn what are the things you are most grateful for? 

"Family would have to be the first one.  I thought what am I going to tell my kids?  How do you tell two little boys (ages 8 and 10 at the time) that their Dad has a terminal illness?  So we went and spoke to some of the social workers at CancerCare and got some ideas.  You wonder what is their reaction going to be?  How are they going to deal with this?

I have been amazed that they have been able to deal with it in the manner that they did.  They still continue to deal with it.  It hasn't been without its issues but overall, I can honestly say that the way they have dealt with it has made it a lot better for the family to be able to fight.

There are countless issues that come up when you are a cancer patient and they come out of left field. And when you try to prepare for some of them – like how are your kids going to take it and deal with it, and it turns out that they take it and deal with it very well, and you are very proud of them for what they have done, and that whole issue that you prepared for didn’t really occur.  It is real difficult to explain to them when they can’t actually see it.

I sat the boys down we talked.
I told them I’ve got a pretty serious illness.  I have been coughing a lot.  I have this lump thing inside and they said 'oh', and I said yeah, I have to go through surgery to take it out.  And they said 'oh, okay'.
I said then I might have to take this medication and they said 'oh', and I said yeah, the medication can make me really sick and my little guy said, 'well that doesn’t make any sense.  Why would you take medication to make you better that is going to make you sick?'  And I said, well, it is the side effects of the medication and then he said, 'well what do you mean by side effects?'  I said, well, my hair might all fall out.  And then he said, 'your hair is falling out anyway'.  And I said yeah, but it might fall out worse and maybe it will grow back and he said 'okay, but it might grow back a different colour, like purple?'  
You kinda have to deal with the innocence of childhood thrown in".








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