Monday 23rd January 2017,
The Liz Army

Special certificate: brain cancer

Me jumping for joy at being asked to host TEDxWomen in Sacramento.

In 2013 I celebrated my five-year cancer-versary (anniversary of the date one is diagnosed with cancer). In early 2014 I will celebrate the five-year anniversary of my second craniotomy.

In this medical world–this crazy, crazy, world–professional patients like me celebrate weird things like these. Maybe it is because at first a cancer diagnosis takes away your sense of self, your purpose.

I lost my job. I felt like a total loser even though, logically, losing my job had nothing to do with my skills. It was cancer’s fault. (It was also my new employer’s fault for letting me go just because I got sick so soon after they hired me. Me? Bitter?)

A cancer-versary is like an award. I wish I could add “cancer survivor” to my LinkedIn page right after the section about Honors & Awards. Or maybe I can add it to the section about special certificates?

It is crazy scrolling back through this blog. I used to write every day, at least weekly, back when I had no job. My life was BRAIN CANCER, 24/7.

Today, now that I am healthily living with brain cancer, I see my diagnosis like an attribute.

I have blue eyes and brown hair. I can deadlift 140 lbs. and I have brain cancer.

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  • John Moran

    Hi Liz, I’ve been following your blog for quite a while now but have never posted. Congrats on your “cancer-versary”. My better half was diagnosed with a gemistocytic astrocytoma a little over two years ago. Our latest MRI was last Tuesday and got to admit, we were both very stressed in the lead up but thankfully, all was stable so I’ve been in a cracking mood ever since! I’m guessing that is what has spurned me on to post and congratulate you on your great news. Enjoy the Christmas!

  • Marias angel

    On my last visit with my doc, she told me that with brain tumors, we could never be in remission. Since 2004, I’ve had a craniotomy (2007), taken Temodar, now for the 2nd time, dealt with epilepsy… and at the same time lost 2 jobs and keeping things afloat to raise my daughter! I’m working again now but can’t drive :( I say we should wear our badges of honor and be proud. I don’t think its strange to celebrate our anniversaries because they are reminders that we survived (and this may sound a little corny) and that we are real warriors!

  • Susie Wilson

    I live in Austin and I’m doing my second round of brain cancer- 14 years apart!- would love to talk about the residue I’m dealing with from round one to second especially the fact that treatment changes and some is left over from them driving blind that you don’t get a ticket until round two.-Susie Wilson 49old