October 15, 2015

#Cancer Awareness: To Do: Fight @VickiBatman #RLFblog

Season of Surprises 
From Kayelle Allen: This week on Romance Lives Forever I'm sharing stories by authors who have faced cancer either in themselves, or a family member. The importance of friends and family, and having a support system is vital. One key to success is being able to ask for help -- and then being willing to accept it. It's a lesson I've had in my own life during various times. I don't accept help well. It's something I fight with all the time. I'd like to think "I've got this" but sometimes I don't have as good a grip as I thought I did. I have a friend who's dealing with cancer right now. A friend's brother died from cancer last year. Cancer affects all of us. I hope I'm even half as good a friend as those you'll read about in this series.
I'm presenting these posts as an opportunity for the authors to share their real life stories, as well as their fictional ones. There's a short list of ways you can show your support at the end of each post.

To Do: Fight, by Vicki Batman

Most people know I refer to my husband as Handsome. What some don't know is eight years ago, he was diagnosed with throat cancer.
He had a swollen lymph node that all doctors thought was allergy or infection-related. The drugs and antibiotics prescribed didn't knock it out. He had a needle biopsy which came back clean. His ENT doctor said she wanted to remove the lymph and when doing so, found the cancer in three spots.
My son and I had been waiting for the doc to tell us all was well with the surgery, but she took forever. When she did say, she asked if we wanted to tell Handsome. I couldn't. I couldn't even speak or hardly look at him. Waiting in the recovery room for her to discuss all was terribly hard.
Handsome was shocked too, but he was very determined. He said, "Something to check off my yellow pad: Fight Cancer."
He showed none of the classic symptoms that lead to throat/esophageal cancer. He smoked the rare cigar. Drank an occasional vodka or wine. Worked out. Not overweight. Little family history. Yet, he had it.
And so the battle strategy was formed with an oncology doc, an ENT specialist, and the head of radiology. We had our dates, we had our plans, we were marching forward.
At first, I stuffed him with everything imaginable, but mostly lots of cheese-related products, milkshakes, and pasta. He eventually did lose 35 pounds because the radiation scarred his throat and swallowing became difficult. He worked until fatigued, then worked at home. The only one who cried was me when he shaved his head. Eight weeks later, the treatment was over. And every subsequent test and examination has shown him to be clear.
I believe a combination of many things helped him through: his faith, our hope, family and friends, the skill of the doctors.
And the determination to check off his yellow pad: Fight Cancer.
---

Buy This Book

Season of Surprises holiday stories full of wishes and kisses from eight Amazon best-selling authors including
"Holiday Handbag Extravaganza" by Vicki Batman: Christmas Countdown is on! Hunk-a-licious customer, Jack Treadaway, pesters boutique owner, Callie Woods, to locate a vintage handbag for his mother. Too bad the wedge between them is his sister, the meanest girl in town.

About the Author

Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general "do anything gal" at a financial services firm--the list is endless.
Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to True Love, True Romance, True Confessions, Noble Romance Publishing, Long and Short Reviews, Museitup Publishing, and The Wild Rose Press. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.
Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if?"

Author Social Media

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23 comments:

  1. Hi, Kayelle! and thank you for asking me to share Handsome's story this year for Cancer Awareness Week on Romance Lives Forever. He is happy and healthy and strong. Ornery as ever. We rejoice every day!

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  2. Thanks for sharing, Vicki! I too have been down a similar road, and it changed my life completely. Makes me grateful for what I have. Cheers!

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    1. Absolutely, Kathryn! Having time with Handsome is the most important thing ever. And I don't mind cause I make him laugh.

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  3. What a great story, Vicki. I seem to remember that Handsome had cancer but it's been so many years, I'm not really sure where I read that. Congratulations to him for fighting it and winning! I think all of us have either had our own experiences with cancer or are close to someone who has. There's no "six degrees of separation" with this thing - it comes way closer than that with everyone I know. I had breast cancer in 2006, as I'm sure I may have shared with you. Lucky for me if you get breast cancer, DCIS is the one you want. It's considered Stage 0 and was far off the breast wall. I decided to have a mastectomy and then had the option of getting boobs - which I never had before. I was very flat chested, so I went for it. No chemo, no radiation, no drugs. I've been free and clear of any cancer since that time. But, I tell you, NO ONE wants to hear those dreaded words, "You have cancer". It's the most frightening thing ever. I'm so glad your hubby is well.

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    1. Thank you, Patricia. I was dumbfounded when she told us, especially because of the needle biopsy coming back clean. Seems it depends on where the needle goes. I am so glad you were able to fight your fight and win!

      Thank you for sharing your FIGHT story today.

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  4. Sooooo glad he's doing well! Hugs!

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    1. Hi, D'Ann! He is. I mean there is the gift that keeps giving--like an inability to swallow right, or turn his head completely. His jaw line was contoured with the radiation. Skin is dry. No saliva. Nowadays, the treatment is better and less of this happens. He gets PT to help with some of it and I get to rub his hands with lotion. He'd probably die if he knew I wrote that part. LOL

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  5. What an inspirational story, Vicki. I didn't know that about Handsome. (Love that you call him that.) Thanks for sharing. How awesome you're getting a happily ever after. I'll be sharing this. :)

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    1. Hi, Marsha! This happened not long after I began writing and I had to stop. All the Muse or whatever we call it evaporated. My mornings were spent going to treatment with him (and watching him eat Sonic cheese tater tots and donuts-Lordy!) Other times, I pushed food onto him.

      And I call him Handsome cause he is. He calls me Beautiful .

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  6. Oh Vicki, I know exactly how you felt and feel. My husbands first bout with cancer was just after the birth of our last baby in 1980, he had a tumor on his vocal cords. He remained cancer free until 3 years ago. We still fight the battle, and we even found a way to laugh because of the estrogen injections he received ( he went through a type of menopause). He still battles the fatigue and is gaining weight again. So I am with you sister, linking my arms into yours and battling away one day at a time.

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    1. Hi, Ruth! Somewhere, Handsome heard cancer is the gift that keeps giving. And I say Rats! I'm so sorry your hubby had to go through it again. It's not fun. The treatments can still be very harsh. This past weekend I visited with a friend who has been battling a severe melanoma and she is amazing.

      We can wallow in cancer or fight and carry on. It can consume us. And when our loved one has it, it can consume the relationship. He didn't like that and actually spent a lot of time talking and engaging in many other things. He didn't want his life to just about cancer.

      Hugs to you!

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  7. Hey Vicki! I didn't know that about Handsome, but I am glad he is doing well! My mother had lung cancer...twice! The first time she beat it and was cancer free for 13 years. And then it cam back. I lost her 6 years ago. There is a lot of cancer in my family and it is kind of scary! I have had to battle diabetes (I am doing great on that end!) and now 2 unexplained, unexpected heart attacks! I PRAY cancer stays away! I have enough on my plate!
    I have a cousin who just had to have his bladder removed due to cancer...his sister had, and has been CURED of (via stem cell transplant) Leukemia and his brother also went through a cancer scare! They are ALL younger than me and it's pretty scary! Their other sister is afraid to go to the doctor now! Both of their parents have had cancer also, now that I think of it!
    Cancer is a horrible disease!

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    1. Hi, Cathy! I'm so glad you are doing well. You are wayyy to young for those heart attacks, girlfriend. Please continue to take good care 'cause I need you around. I'm so sorry about your mom. Lung, throat, and stomach cancers are all connected.

      I guess in all likelihood most of us will get some form. Fortunately for me, my mom's side didn't have any.

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  8. Hi Vicki,
    Your story brought tears and a lump to my throat. I'm glad everything worked out and Handsome is still there for you. {{hugs}}
    Jacquie Biggar

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    1. Hi, Jacquie! I'm so sorry I made you cry. I did for a little bit. And one day I began wondering what if??? And at that moment, something passed over me, a squeeze across my shoulders and I heard, "Everything will be alright." An angel? Perhaps. Something in my head knowing the answer? Perhaps. Whatever helped me through that day and the next and the next. Hugs, friend.

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  9. What a wonderful story and I'm so glad that things worked out for Handsome. I'm sure that you felt the world on your shoulders because you were trying to hold him up and keep the kiddo's from worrying. It is so random how cancer strikes. Sometimes the people who we least expect it, have it. But you're right about the positive attitude and fighting for it! Life is more precious when you come through the other side!

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    1. Hi, Melissa! Thank you for your wonderful words. The other thing we were told to do is fatten up--lol--before treatment because he'd lose weight later on. Wasn't fun for me watching him eat all the goodies.

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  10. Inspirational post. Thanks for sharing...

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    1. Thank you, Angela. Handsome has counseled other throat cancer people and always says "Fight. The top of the yellow pad each and every day." Hugs.

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  11. Hey Vicki, I can understand how you and your family felt. It's a great story with a happy ending. I've also been down that road and I believe the power of positive thinking also had a great part in the fight.

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    1. Hi, sister Bev! The power of positive thinking is absolutely right. It is a good story with a happy ending. Like most of us, realistically, he could get cancer again, but probably a different kind. They say this one will never come back.

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  12. Vicki, your hubby is a poster child for faith, courage, and sheer determination. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. Hi, Sydell and thank you. I finally caught up with Handsome on Friday evening and told him about this post. He was touched I had written about it and RLF shared. He appreciated all your nice comments too.

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