Monday, April 2, 2018

Acknowledging Cancer Anniversary Dates

On March 17, my wife said "Happy Anniversary." For a moment I panicked. I thought I'd forgotten our thirty-eighth wedding anniversary. I breathed a sigh of relief when I did a calendar check in my mind. Since it was March rather than June, I hadn't missed our anniversary.

Puzzled by. my wife's remark I asked what exactly is this anniversary. She explained that seven years ago I had my prostate surgery at UCSF. I've been living without my prostate and cancer free for seven years. It was a happy anniversary!

I don't pay much attention to dates, so I had no idea this was my seventh anniversary. I wondered if my wife kept track of the anniversary date of my penile implant surgery.

I wondered if cancer survivors keep track of anniversary dates of cancer's devestating, life changing events. Do folks keep track of dates so they can say this the anniversary date of my first hot flash, the day I stopped wearing diapers, my first post op erection.

I'm glad I don't pay attention to anniversary dates, but I'm not sure why. Maybe keeping track of those  life changing milestones are days is a worthwhile endeavor. You add events in your life for celeb or mourning.

Keeping this possibility in mind, I imagine throwing a one year post surgery celebration thankful that I graduated from diapers to pads during that first year. I'm not that creative or extroverted to throw a "Goodbye to Diapers, Hello to Pad Party."

I can't decide whether acknowledging anniversary dates is a valuable and important way to cope or whether it makes little or no difference.

According to an article in Cancer.netPreparing yourself for anniversary dates and honoring them in ways that are meaningful to you may help you sort through complex emotions and reflect on your experiences.

That maybe true for some folks, but I'll pass and continue to ignore anniversary dates related to treating prostate cancer.

What about you?

Rick Redner and his wife Brenda Redner wrote two award winning books. The first:
provides men and couples with information and support before, during and after prostate surgery.

Their second book was written for couples living with!erectile dysfunction. After living with erectile dysfunction for four years, Rick chose penile implant surgery. The couple share how implant surgery changed their lives and relationship.
The title of their book is: