Nax: In a new world, you just have to make adjustments - Odessa American: Ken Brodnax

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Nax: In a new world, you just have to make adjustments

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Posted: Monday, October 11, 2010 12:00 am | Updated: 4:24 am, Tue Aug 28, 2012.

My health was in such dire straits that I didn’t know what was going to happen. From indications of diabetes to a worse period where doctors thought I might have stroke symptoms, I was reeling.

Then it got worse.

Bottom line, I’ve got cancer and just about everything about my life has changed.

And yet I still have to say that I’m a lot better off and functioning better than I was a month ago. I’m lucid and there’s a plan in place to deal with my situation. And I feel lucky.

Admittedly, cancer is one of those realities that nobody wants to confront.

And yet, it is so much a part of so many peoples’ lives that you just have to accept it and cope when you’re the one it has found.

When the doctors dealing with all those other issues brought up the possibility, I just added it to the list of concerns and hoped.

But then came the tests and the confirmation.

At first, you have all sorts of reasons to panic. You don’t really know enough at the outset to make plans. You’re pretty much numb and clueless.

Arrangements were made for a quick visit with an oncologist, Dr. Tim George, and I started to sort through the whole situation.

Lying in a hospital bed while all this is happening gives you plenty of time to contemplate and wonder about all the options. It would be easy to go into a funk.

But I am fortunate to have the support of a lot of friends, including some who have had their own battles with cancer. Such perspective has a way of helping.

There are millions of survivors out there. They’ve gone through all that you’re contemplating and have a positive result to report.

So you do your best to turn your mind in the right direction. But it’s hard not to backslide at times and let a bit of depression slip in from time to time. After all, your entire lifestyle has been altered.

A little at a time, though, you just have to look on the brighter side. There might have been a time when all the events leading up to the present time could have ended badly. I could have been dead or badly incapacitated by now. It’s time to wage the fight.

So there’s chemotherapy and holding your breath for good lab reports and doctors’ reports. And because cancer is so much a part of daily existence, a lot of the bad effects of treatment have been refined. It’s more than manageable, made even better by a lot of upbeat folks at the center.

I have a good appetite, despite the fact the food doesn’t always taste just right due to the medication. I’m back on my feet and have been allowed to at least have part-time access to my life’s calling.

Still, I have my bad moments. And anyone who has ever dealt with cancer will know what I’m talking about. It’s never easy to deal with the unknown, which is always out there but never so close as when it’s staring you in the face all the time.

 But, all in all, you have to come around to the idea that there’s a lot more to be accomplished by not spending a lot of time feeling sorry for yourself.

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