My Cancer Survivorship Companion
by Robert Warren Hess
The following story should resonate if you are a cancer survivor or a care giver for a cancer survivor.
I’m now in my 15th year of cancer survivorship and it’s been a long road. My journey began in December 2002, with my prostate cancer diagnosis. I kept my diagnosis secret from my family because my older sister was in her last two months to battling pancreatic cancer.
I won’t go into my entire survivorship story here, but since that first year I’ve lived with a nagging worry about my cancer returning.
Cancer recurrence never really leaves you and others you won’t understand those emotions unless they have personal experience. So, it was up to me to find a way to deal with those emotions.
Bicycling plays a key role for me: it’s free; it gets me outside; those exercise endorphins kick in, and I feel great. (By the way, you can connect with me on Strava.com and log your cycling, running, or waking miles in our Around the World Club.)
Cycling is great when I’m on the bike but sometimes it’s just a challenge to “keep my cheer” up. I’ve always enjoyed the smiley face icon. S(he) always greets you with a smile and it’s tough to be cranky when you’re face-to-face with someone wearing an irrepressible smile.
Two years ago I found an smart phone holder and squeezable stress reliever that made me smile. I like it so much that I put the Cancer Journeys Foundation logo on his belly. I now have him everywhere – on my nightstand, on my desk in the office, and even on my car’s dashboard (he holds my sunglasses).
I nicknamed him “CJ” for Cancer Journeys and I take him everywhere so I can have that cheery smile in the morning and at lights out in the evening.
I’ve given a few CJs to other cancer survivors and he’s helping them as well. So, we’re going to be making more of him.
I call him “CJ” but we thought it would be fun to see what others think. We have an online poll where you can suggest a name. The top three names will each receive five “CJs?” to give to their friends. Just click on the link or QR code in the box below and make your suggestion.
If you know someone who needs a “CJ” right away, we have a few available in our store for a small donation.
Thanks for reading. I wish you well on your cancer survivorship journey.
Cancer Survivor, Class of 2003