5%… by Steve Safran

I still have cancer.

I expected to have a different lede to this story. This was going to be the “I’m cured” post. 95% of all men who undergo the treatment I’ve had for testicular cancer are cured at this point. I’m in the five percent– just not the five percent everyone yells about at Wall Street.

Things are going in the right direction. I started with three tumors, and they were The Three Bears of cancerous lumps. Baby Bear and Mama Bear are just about gone, and Papa Bear is half the bear he used to be. I will be cured. Just not today.

This was going to be The Month. I had my mindfulness-filled mind set on a cancer-cured week on Cape Cod, grilling grillables and drinking drinkables. My meditation space had me on the beach, looking back on the one-two punch of cancer and a pulmonary embolism that tried to make me into a mawkish-if-easy Facebook entry for all of you. (“If you remember Steve, please repost.”)

Instead, the best news I got this week is that the mall I live above is getting a Wegman’s. Now, they have a cheese selection that, while I don’t want to say is “to die for” given the topic at hand, is damn good. I’m not complaining. It’s just that, during chemo and my Special Vomit Time, I wasn’t focused on what would replace JC Penny.

What’s next? A four-week wait. The doc wants to give the Papa Bear lump a whole month before they run another test. I am the most impatient person I know. I hate waiting. Did you travel this summer? Did you get stuck on a plane? This is just like that only, instead of not being sure when your flight will leave, you don’t know if they’ll give you surgery when you land.

I still made it to Cape Cod, but Dad worked the grill. My drink of choice wasn’t a G&T, it was Gatorade. I’m not cured but, to quote Sondheim, my dears– I’m still here. Even if I am a five percenter.

Convalescing on the Cape with a 5 percenter view

Convalescing on the Cape with a 5 percenter view

6 responses

  1. After learning yesterday that I have an enlarged lymph in my pelvis after 2.5 years of remission, I get the “wait this isn’t supposed to be how the story goes” narrative. But you have a sense of humor, and you are clearly a survivor. After my mandatory meltdown, I decided, in 6 months, when I go back for my imaging, this bastard is not going to be enlarged anymore. I am going to kill it with green juice, alcohol abstention, and kindness, dammit! Sending you good vibes and some energy to will that last bastard away.

  2. Steve,Thank you for your update!Humor will get us through.Please keep writing and I will keep praying and thinking of you.Carol

  3. Hey Steve- I had to take a minute to reread your post and take it in. I spent a good chunk of time yesterday just going back and forth with my eyes “by Britt Lee” and “I have cancer” and was shouting “fuck fuck fuck” in my head as I irresponsibly read through the post, searching for hints if she was ok. I guess if you read the post in your email, the “by Steve Safran” doesn’t come up. When I realized it was you I had to take a minute before I reread the post and realigned my “fuck fuck fuck” with you. It sucks experiencing the same moment for 2 of your friends in 48 hrs. Nice job finding your way into the minority, but please let the stay be short. And may you REALLY enjoy your vacation. Sending lots of love.

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