East Penn Press

Wednesday, March 20, 2019


Thursday, December 7, 2017 by MARK RECCEK Special to The Press in Opinion

The perils of cancer treatment

My strong advice to anyone going through chemotherapy treatment or about to is listen to professional advice and heed any research you may uncover.

I finished my second chemo treatment Oct. 11. I personally didn’t think the treatment varied much from the first until a few days later. Rather than try to be as active as I possibly could, much of what I did involved sleeping a great deal. The excess sleep ultimately led to a short hospital stay — luckily, a stay of only a few days.

My next chemo treatment occurred Nov. 1. Did I know what to expect? Yes. Do I still have questions and concerns like any individual? Yes. Despite those questions, based on the second treatment, I pushed myself to be active in and around the area. Many diseases may hinder a person’s strength, but the person suffering or battling back has the opportunity to utilize whatever energy they have to move forward.

I’ve recently discussed with a few individuals I know 30 consecutive radiation treatments were simply a breeze compared to chemo. I often wondered about those going through chemo, asking myself how they do what they do.

My answer is simple: They embrace each day with a positive attitude. It’s easy to say fight back or give up; however, to practice that saying is an entirely different approach. It requires the individual to put the saying into more than just mere words. That person must turn the positive thought process into physical action.

Although a disease may bear pain to the person suffering, physical activity is healthy.

The experience with cancer is certainly a current and lifelong experience. It’s one that requires a host of tests and treatments, as well as looking at each day as it comes. Days are different for us all, but I passionately believe a disease like cancer should and will result in a different outlook on life — one that is either bright or dark. I chose the bright light.

I haven’t met an individual battling cancer or one who has beaten it who is not the most generous, appreciative and hopeful person. Their smile and positive approach toward life continues to impress me beyond measure. It’s those individuals who have positively influenced me and continue to do so.

I’ve also been highly impressed and moved by those who have and continue to offer a helping hand to me. Without their unwavering assistance, life would be far more difficult.

My recommendation to anyone going through any cancer treatment is rather than be overpowered by the tiredness and disease, get up and get active. You’ll feel so much better, physically and mentally.

The physical activity will allow you to experience the beauty and power of each day that comes before you.

Look at the sunrise and realize you are alive and breathing. You have another day to make a positive difference in this world. That’s what I did this Thanksgiving Day. I was grateful to be alive and have family and friends helping and encouraging me. Gratitude and life are certain interwoven.

I proceeded onward to my fourth chemo infusion Dec. 1. Bring it on, I repeated to myself; bring it on!