Road Art[Editor’s Note: This blog was reprinted with permission by the author].

Yesterday was a traditional day of celebration as it was my birthday. But in my eyes, the importance of my birthday has now been superseded by today’s anniversary. Three years ago today, the day after my birthday, I was diagnosed with cancer.

While my birthday measures the days since I came into this world, I now feel a greater sense of celebration when this new milestone of survival passes by.

Three years ago, my life, as I knew it, spun off on a terrible tangent. I was thrust into six weeks of being sizzled by radiation daily and the horrendous weekly injections of chemo cocktails that completely befuddled my mind and nauseated my entire being.

Fighting Cancer

Fighting cancer was suddenly the beginning and the end of each day. That dark period was bookended with what seemed to be a continuous series of visits to doctors and specialists or to the hospital for injections, scans, tests and operations. They were grim days when I did not know how much longer I’d be able to cling to this mortal coil. On the darkest days my hopes faded. It seemed all too hard to endure.

Statistics indicated that not many in my condition survive two years. I worried life could come to a shuddering halt. I did not know when it would stop or if I would be lucky enough to roll on. That reality hit like a torpedo in the midships of my life.

Now here I sit, at the three-year mark. That wonderful fact is of enormous importance to me. I am just plain lucky. I do not deserve it and have not earned it or discovered any dietary or holistic cure. I am just fortunate—for whatever reason.

So, today I am celebrating my survival.

I wish all those currently going through the travails of cancer treatment a swift recovery and a long, happy and healthy life.

Carpe diem!

Mark Toohey, blog creator and author of

If you enjoyed this blog entry, we encourage you to visit Mark’s blogspot. He has several other entries on various aspects of living with cancer.