Survival of the Luckiest

A poster of 'survival of the luckiest'

Last Updated on February 22, 2024 by ADMIN-TOM

I went for a walk today. Not something any of us usually shout about. But to me it was something of a triumph. I managed a five mile walk, which is around 8 kilometres. Not bad for someone recovering from Lymphoplasmacytic Lymphoma, or cancer of the blood to put it in simple laymen’s terms. I was diagnosed in July 2022, but had six months of tests prior to that to find out why I was breathless and on my knees walking 10 steps. So yes, today was a triumph of science over nature. Or was it.

What brought the thought of triumph on was I had a phone call halfway round my walk. My doctor wanted to see me on March 5th at 09:15. That was to review the results of my latest blood tests. I’m assuming (stupid thing to do where cancer is concerned, but there we are) having seen the results, that if not an all clear, I should be told I’m doing well. Fingers crossed.

But during that walk, something caught my eye. The walkway from Paphos lighthouse to the harbour’s castle had an awful lot of caterpillars crossing from one side to the other. They were looking for food and then somewhere tall to climb and eventually turn into moths or butterflies. What caught my eye was the number of people on a walk who hadn’t noticed these little creatures and had inadvertently stood on some of the luckless caterpillars. A thought suddenly popped into my head. It isn’t all about the survival of the fittest, it’s about the survival of the luckiest.

You, dear reader, can thank your lucky stars you are sitting at home, or work, wherever you are on this beautiful planet, reading my words. You can thank the luck of your forebears that they were lucky in managing not only to survive beyond their childhood, but that they found a mate and procreated. Because if your forebears, going way back to the dawn of humankind, hadn’t survived and had offspring, you wouldn’t be reading this now.

And that’s what it’s all about. My cancer has been beaten by science, but also because my 69 year old metabolism was good enough to stand the rigours of not only the cancer, but the poison of chemotherapy and immunotherapy. As my doctor said a few months back, “You’re lucky. Many of your age would not have survived.”

So yes, I consider myself lucky to be alive. Lucky to have survived.

Copyright © Tom Kane 2024

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