Thursday, January 26, 2017
I'm Still Here!
Three years of silence doesn't mean I'm dead just yet! We all need a break now and then from the power of words and the pressure that comes with cancer. Initially diagnosed in 2008 with Colon Cancer, I was overwhelmed to receive a recent PET Scan confirming after eight (8) years, I remain clear of all signs of The Dragon! God has been good to me.
Tonight I reread all 33 posts I wrote on this blog between 2009 and 2013 chronicling the path of my cancer journey. My writing brought back memories in waves. The power of words become a part of our lives and that is why I have always loved writing. Words woven together have the power to cut through what doesn't matter and highlight what does. I learned so much about myself during my battle to overcome a disease that could have killed me. Tonight, I reflect on the affirmations I committed to memory that cancer would not become my undoing. There were still victories to be won and other battles to fight.
Since my last post, I have indeed fought to overcome other life challenges while never losing sight of how cancer gave my life a new perspective. It changed who I am today. I have since redirected my career into health care working for a large Level II trauma center in Palm Springs, California. The facility has a well established Cancer Center and the people who work there in my opinion, are doing God's work. I recently found myself walking through this Cancer Center on the way to get my long overdue PET Scan. As I sat in the lobby waiting my turn, I watched people going through their cancer journey now. I thought about how I felt all those years ago, getting chemo and radiation treatment everyday and remembering how towards the end, I began to question my ability to continue to fight the fight. I was just as afraid as they must be. It takes courage to move forward and believe you will win the battle that seems beyond reach. But that December afternoon, I was wondering IF my cancer could have returned. I had put off getting this scan for awhile because, well I just couldn't think about it coming back. Finally, I was ready to face the music. As I sat there in the lobby, I wanted to tell every patient who crossed my path that they are a warrior and to keep believing. These were people I will never know and will never see again. The best I could do was just give them a smile and hope they could see my compassion and ability to understand their fear. I realized then that I will always feel connected to the cancer community. Once you take on The Dragon, you undergo a right of passage that none of us ever wanted. Although I don't wear my cancer diagnosis on my sleeve, having had the experience connects me to all kinds of people in so many positive ways.
Today I believe I was one of the lucky ones. If you are still fighting the battle I want you to never give up no matter how bleak life may seem. Know that you are a warrior and that the human soul has so much power to overcome anything once you commit to life. In the meantime, document your journey, it will teach you so much about who you have become.