Tuesday, February 18, 2014

I don't live in the fear

 I do not live my life in fear. I do not jump at every sound, cringe at every shadow. Even as the knowledge is and always will be there, just in the back of my mind, the knowing, I had cancer. I am a survivor. I do not worry with each new day, will today be the day? When my yearly mammogram rolls around, I do not allow the question to take hold.. what if? But the knowledge is there, I had cancer, I am a survivor. By the grace of God, my cancer was caught early. The treatments less intensive or intrusive than for others.
 I do not, ask why I had cancer. Even as I may not know the reason in this life time, I do believe that at least part of the reason was so that I could share my journey from cancer back to health. It was an adventure that I didn't want, but one I was given anyway. I'm not a fighter, I play, I imagine, I dream, I create, hoping that I can see those dreams become a reality. This, was a fight I didn't want to participate in a nightmare I didn't want to endure...but I did. I awoke from that nightmare to a different reality.
I am a survivor.
 I do participate in the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. I signed up not long after my diagnoses, because it had then became personal. I was suddenly thrust into a fight for my life as I knew it. Even then, so early in, I wanted to do what I could to help others and to help in the fight to end cancer. Every day I learn more, even now, six years later I am still learning...and fighting.
 Over the course of time, I realized how I had worn blinders. I lived in a place where I ignored cancer. It was something that happened to others. If it happened to someone I knew, it was sad, but it still wasn't quite real. Now it is. Its amazing how one's perspective can be changed when it is something happening to them. Now, when I see friends fighting cancer, when I hear of another person diagnosed, when I see the expression on their face, it is real. I can't ignore it any longer, it is real. I've walked my walk, I know how it felt for me and still feels. I can't tell them I know how they feel, but I can understand all of the emotions that they will be facing.
 I don't hate, but I do hate cancer. I hate what it does to people, to friends, to family. I hate when someone loses a loved one to cancer. I don't know their pain, but I understand there is pain. I have lost loved ones to cancer. I hate that, I miss them, I miss their laugh, their jokes, their presence. The hatred I feel causes the determination to grow.
 I do what I can to continue to learn. I research what fruits and vegetables are best for what reason. This one helps fight this type cancer and that one fights a different one. Exercise helps as does meditation and relaxation.
  I look forward to the day when there is no cancer, but until then, I look forward to the time when I am able to dedicate even more of my time to helping in the fight. When I can tell them, if you need a ride to the doctor, call me. If you need a way to get your medicine, call me. If you're in need, call me. If you have a question, ask and if I don't know, I'll find out for you. In fact, you can do that now... I'll answer or I'll find the answer.
  We can discuss the different cancers, possible causes,  and treatments. We can discuss the programs that the American Cancer Society has, The ride along, Look Good Feel Better, HOPE house..we'll find the answers together. We'll fight together or I'll fight for you.
 We have all been touched in some way, shape or form by cancer. If you know me, you know I am a survivor.. I had cancer, breast cancer. I had a lumpectomy and I had several lymph nodes removed. I underwent six weeks of radiation. There were days when I felt as if I could not put one foot in front of the other. I held onto things to stay upright, but I made it. I didn't miss but two days of work, the day of and the day after my surgery. I quit eating processed junk food as it made me feel worse, I even had to cut back to only one cup of coffee a day because my body couldn't handle the caffeine at that time. I felt the emotions, I fought the fear, I felt the cold loneliness because of those who didn't know what to say or how to act, but I survived.
and I fight................hard
for those who can not
for those who are still fighting
for those who are survivors.

I do not live my life in fear, even as I know, somewhere in the back of my mind the thought lingers. I live my life determined to do what ever I am able, how and when I am able to help others. It is my dream that I will see an end to the fight against cancer in my life time. It is my dream to see this finished.  Join me in the fight, help us finish the fight, help us create more birthdays. It isn't just raising money for the American Cancer Society. It isn't just an excuse for an all night party. Its a way to get attention to the fight, its a way to raise awareness, it is a way to raise money for research, for the programs, for the fight. Find a Relay for Life event near you, or join with me. Be a part of putting the finishing touches on the fight, to ending this once and for all. Because the world needs more survivors, who even though in the back of their mind they remember, they don't give in to the fear-- they fight.


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