As soon as I read "What Cancer Cannot Do" I felt my inner cancer SURVIVOR come out. We tend to give cancer a lot of power. It is part of the process to start blaming changes in our lives, relationships, outlook, attitude and choices on cancer. The real deal is that each one of us has the power and inner-strength to focus on what we CAN do and what cancer CANNOT do.
March 19, 2013
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June 6, 2012
“Cancer is not a battle that we win or lose. It is not our fault or a sign of weakness. We are not responsible for our cancer outcomes. The crapshoot of cancer and recurrence can NOT be controlled. Celebrate yourself for each time you, despite all the trauma of cancer, treatment, and the mindfuck of “survivorship”, choose to love, live, lust, laugh… We are not a success story based on our cancer progression or not. We succeed when we are courageous enough to keep walking forward even with missing parts, severe pain, addled brains, and broken hearts.” ~Dr. Erica D. Bernstein
These profound words by Erica Bernstein really hit home with me. I’ve been in remission for over three years. The more time that goes by, the less I think about cancer. But I will never forget what the journey was like. Whether it’s a cancer survivor’s story on the news or hearing about a friend newly diagnosed, I seem to be reminded quite often of what it was like. Yesterday, I was with a friend who just found out that she had cancer. She was so scared and cried as she talked about her fears. I got chills as she shared about it. Her battle is just beginning. She will know more about it tomorrow. I have been keeping her in my prayers.
Listening to her took me back to that initial fear and racing thoughts I had when the doctor told me that my tumor was malignant. I didn’t know how to process the words. I couldn’t believe it. But deep down, I had a sense of serenity and I knew that I would survive. I connected with that power. I re-discovered my courage and strength. I kept walking forward. There were times when I wanted to wave the white flag and give up, but I kept walking forward. Through the doctors appointments, treatment, medicine, tears, nausea, depression, physical weakness, and more, I got to the other side.
Cancer changed the direction of my life. I am grateful for the experience because it led me to where I am today. It made me aware of how strong of a woman I am. It gave me a chance to get in touch once again with what matters in life. And I hope that my friend finds the gifts that I found. I pray that she connects with her strength and is courageous enough to keep walking forward.
January 1, 2012
As a cancer survivor, it would be nice to hear people wish one another a “Healthy” New Year instead of the common “Happy” New Year. Think about it. Happiness is a choice. I can wake up each day and set my intension on being happy and attracting positivity into my life.
When it comes to being healthy, I don’t have the power to be healthy. Don’t get me wrong, I can focus on being healthy. I can do things like watch what I eat, not smoke, exercise and more to stay healthy. But I could not control getting cancer. It was not a choice. What was a choice was my attitude towards it all. I made a choice to be a cancer survivor. I decided to fight the fight. I did what I had to do to beat it! You can to!!
May 2012 bring you HEALTH and HAPPINESS!
October 18, 2011
As soon as I read ”What Cancer Cannot Do” I felt my inner cancer SURVIVOR come out. We tend to give cancer a lot of power. It is part of the process to start blaming changes in our lives, relationships, outlook, attitude and choices on cancer. The real deal is that each one of us has the power and inner-strength to focus on what we CAN do and what cancer CANNOT do. It is a powerful exercise.
I started thinking about what else could be added to the list. I’m sharing it with all of my blog readers and asking you to add to the list as well. Here is my version:
Cancer is so limited…
It cannot turn my world to darkness.
It cannot make the beauty of nature disappear.
It cannot take over my being.
It cannot drain my creativity.
It cannot silence my voice.
It cannot prevent me from spreading awareness and hope.
It cannot come between my connection with a Higher Power.
It cannot stop me from laughing and smiling.
It cannot take my will power.
It cannot make me give up.
It cannot take away my joy.
It cannot change my purpose in life.
July 14, 2011
I’m sitting in the waiting room at Labcorp listening for my name to be called. Another “post-cancer follow-up” tour has begun. I’ve been doing this tour twice a year now for three years. The first stop on the tour is at Labcorp where I get my blood work done. This is the stop where I begin to notice the worry and thoughts about “what if” come into my mind. The second stop on the tour is at the radiologist’s office where I get a thyroid ultrasound. The tour ends at my endocrinologist’s office where we go over the results and go from there. (They just called my name. I need to go back to the next waiting room now!)
Ok, I’m back. I must say, that was an uplifting experience. The lab tech who drew my blood greeted me with a smile. She was upbeat and has a positive attitude. This is usually not the case. I noticed a box on her workstation of Crayon Bandages. I asked her what they were. She walked over, took out a red one, stuck it over the gauze on my arm and said, “Here you go. Let’s make this fun!”
As I left Labcorp, I thought about how attitude goes a long way in life. It is so easy to get caught back up in the cancer attitude and feel down when going back for medical treatment of follow-up procedures. I tend to forget that there is a choice. It doesn’t have to be a negative experience. It all starts with my attitude.
I kept the red crayon bandage and put it in a place where I would see if everyday. It will now serve as a reminder for me to check my attitude. It’s the little things like a red bandage that can deliver a big message and lesson in life.
June 5, 2011
June 5, 2011 marks the 24th annual National Cancer Survivors Day. I feel so grateful to be one of the estimated 12 million cancer survivors in America. Today is a day that I reflect on my journey. According to the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation site, ” Hundreds of communities worldwide will host events on this day to celebrate life and demonstrate that life after a cancer diagnosis can be meaningful and productive. National Cancer Survivors Day is a treasured annual celebration of life. Joy and hope, camaraderie and faith, and triumph over adversity will be on full display. It is a day for everyone, whether you’re a cancer survivor, a family member, a friend, or a medical professional. This day provides an opportunity for cancer survivors to connect with other survivors, and recognize the healthcare providers, families, and friends who have supported them along the way.”
So many people, organizations and groups come together on this day to unite. LIVESTRONG created a page with Stand Up to Cancer that allows survivors to express themselves. There is a space on the page that links to your facebook status showing the answer to the question, “What Do You Want to Say to Cancer?”
“How are you going to honor this day?” That is my question to you.