“Cancer comes into a life and worms its way in. It’s the unspoken presence every day of the person’s life—‘the cancer’s back’ or ‘in remission’ are common references in the life of the person with cancer. However, it continues to be the people who can fight it that make the whole disease seem beatable and worth fighting.” ~Anonymous

I was so touched by this inspiring quote, that I had to share it with all of you.  There were so many thoughts that came up for me when I read it.  As a cancer survivor, I can look back and see that it was a fight.  There were so many times that I wanted to give up, but I kept on going.  I am grateful to be in remission.  There is an “unspoken presence” ever since I was diagnosed.  I don’t feel it most days, but it is there.  It is something that I have accepted.

My hope is to stay in remission.  There is a recurrence rate of about 30% with my type of cancer.  But percentages don’t really mean much to me.  When they found my tumor, I was told that there was a 95% chance that it was non-malignant.  Regardless of the percentage, I knew in my gut that it was cancer.  When the results came back, it was confirmed that the tumor was malignant.  I was one of the people in the 5% category.  Those were not odds that I was happy about beating.  But it did teach me not to give percentages too much power.

I also learned that my health and well-being were worth fighting for.  Surviving cancer was worth the fight.  I was worth the fight!  It changed me.  I discovered my inner-voice and spoke up instead of staying silent.  I asked doctors all of my questions, instead of filtering the ones out that didn’t seem important.  I made the calls to my insurance company many times to resolve issues with coverage and billing instead paying the first bill I received.  I didn’t pay the price for the disconnect within the healthcare system.  I opened my mouth and talked about how I felt and didn’t pretend that everything was alright all of the time.  I prayed and prayed and had faith that it would all work out.  I created this blog to share my experience and help others.  In turn, I was able to get my virtual voice heard.  And to my pleasant surprise, I have gotten back so much love and support in return.

We are all worth the fight!

As cancer survivors, we all have our own stories based on our personal experience with cancer.  Through my cancer diagnosis, treatment, battle and follow-up tests,  it has been very healing to share my story through posts on this blog.  And I know that there are so many other stories out there to be shared.  With that in mind, I have added a  “Cancer SURVIVOR Stories” page to the blog for other cancer survivors to share their stories.

Share YOUR Cancer Survivor Story! I am always looking for more stories to add to the Cancer SURVIVOR Stories section of the blog.  If you are a cancer survivor who would like to be a guest writer and share your story, please send an email over to me at lifebeyondcancer@jenniferbridge.com with “Cancer Survivor Stories” in the subject line.

The following is from the Stand Up To Cancer website:

We used to have such crazy dreams.
The kind of dreams that brought us together, made us not mere mortals, but a movement.

We used to dream we’d get to the moon.
And we were crazy enough, fanatical enough, relentless enough, to get there.

We dreamed we’d split the atom.
Make smallpox and polio whispers from forgotten history books.
Make technology infinite, individual.
Connect the world.

All the unbelievable and the impossible,
all the can’t do and the never will, we overwhelmed them, we overpowered them, we conquered them.
They said no and we, well,
We said yes.
We stood up.
We stood up and changed the world.

Stand up when everybody else sits down
Stand up when it’s easier to turn away
Stand up for everyone who can’t rise anymore

When the answer seems impossible, stand up
When the dream is right within our reach, stand up
When the powerful refuse your call, stand up

The moment is now and the time has come to stand up.
One out of every two men
One out of every three women
will face these diseases we call cancer.

Our sisters, our brothers, our fathers, our mothers,
our husbands, our wives, our children.
Our very best friends and those we’ve yet to meet.

One person every minute, one person in a moment gets lost, gets stolen, gets taken away.

We are a tapestry of lives touched and brought together by a terrorist we can actually find. And in the time it’s taken to read this, three more Americans have died.

Unforgivable.

This is where the end of cancer begins.

When together we become a force unmistakable.
A movement undeniable.
A light that cannot dim.

When we take our wild impossible dreams
And make them possible
Make them true

When together we rise as one
When we stand up
When we Stand Up To Cancer.

Did you know this Sunday, June 6 is the 23rd annual National Cancer Survivors Day? Well I didn’t. I never even heard about it until this week.  Then again, its only been a little over a year since I became a cancer survivor.  But I’ve done some research and found out that on National Cancer Survivors Day, communities all over the United States and other countries hold events for cancer survivors and their caregivers.  So if you’re reading this before June 6, check out and see if there are any local events in your area.  If it’s after June 6, then plan ahead for next year!

The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation (www.ncsdf.org) site has lots of good information about it.  I really liked their definition for a survivor, which is “anyone living with cancer—from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life.” I’m so grateful to be a cancer survivor!

One of the gifts I got from being a cancer survivor is a new perspective on life.  Life is full of changes and we never know where one path might lead. I learned how to face my fears and in turn found a deeper level of strength from within.  Through the scans, biopsies, doctor visits, tests, surgery, treatment and more I was not only surviving cancer, but I was also becoming a Life Coach.  Through the journey, I found the courage, motivation and empowerment to move forward in many areas of my life both personal and professional, including a new career path.

My prayers were answered and I got another chance to live my life. I’m a survivor of more than cancer.  I’m a survivor of life! As a Life Coach, I am able to use my own life experience when working with clients to guide them forward.  All of us have the answers within, but some find them easier and with greater clarity by working with a life coach.

Moving forward

That is some of the history behind what motivated me to face my fears, dive in and become a Life Coach.  I started this blog to give back the hope, motivation and determination I gained from surviving cancer.  My intention is to help other cancer survivors use their experience to move forward.  The possibilities are only limited by our minds!

Warmly,

Jennifer Bridge
Life Coach
Ready to Change Life Coaching
jenn@jenniferbridge.com
www.readytochangelifecoaching.com

One of the awesome things that I have found about this blog is that it has drawn in some amazing readers. So if you are reading this right now, then you are one of them!!! I have been very touched by how so many of you have found inner strength and moved forward after your cancer diagnosis.  Let’s keep the motivation going by commenting here about how you have moved forward after being diagnosed with having cancer.  How did having cancer give you that push to take a chance at something new? There is such a huge list out there and this is your place to comment about it.  Are you moving forward? Well, what are you waiting for?  Start commenting!