Category: Cancer


To My Sister


To My Sister

 

 

I was thinking about the day the Doctor told me I had Cervical Cancer.

The ground shifted under my feet; did she say Cancer? No, there must be a mistake. I just went in for a checkup a few days before…life was normal. Did she say cancer? No, she has me confused with someone else. Things like this don’t happen to me.

I must have looked at her like she was speaking in a foreign language, because she just looked back and didn’t utter a word. I felt her touch the top of my hand…I snatched it back, as if she sent an electric charge through my skin.

No, don’t console me. She was wrong. Do I look like a cancer patient? No. I do everything right. I am kind to people. I watch what I eat. I exercise. I pray. Things like this aren’t supposed to happen to people like me. I kept muttering to myself…what did I do wrong? I spoke a little too loudly. She responded as if I were asking her the question. She said there is often no explanation as to what causes a woman to start producing cancerous cells. Did she say cancer, again? I shook my head in disbelief…will someone make her stop saying that?

She asked if someone was with me, because we needed to discuss treatments.

Of course no one was with me…this was just a checkup, I thought to myself. Treatment, did she say treatment? Ummm, how do we get rid of it? I asked softly.

She smiled. “Why was she smiling?”

There is no cure for cervical cancer. No cure?

Okay, yeah, I knew that. Breathe…don’t forget to breathe. Do not pass out. I asked her, “Why do I have Cancer”? She gave me the generic, “there is no way to know why exactly”. She went on about genetics, diet, and other contributing factors, but wrapped it up by telling me that it may be none of the above. Why did I ask dumb questions? I knew all of this.

“Wait, am I going to die?” I almost couldn’t see her expression, blinking through my own tears. We are going to try and get it under control before we have to think about that.

Try? Breathe…don’t forget to breathe, Wait, don’t breathe too hard…you are going to start hyperventilating. It’s going to be okay, but you have to get a grip on your emotions, right now.

She started telling me that she wanted to try and freeze the cells…but the disease was too progressive. We have to do a biopsy; to see exactly what we are dealing with. My mind started spinning. How did I get to this place?

Two weeks before, I was in a car accident. For the most part, all of my injuries seemed superficial. My face was severely bruised, so much so, that on my first doctor’s visit; the nurse asked me if I was a domestic violence victim. Both of my eyes were black and blue. My face was swollen, and my lip was cut open, too. There were bruises on my thighs, ribs, and across both of my breasts.

It was the bruising on my breasts, which prompted me to visit my OB/GYN. I wanted make sure there were no lumps or anything like that since I hit the dashboard so hard.

The Doctor asked me if I wanted a pap smear while I was there. I can recall thinking, no. But for whatever reason, I said yes.

Two weeks later, there I was…living with cancer. My doctor said there was no telling how long I had actually had it. She said it could have been dormant in my system for a while, and the accident could have jarred something in me…causing it to spread.

How could I go home and explain everything that my doctor just told me? I had Cancer. I kept saying it over and over again as I got in the car. I thought if I said it enough, by the time I got home, I would be able to say it without crying.

I decided, instead of going straight home, I would go to see you. I needed a safe place to go, where I could fall apart…just for a minute. I just needed a minute. I kept praying all the way to your apartment…please, God…let me have this one minute.

I barely remember you answering the door. I just remember falling into you. You were confused. You kept touching my face, looking for a new injury. You were talking so fast that I couldn’t answer you. My mouth wouldn’t move. Finally, I told you that my doctor said that I had Cervical Cancer, and I just fell apart.

You kept saying NO…over and over again. You were crying so hard; I could no longer determine who was consoling whom. I told you that unless the treatments worked, before it started spreading further, I might die. Somehow, you mustered up all of this strength and told me that was NOT going to happen.

You were an angel to me in that moment. You went with me to tell mom. It was no longer me having Cancer, but us having it. During the entire ordeal, your faith and strength never wavered; you continued to be the glue that kept me together.

You were my anchor during every pivotal moment in my life. You encouraged me, laughed with me, and let me lean on you.

And then there was silence.

I don’t think I ever thanked you enough. I don’t think I ever told you I loved you…enough. I will regret that for the rest of my life. I will regret everything we didn’t do, and all things we didn’t get a chance to say.

I love you…and I know you are living pain free so I know I must sound selfish…I am sorry.

I just miss you so much…

 

Love,

Me

 


GET BACK TO LIVING

Some may say I am broken
That I am missing out
That my adversity in life
Brought negativity about

Maybe they will remark
I am scarred by disease
Riddled with the idea that
This pain may not ever cease

I could live with the diagnosis
My life may be brief
Many hospital visits
Loved ones living in grief

But to that I must answer
The only thing to be true
I give every  day to my Creator
So everyday is made  new

Every moment is precious
A new sunrise is unique
The moments you take for granted
Now give me great relief

For instead of seeing hardship
Or a broken part of me
I see love made from greatness
A road map of Creativity

Every crack every crevice
Of this life I struggle through
Makes me uniquely who I am
Doing what I am supposed to do

What you may see as altered
Imperfection or the like
Is exactly as it should be
Filled with my Creator’s light

Don’t bother trying to mend me
For broken I’ve never been
Only filled with His will
And Greatness He has seen

Once we stop trying to fix
What God envisioned in the beginning
We will find true love and peace
And can get back to living

Warrior


WARRIOR

Yes I have a story
And while not easy to tell
It must be told for
It describes living Hell

I know true agony
I know pain and fear
I have had hopes squashed
Real evil has been near

I have lived with terror
I have felt real horror
But I stand here now
For I am…a Warrior

I am a child of a Creator
Who knows no limit or bound
I have no know knowledge of mans
Ideals…laughing at his so called grounds

I have known illness true
It has stolen my breath
But never…never my spirit
I will fight til the death

I may be weakened some
My resistence faltered about
But my strength comes from a Source
Of that I have no doubt

Try my body and my mind
As God said that you may
But I won’t volunteer my soul
Never…not today

While adversity tests me…yes
I answer with a loving smile
For I stand with and beside
My Father…as His Child

So while I yes I have been tested
In fact knocking on deaths door
Adversity should fear my strength
For I am…I am….a Warrior

The Day My World Shook


The Day My World Shook

 

  The ground shifted under my feet, did she say cancer? No, there must be a mistake. I just came in for a check up a few days ago…life was normal. Did she say cancer? No, she has me confused with someone else. Things like this don’t happen to me. I must have looked at her like she was speaking in a foreign language, because she just looked back and didn’t utter a word. I felt her touch the top of my hand…I snatched it back like she sent an electric charge through my skin. No, don’t console me. She was wrong. Do I look like a cancer patient? No. I do everything right. I am kind to people. I watch what I eat. I exercise. I pray. Things like this aren’t supposed to happen to people like me. I keep muttering to myself…what did I do wrong? I spoke a little too loudly. She responds as if I am asking her the question. She says there is often no explanation as to what causes a woman to start producing cancerous cells. Did she say cancer again? I shake my head in disbelief…will someone make her stop saying that?

  She asks if someone was with me, because we needed to discuss treatments. Of course no one was with me…this was just a check up. Treatment, did she say treatment? Ummm, how do we get rid of it?  She smiles. Why was she smiling? There is no cure for cervical cancer. No cure? Okay, yeah, I knew that. Breathe…don’t forget to breathe. Do not pass out. I ask her, “Why do I have cancer”? She gives me the generic, “there is no way to know why exactly”. She went on about genetics, diet, and other contributing factors, but wrapping it up telling me that it may be none of the above. Why am I asking dumb questions? I know all of this. Wait, am I going to die? I almost couldn’t see her expression, blinking through my own tears. We are going to try and get it under control before we have to think about that. Try? Breathe…don’t forget to breathe, Wait, don’t breathe too hard…you are going to start hyper ventilating. It’s going to be okay, but you have to get a grip on your emotions right now.

  She starts telling me that she wanted to try and freeze the cells…but the disease is too progressive. We have to do a biopsy to see exactly what we are dealing with. My mind starts spinning. How did I get to this place?

  Two weeks ago I was in my friend Lisa’s car with our kids. She had asked me to go to the pediatrician with her. We are on our way home from the doctor and a dump truck ran a red light and turned across our lane from the opposite direction. It was like a cartoon…in slow motion. I remember saying to her…”is he going to stop”? He didn’t. He hit us head on. I remember my face hitting the dashboard a few times, because her car was old and only had lap belts. I remember lifting my face off of the dashboard…my eyes were closed. Did I pass out; maybe for a minute or two? Everything was still. When I lifted my face, blood was pouring out of it. I couldn’t let them see me bleeding, they will panic. I crawled out of her car. I was walking, although I am not sure where I was walking toward. A woman stopped me, she was afraid to touch me. I could barely hear her voice. Was she whispering? No, my ears are ringing. She asks me to sit down on the side of the road. She says she is a nurse from New York. She asks to check out my wounds. But I asked her to please check everyone else first. I sit down and put my face on my knees. There was blood all over my shirt and the upper portion of my pants were soaked in blood. I am feeling my teeth…okay, they are all here. She comes back and says the blood on my daughter’s head was not hers, but mine. I hear an ambulance. A guy I know stopped to check on us. He didn’t realize I was hurt until I lifted my head off of my knees. He saw my face and it looked like he was going to pass out too.

  I couldn’t get my mind together; my girlfriend had to answer the E.M.T.’s questions. I couldn’t remember anything about my health. She kept looking at me asking if I was okay. I could see her mouth moving; but I was looking through her. Did that dump truck driver really hit us? Why didn’t he try to stop? Luckily some guys ran him down and forced him to pull over. We would learn later during a court appearance that he was half blind, and was supposed to wear thick eye glasses. He wasn’t wearing glasses on the day of the accident. He could have killed us. We were lucky. For the most, all injuries seemed superficial. My face was severely bruised, so much so, that on my first doctors visit the nurse asked me if I was a domestic violence victim. Both of my eyes were black and blue. My face was swollen; my lip was cut open too. There were bruises on my thighs, ribs and across both of my breasts.

  It was the bruises on my chest that prompted me to visit my ob/gyn. I wanted make sure there were no lumps or anything like that since I hit the dashboard so hard. Now I remember, my doctor asked if I wanted a pap smear while I was there. I can recall thinking, no. But for whatever reason, I said yes.

  A week later here I am…living with cancer. My doctor said there was no telling how long I had actually had it. She said it could have been dormant in my system for a while, and the accident could have jarred something in me…causing it to spread.

  How do I go home and explain everything that my doctor just told me? I have cancer. I kept saying it over and over again in the car. I thought if I said it enough that by the time I got home that I could say it without crying. I decided instead of going straight home; I would go to see my sister. I needed a safe place to go, where I could fall apart…just for a minute. I just needed a minute. I kept praying all the way to her apartment…please God…let me have this one minute.

  I barely remember her answering the door. I just remember falling into her. She was confused. She kept touching my face, looking for a new injury. She was talking so fast…I couldn’t answer her. My mouth wouldn’t move. Finally I told her that my doctor said that I have cervical cancer…and I just fell apart. She kept saying NO…over and over again. She was crying so hard; I could no longer determine who was consoling whom. I told her that unless the treatments worked before it started spreading further…I might die. And she mustered up all of this strength and told me that wasn’t going to happen. She said she wasn’t strong enough to live without me, so there was no way that God would ever take me first. It wouldn’t be until this past year that I understood the truth of her statement, when she died unexpectedly.

  She was an angel to me in that moment. She went with me to tell my mom and the rest of my family and friends. It was no longer me having cancer, but us having it. During the entire ordeal, her faith and strength never waivered; she continued to be the glue that kept me together. I would end up having several rounds of radiation treatments. It would spread into my uterus before it finally went into remission for good.

 

  I wanted to share that experience with you, not to be entertaining…but to show you how God has led me to this place. I have always known that God will use me to shine light on issues…and hopefully we can all grow from it. Our Creator has a divine plan for us all and He uses experiences and circumstances as tools to guide us…and if we are paying close attention we can use those experiences to help one another.

 

  I wish you all peace and pray that you will continue to love one another…as God loves you.

Everyone’s Fight


  January is Cervical Cancer Awareness month. I posted a blog in October 2011 concerning my own personal journey with this disease that I wanted to repost today. I am writing a more detailed account of my journey, but wanted to remind everyone that the Cancer struggle truly is everyone’s fight. I hope you enjoy the post…Peace and Blessings to you one and all!!

***************************************************************

Our Battle

 

   One day I found my daughter extremely upset and crying. I asked her what was wrong and said “you lied to me”, and sobbed harder. I asked what it was that she thought I had lied to her about, as I try to be as honest, but gentle, as I can. She said “you told me the cancer was gone, but it isn’t”. I had been diagnosed with cervical cancer a few years prior, but it had since gone into remission. I asked her why she would think that I would lie about it, and she went on to explain that she had found pieces of my hair laying on top of the bathroom trash. I tried to explain that I simply had trimmed my hair that day…but she was crying so hard that she couldn’t hear me. Then she asks me, “Are you getting ready to die”? It took a while for me to get her calm enough for me to even have this discussion with her.

  But the truth was that I had never lost any hair due to cancer or the treatments…she had never seen me in that condition. But she had seen movies and TV shows where the cancer patients had lost their hair and eventually died. It was a lot for her beautiful heart to grasp. I went on to explain the different types of cancer, and told her that my cancer was caught early, and even though treatments made me sick…I was fine now. We had a very basic conversation about the disease, and it would be a few years before we had the detailed conversation, when her mind was more mature.

  The problem was that instead of talking to her about the disease when I was diagnosed, because I didn’t want her to worry about me, I just gave her very generic information. I thought it was the right thing to do at the time but, I was wrong. Because she felt that I didn’t tell her enough…she sought information elsewhere, which in this case was the television…where most individuals with cancer lose all their hair and then they die shortly after.

  Even at her young age, she knew that cancer was a frightening thing. So we had many conversations about it from that point there after. I gave her a new perspective on the illness. I told her I never had to live with cancer…it had to live with me. I didn’t have to fight cancer …it had to fight me. I explained to her that I had this body first and if it wanted to have it ….it would have to fight me for it. This approach gave her strength; she no longer looked at me as a victim. One day I heard her talking to a friend about my health, and she asked if I was a cancer survivor. And she opened her big brown eyes and said NO, my mom did not survive cancer…IT could not survive her!

The cancer didn’t survive us…and she became my own personal army. I would have to endure several rounds of treatments before it actually went into remission for good…but finally it did. But not everyone has a happy ending, sadly.

  We must be aware of our bodies, get regular physicals, and do routine breast exams. We must become proactive in this fight…it has claimed far too many lives already. Until we have a cure, we must look for signs and use precautions…such as using strong sun screen when going into the sun…don’t ignore unusual moles or skin lesions, if you feel something that you didn’t remember being there before…no matter how miniscule…get it checked.

  Contact the American Cancer Society for support or ways that you can help in this cause…it is worth your time. I pray that no one else has to explain to anyone they love about their fight against cancer…but it isn’t going away by itself. Did you know that there is a different cancer awareness month almost every single month out of the year? This is just showing us how very serious this disease is. Over 40,000 people die from breast cancer every year in the United States that is both men and women…so get the facts. For more information please contact:

 

http://www.cancer.org/

 

 

Our Battle


 One day I found my daughter extremely upset and crying. I asked her what was wrong and said “you lied to me”, and sobbed harder. I asked what it was that she thought I had lied to her about, as I try to be as honest, but gentle, as I can. She said “you told me the cancer was gone, but it isn’t”. I had been diagnosed with cervical cancer a few years prior, but it had since gone into remission. I asked her why she would think that I would lie about it, and she went on to explain that she had found pieces of my hair laying on top of the bathroom trash. I tried to explain that I simply had trimmed my hair that day…but she was crying so hard that she couldn’t hear me. Then she asks me, “Are you getting ready to die”? It took a while for me to get her calm enough for me to even have this discussion with her.

   But the truth was that I had never lost any hair due to cancer or the treatments…she had never seen me in that condition. But she had seen movies and TV shows where the cancer patients had lost their hair and eventually died. It was a lot for her beautiful heart to grasp. I went on to explain the different types of cancer, and told her that my cancer was caught early, and even though treatments made me sick…I was fine now. We had a very basic conversation about the disease, and it would be a few years before we had the detailed conversation, when her mind was more mature.

   The problem was that instead of talking to her about the disease when I was diagnosed, because I didn’t want her to worry about me, I just gave her very generic information. I thought it was the right thing to do at the time but, I was wrong. Because she felt that I didn’t tell her enough…she sought information elsewhere, which in this case was the television…where most individuals with cancer lose all their hair and then they die shortly after. Even at her young age, she knew that cancer was a frightening thing. So we had many conversations about it from that point there after. I gave her a new perspective on the illness. I told her I never had to live with cancer…it had to live with me. I didn’t have to fight cancer …it had to fight me. I explained to her that I had this body first and if it wanted to have it ….it would have to fight me for it. This approach gave her strength; she no longer looked at me as a victim. One day I heard her talking to a friend about my health, and she asked if I was a cancer survivor. And she opened her big brown eyes and said NO, my mom did not survive cancer…IT could not survive her!

   The cancer didn’t survive us…and she became my own personal army. I would have to endure several rounds of treatments before it actually went into remission for good…but finally it did. But not everyone has a happy ending, sadly.

   We must be aware of our bodies, get regular physicals, and do routine breast exams. We must become proactive in this fight…it has claimed far too many lives already. Until we have a cure, we must look for signs and use precautions…such as using strong sun screen when going into the sun…don’t ignore unusual moles or skin lesions, if you feel something that you didn’t remember being there before…no matter how miniscule…get it checked.

  Contact the American Cancer Society for support or ways that you can help in this cause…it is worth your time. I pray that no one else has to explain to anyone they love about their fight against cancer…but it isn’t going away by itself. Did you know that there is a different cancer awareness month almost every single month out of the year? This is just showing us how very serious this disease is. Over 40,000 people die from breast cancer every year in the United States that is both men and women…so get the facts. For more information please contact:

 

 http://www.cancer.org/

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