Senior woman sits on porch rocking chair

What Cancer Taught Me

The struggle is real. I have been courageously fighting cancer for 6 years. Doctors didn't expect me to be walking, or at least not without assistance. My lower spine and right hip have been degenerating and due to chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), I have been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. I was told that I would be using a cane or walker, possibly even a wheelchair.

In these years, I have also been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which was a reoccurrence. Also, triple-negative breast cancer and lung cancer. I had a tumor spread to my brain and courageously fought that! I endured more doctor visits, hospital stays, biopsies, medical procedures, scans of EVERY kind, surgeries, and MRIs than I care to count! And let's not even discuss bloodwork! Yet, I have continued to fight fiercely!

Acceptance and transitions

During this time, my children have all grown up. My nest is now empty. I went through a divorce, but it's ok. I haven't lost anything there but dead weight and I am not wasting time feeling sorry for myself. Many of my days now are indeed quiet and alone, however, I'm far from lonely.

I have learned what true peace and acceptance are. I found out how to embrace life. I rediscovered who I was and what was really important to me. Most of all, I became one with my faith in God and my relationship with Him!

The lesson cancer taught me

While I have suffered and struggled a lot, it has taught me to cherish my family more, embrace life, discover myself, grow stronger in my faith and relationship with God. It also increased my heart for people and humanitarianism. It taught me to see all the many needs in my community around me in a deeper way.

Autism, Domestic Violence, Homelessness, Youth, Incarcerated, and being able to ask... "How can I help?" I came to realize I was put on this earth to help others. When I got that revelation, I dedicated my life to doing and giving more than I already was. My intention in what I did was more clearly defined. I understood my life mattered, even in this present state, and I had no time to waste.

Life is good!

Cancer has taught me to be about the business of LIVING & APPRECIATING LIFE and my loved ones! I don't allow myself to live in the realm of much fear anymore. Once you face your possible mortality, not a lot scares you anyway. I took the limits of my life! Most people who personally know me, know I wear purple wigs, sometimes green. I am a super fashionista and am all about a glam life! Many times I meet women and they say, I wish I had the courage to change my hair that color or wear that makeup! Oh, honey, it's just hair or color! LIVE!! You truly only get one shot at this thing called life, you better sink that ball and enjoy the game!

I have also been blessed to have stronger relationships with relatives and friends while on this journey. Some people take the stance, "why do people want to come around now?" I choose to be grateful! Too many die alone! I have been blessed to be so loved by so many people! Especially my parents, sisters, and children! I wouldn't even be here without them! I even got to find love again and I couldn't be happier! So when I look over the last 6 years, through all cancer taught me, it taught me most to see how blessed I truly was. And Life Is Good!

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