I have endured a lot throughout this journey and I have a favorite quote that I would like to share about having courage:
Despite the circumstances that I have had to face with this cancer, I have been able to discover that I have much more courage than I thought possible and have picked myself up in spite of it all. No matter what problems and challenges that we encounter in life it is by facing our fears that we truly gain the courage to move forward. When life knocks you down the important thing is to make that choice to get back up and move on.
For those who are just starting on your journey, it is one that will no doubt present many challenges to you which will test your courage, strength and faith. Just know that there are others out there who have been there and done that and that you have support systems out there to help you along the way. You just need to reach out and find them or in some cases they find you! This journey has really helped me to realize that if I can face this cancer with the courage and determination that I have experienced, I can conquer and overcome anything with the right frame of mind. I know that there is nothing that I can’t accomplish. It really is all about attitude and how you approach it; however, it can drag you down to places you thought you would never find yourself, if you allow it. I can attest to that I am grateful that I have had people placed in my path to rescue and save me, mostly from myself.
Cancer does suck, but together we are stronger and we will not let cancer win. I refuse to allow this cancer to define me. The scar on my neck is a battle scar that I feel has been earned and one that I wear with pride. Some survivors that I have talked with bring up the question of whether or not to cover their scar; some have and some haven’t. I have never tried to cover that scar, even though mine is barely visible now, but that is because of the talented surgeons I’ve had. I know it is there and it is a reminder of what I have been through and experienced. I know that I am going to be ok; I am a fighter and know that I will come swinging out on top.
There is a plaque that I have in a few rooms in my home which states the following about cancer and I want to include this in my story. I have them on my walls as a daily reminder to me of what cancer CANNOT do to me:
When life gets tough some people may pull within themselves. However, I want to rise above and take the higher road and not allow those negative thoughts and emotions to drag me down, and why staying positive throughout this fight is key. I am so grateful that I’ve had people in my life to assist me in learning this principle. There is great power in positive thinking!
Writing this blog has almost been another journey in itself as I have expressed my thoughts and feelings about my experiences in dealing and living with this cancer. Being able to live with a Stage 4 cancer which still remains inside my body has been difficult to deal with. I had felt my faith being shaken and had so many doubts on whether or not I was going to survive this. Nevertheless, I have learned to accept the hand which has been dealt to me. It is something that took me a very long time to come to terms with and accept, but I have finally reached that point. This really could have crippled me if I allowed it to and I have seen that happen to many others and truly not a place I want to find myself; however, as I have stated before it really is all about the attitude in which one takes. When I adjusted the way that I looked at my situation and changed my attitude, my outlook on life changed for the better and grateful that I have had people in my life to help me to recognize this.
Moreover, as bad as being diagnosed and living with cancer is, this is an experience that I would not trade for anything in the world. I have learned a lot about life and have learned so much about myself that I probably wouldn’t have known otherwise and it has refined me to become a better person. Perhaps that is the reason or purpose on why I have had to endure this cancer experience. Difficulties or challenges in our life can be but a small bump in the road that can give us experience for our own good and something we can learn from.