Monday, September 9, 2013

A Decade of Surviving Cancer

I was meditating on "I am open to the presence of miracle's" and it hit me, it's been ten years since my cancer diagnosis and my life was getting back to some sense of normalcy....what a miracle!!  

Three teenagers now left at home, activities that require me to be involved, school and homework and we have not even discussed my life.  Spreading the gospel of colon cancer and the importance of early detection, a full-time job, and a recurrence in my liver smack dab in the middle of getting my life back!  Yes, I said recurrence but, let's not focus on that because it is such a small part of what I have been given over the last 10 years that I am sailing through it this time around. Okay, maybe not sailing but, I'm dealing with things with a greater sense of gratitude because I have been given so much over the years, how dare I complain.

I have a wonderful network of folks I love and care for like family and they feel the same about me.  Even though we may only see each other once a year if that, we keep in contact and hold each other up during good and bad times.  

A loving and supportive mother, love and support from extended family and my children tell me how proud they are  of me and the example I have set for them to keep pushing through adversity. My youngest says she wants to be just like me; I tear up because I was thinking cancer got in our way. I can't do as much, I am still broke, I am still living from pillar to post, I am still robbing Peter to pay Paul and any other analogy you can think of that means "struggling financially"....LOL! 

One daughter says to me "it's not the money mom, it's the time, it's the conversations about life and values you've taught us and the motivation to be our best even at the lowest point in our live's, you said always do your best".  Wow, that's another gift, to see your children transition into adults that get it.  They call for me to tell one of their girlfriends the "Hippopotamus Mating Ritual", my recipes to fix a favorite dish for their husbands or child rearing tips.

I know I may seem like rambling but, anyone who has had cancer can understand the importance of getting it out of your head before you forget and believe me, I have a "fish bowl" mentality, once a thought swims around my head once, it's gone!  

Over the last ten years, I have learned a few things:

  • cancer didn't define me, it reinvented me.
  • I learned to be resilient
  • when life knocks you down, get back up. 
  • live your life, people will always talk
  • surround yourself with love
  • live
  • love
  • laugh
  • live some more
  • laugh harder

I'm human, I get down sometimes but, I give myself the opportunity to get over it and I thank God for where I am and for where I didn't end up.  Surviving made me a voice to the voiceless, an advocate, an activist, a philanthropist, an educator and a model.  It made me stop and not only smell the roses but, enjoy the roses.  I'm not saying this has always been my mentality because it has been a tough road traveled made easier by the people in my life and those I've met along this journey.  Be Blessed.