Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Life and living

This week I turned another year older. I am 33 now. This year I learned that a rare cancer had developed in my femur bone called fibrosarcoma. Upon turning another year older and having the experiences of this year so far, I have decided a few things. Life is important. Cancer matters for me right now. But life is important. One of the biggest challenges that cancer patients face is their fear. Wouldn’t it be extraordinary if there were more thought given to life and living, and not to the diagnosis? I realize what the definition of diagnosis means, but once the condition or disease is identified, that person still needs to live. I hear a lot of people refer to “life after cancer” and it makes me wonder what they were doing when they weren’t living. Cancer, surgery, and treatment (depending upon the type of cancer) can take months and sometimes years to complete. To create a world of survivors, we need to have the courage to live, and the power to take on those big challenges that will be handed to us. If we live during the whole ordeal, we will be more equipped to handle situations that if we otherwise had no life in us at all would not be able to. Though the days may be hard, tiring, frustrating or painful I choose to live my life. Why would I want to stop living? After all, it is only a word. It is only a disease. It is only bigger than you choose to believe it is. It can only stop you from doing that which you love, if you let it. It can do many things. But you can do anything. I can do anything. And I choose to help create a world of survivors. That is the goal. Life... is important.

4 comments:

Alex Berks L.AC said...

You are a tough one. For you to come this far puts you in the seriously brave category. I think you are a war hero. I am speaking of your valor in your own personal battle.

I believe our souls for many reasons take on illness to show us something that we perhaps could not learn another way. It is not that you (or I) have done something wrong to deserve cancer. Rather the soul in its eternal journey and our persona in this lifetime have taken on this challenge to progress in some way. It is for us now to determine what that is. The answer to this I call "cancer prevention". This is part of the great mystery.

In my case I feel I was not meant to die or even be seriously maimed by my cancer. Rather I was meant to have my head metaphorically hung over the cliff not fall down the cliff to get self-compassion, to understand how to deal with fear . I mean really get it. Not just lip-service to my deepest most scary emotions. The number of dark and despairing seemingly hopeless days in which I felt my soul under siege while in the clutches of chemotherapy were numerous and have left an indelible mark on me. There were days I was in a David vs. Goliath fight that I felt I wasn't going to win. But I have so far! I can take great strength from that as I have taken great strength I believe in other lifetimes and dealt with stultifying fears. There are other aspects of my personal growth from cancer but I will stop here.

What do you feel is the message to you of your cancer if any?

If you would like to answer me privately that is just fine. To have these kind of conversations is good medicine.

Please do check this out. It is good listening. Perhaps it will give you a lift to fight on.

http://healthwithcancer.blogspot.com/2006/09/rachel-naomi-remen-speaking-of-faith.html

Sharolyn Gabbitas said...

Alex, it has taken me so long to get back in touch with you. This chemo stuff is certainly keeping me busy and tired. How did your last ifosfimide treatment go? Do you have many more to go? No, I did not lose my leg. Thank goodness! That was my first question above all other. I have a titanium rod as a femur now, a few screws, a donor bone...and then a hip ball. So it was about 30 days in a rehab facility learning how to walk again. I still use support to get around. Thanks for the link. I perused around a bit. I need to go back when I have more time. I am presently in the hospital have chemo right now in fact. I believe as you...that we all have a purpose in life. Some of the things may be apparent right away and others you may learn years later. I have had much to ponder...as you can see from my lengthy blog posts. Take care!

Alex Berks L.AC said...

I presently am on my last chemo. ever, Adrimycin. I had a talk with it last night while I was pissing and told the chemo. that I was tougher than it and that it was not going to effect my heart. (Adriamycin can damage the heart muscle). I don't feel near as crappy as I did the last itme I took this drug. I don't have any disease left either. I am healthier now than I have been in a year. After this I am home free. Or at least I hope so. I feel like I can handle a lot more but I just don't want to have to handle bad news. I am sure you know what I mean. I don't have any metal in my leg but I do have a 30inch scar from my tushy to below my knee. After 4 months ina wheel chair pres surgery and 6 weeks on cruthces after it I now walk pretty fine. Good luck to you on your journey and may you be calm and blessed with kindness, good deeds, and compassion for yourself and others.

Jammie said...

I don't know who you are, but I am glad I found your blog. You are power, strong and beautiful! Thank you for such a beautiful insight! You radiate beauty. Thank you!