Saturday, December 20, 2014

Faces Of Cancer

AS PUBLISHED ON FIG LANCASTER


Recently, I have begun to wonder if a cancer diagnosis is like buying a new car.  It seems that when you come home with a new car, thinking you have picked out something unique and something that is speaks to your personality and needs, that within a week you realize, that EVERYONE is driving the same car.  While you could have sworn there was not another car like yours in the tri-state area, the minute you sign the papers, the streets are filled with cares like yours.

 Before my diagnosis with cancer, I knew people with cancer, I knew too many people with cancer.  And frankly if you know one person with cancer,  that is too many in my book.  Since my diagnosis, 6 short months ago,  I feel like I am standing frozen in the center of a cancer blizzard as diagnosis’s rain down upon my world.

I want to live in a world where Cancer has less prevalence.

 Before my own diagnosis, there was too much cancer in the world.  There was too much cancer in MY world.  I am not talking about the millions of cancer patients across the world.  I am talking about the ones that were in MY world.  The faces of cancer that I know all too well, the faces that I could picture clearly as I prayed. 

Before I had cancer, a  friend of mine announced her fight with breast cancer.  When I heard, I thought about how she was going to fight through this with a small toddler in tow.  Before her announcement, dear friends of mine had the pain of announcing that their dear sweet toddler had a rare brain tumor. In what felt like moments before the announcement, my daughter and that dear sweet boy had been on the beach building sandcastles and fighting over sand shovels. Now this dear sweet boy was undergoing brain surgeries and chemotherapy and radiation.

My own cancer diagnosis, caught me off guard to say the least but it simply was.  There was not earth shattering realization, it was simply a day by day “ok…so today we have to do X” (with X occasionally being a big fat suck fest).

7 weeks to the day of my diagnosis, my baby sister was diagnosed with her own sneaky form of cancer (Not cool Universe, NOT freakin cool).  Admittedly her diagnosis did catch me off guard and I freaked out but we held hands and muscled through.   Last week, my cousins’ son was diagnosed with cancer and before that my dear friends ex-husband and before that my crossfit coach’s father.  It has been 6 months, since my cancer diagnosis and I feel like the new diagnosis’ are falling like snow at my feet.  It is too much.  I can handle my own diagnosis, I do not have a choice but the cancer all around me it makes me take pause.

Some days, I cry because my cancer is easier and better than others cancer.  Some days I cry for the loved ones that I know that have a harder journey than mine.  Some days I cry because I feel guilty for having an easier path and some days I cry, feeling guilty for wanting an easier path for myself.  Some days, I cry with fear of an uncertain future and some days, the tears are simply leftover particles of exhaustion.  Wow that seems like a lot of crying,  the fact is that most days it is simply an angry sniffle because I do not have time to cry.  I am not alone in this so I do not sit around crying because I am simply one of the many faces of cancer and frankly I think there are other faces that deserve to let the tears flow before me.  Besides...I am not a pretty cryer so I try to limit that business.

Yet I have hope.  

I believe in a future with less cancer.

 I believe in a plan greater than mine.  I believe in science.  I believe in aromatherapy. I believe in retail therapy.  I believe in strong hugs.  I have hope because I see the end of my journey.  I have hope because my friend has beaten breast cancer.  I have hope because that dear little boy is cancer free and fighting to recover from his battle.  I have hope because my sister is done, her cancer has been zapped and she has rung her bell.
  


I have hope because every day someone comes up to me and tells me that they have hope and that they believe.

 I have hope that my daughters’ future with cancer will be more like a flurry than a blizzard.

I believe that with science and prayer, clean eating and living that my daughters’ future will not be filled with cancer. I have hope that my future, that our future will not be filled with cancer.  I have hope that one day soon, there will not be as many faces of cancer, in both my world and yours.

I have hope. 

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