My cancer is back, and so is the shock and fear that came with my first diagnosis. The uncertainties are back, too, as I found out yesterday that the last 21 weeks of chemo and CT scans were unsuccessful and while the cancer did not spread, chemo did not “knock it down”! My oncologist is going to try a new routine Monday with a drug that is used for ovarian cancer. I will have 5 intense chemo treatment days beginning Monday and he promised me that there would be many side affects so once again I wonder about more cancer treatment and about my future.
Sharing this experience has been essential to helping me cope with having cancer. Most obviously, it’s therapeutic to confront and write about my fears. Come visit when you can...doing so helps release my anxiety and gives me a sense of control over my life. But more deeply, writing about cancer gives me a a purpose for my life. From this terrible disease, I can create and communicate my experiences with others and this is what gives me hope!
So I ask that you not be afraid of me because you don't know what to say, but rather give me strength to keep on fighting because you have my back!
I was given a gift, wrapped shabbily,
it was non-returnable, non-refundable!
Reluctantly I accepted it.
In it I found courage I never knew existed
and a patience far beyond anything ever experienced.
I was given the ability to trust a stranger with that most dear to me,
and an endurance for the unknown.
I was given unconditional love of family and friends,
always there, never stopping, never faltering.
I was given many prayers from far and wide,
and the warmth of knowing I am truly cared about.
I was given a fond farewell of my modesty and vanity,
and the acceptance and love of an imperfect body.
I was given a strong shoulder to lean on when that
shoulder had once grown distant, and laughter and good times, more special than ever before.
I was given many new friends,
wonderful, courageous folks I am so very proud to know.
I was given warm sunshine and beautiful green grass,
blue skies, and sparkling city lights.
I was given things to see,
that once before were ignored.
I was given the chance to wake up,
Instead of sleepwalking through life.
I was given every glorious day to enjoy,
every month to savor, every year to rejoice.
I was given the gift of life,
I was given... cancer.
Poem by Linda Nielsen