Through Annie & Isabel, I had the pleasure of meeting a woman who has been battling cancer for over 20 years. In fact, I wrote a blog post about her because she was so inspiring to me and now, her strength is something that is helping me on a personal level. Her name is Molly and she has fought her cancer with grace, humor and strength. She is definitely someone to look up to when you need a boost. So I wrote to her after my diagnosis, and she told me something that really struck me and I’ve found to be so true. She said, “Cancer is not a gift, but it brings many gifts with it.” You may wonder….how can cancer bring any gifts? When I was first diagnosed, I would never have understood how cancer could bring ANY gifts. There is nothing good about the word cancer, yet it has indeed brought so many gifts.
The greatest gift I have received from this diagnosis is a huge appreciation for my life, my children, my husband, my family, and my friends. I’ve always known I have an amazing family but, with this cancer diagnosis, I am reminded of what a gift they are.
Prior to cancer, I took so much for granted but now I try to listen to my children more, listen to them talk, laugh, scream, cry, and even fight. I appreciate my husband so much more. I feel blessed that I chose to marry him over 16 years ago….the best decision of my life.
My parents, whom I know felt so sad to hear I had cancer, have been with me every step of the way for doctors appointments, taking me out to fatten me up, watching the kids and just loving me.
I can’t even begin to tell you how lucky I am to have my sister, Selena. She has had her own heart wrenching problems recently and, yet, she is ready to take on cancer with me and do whatever it takes to make sure things are done right. She is the best sister, advocate, and friend and her love is unconditional. She is such a wonderful gift to me and I appreciate her more than ever.
A recent doctor visit - bye bye thyroid!
I’m still not perfect and I know I will continue to take some things for granted, but I feel so much more love for my family since my cancer diagnosis because I now know, first hand, how fragile our lives can be.
I have learned that the best medicine is laughing. Doesn’t laughing always make you feel better?? My kids do a good job of helping in that department. If you have a good joke, send it my way. I’ll take all the laughing I can get now. I’ve also learned that turning the music up in the car and singing with the kids does a body good! I mean...it doesn't get any better than singing Rock 'N' Roll Lifestyle from the band "Cake" right?? (Sorry if you get a little dizzy watching this....that's what happens when you let a kid do the video recording!!)
I have been given the gift of such a huge community that has truly surrounded me in love. I cannot thank everyone enough for all the well wishes, cards, thoughts, prayers, hugs, encouragement, family dinners etc., etc ., etc.!! I feel so blessed to have such an amazing amount of support because it has made this whole cancer diagnosis so much easier for me. You know the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child??” I have come to realize that it also takes a village to kick cancer’s butt! I am one of the lucky ones because I have a huge village of supporters.
As I gear up for surgery on the 29th I’m thinking good, positive thoughts. With my own strength and the strength of those around me I will get through this challenge and I WILL WIN!! I’m not going to say that I won’t be a little scared throughout this process, because I am, but I think CANCER might want to give a second thought to who it is messing with here!! I am ready for the fight and I have a whole army of people who are standing behind me for this battle.
Last weekend, my parents watched our boys and my husband and I were able to get away to our favorite beach destination, Santa Cruz. There is an older roller coaster there that I have grown up riding. Joe and I got on that roller coaster, for once with no kids in tow. We screamed and laughed as we rode over the old rails of the roller coaster. We felt so good and alive!
So here I am on my daily life roller coaster now and I want to remember to scream and laugh and enjoy the blessings of the ride that my life has dealt me.