Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Survival ~ A Cancer Warrior's Lessons Through Poetry


The meaning of survival
may be different than you've heard.
It doesn't mean you're cancer free.
It doesn't mean you're cured.

It doesn't mean you're through with treatment,
or that your hair is growing back.
It doesn't mean your scars have healed.
No, it doesn't mean any of that.

Survival means that you've decided
to live each moment of your life,
and to never let the sun go down
on anger, hate or strife.

Survival means you seize each day
and live your joy out loud,
and you look for silver linings
behind each and every cloud.

Survival is not a timeline
and it's not just a prognosis.
It's the way you decide to live your life
after diagnosis.

You can count days on a calendar
but there's a better way.
Survival is not measured in tomorrows
but in the value of today.

© Molly Shoemaker Schaechtele

Have you ever met someone briefly, by chance, that left an unforgettable imprint on your life??  That is how I feel about Molly Schaechtele, the woman who wrote the above poem.  Molly has been fighting cancer for twenty two years.  She was diagnosed in 1989 with colon cancer and again in 1990.  She enjoyed being cancer free until she was diagnosed in 2006 with breast cancer and, with further testing, due to this second diagnosis, also discovered she had stage IV colon cancer that is considered incurable.  While most people would throw in the towel, and feel a lot of self pity and possibly give up the good fight, Molly has not. She has a heart of gold and truly does see the "silver lining behind each and every cloud." She lives life to the fullest and appreciates and savors each and every day she has.  She has a lot of life lessons to teach and I wanted to share her story because I think we can all learn from her.

I was introduced to Molly when she contacted us recently after we were featured in a local magazine "Inside East Sacramento".  She had just been discharged from the hospital (the third hospital stay in only a couple of months) and she thought an Annie & Isabel hospital gown might be just the thing she needed to cheer herself up in the event that she had to return to the hospital.

Molly purchased the Anita and Evelyn hospital perfect for her bright and cheery personality, don't you think?!

She, however, gave me a bigger gift.....two books of poems that she has written and published about her journey with cancer and the life lessons it has taught her.  Each book is small and includes poems that will make you smile, a couple that might make you cry, and most that will make you realize that even if you are fighting a beast like cancer, there is so much more life to live and treasure!!

If you want to be inspired or help inspire someone going through difficult times then this book might be just the perfect gift! 

I leave you with one last poem from Molly that demonstrates so well her undefeatable spirit!!!

It's A Matter of Scheduling

You tell me that I'm going to die,
that I should put my affairs in order.
'Tis easier said than done, my friend-
Quite frankly,I'm a hoarder.

You tell me that I'm going to die
and soon will be departed.
but there are projects I must finish
that are only half-way started.

You tell me that I'm going to die
but how can that be true?
I must update my will and trust,
and my life insurance too.

You tell me that I'm going to die
but I still have rooms to paint
and curtains to hang and trim to fix
before my house is truly quaint.

You tell me that I'm going to die
and the thought just makes me dizzy.
so if you don't mind, I just won't die...
Quite frankly, I'm too busy!

© Molly Shoemaker Schaechtele

Thank you Molly for reaching out to us.  You are a true inspiration and I feel blessed to have been touched by your outlook and love of life. 

Molly's Schaechtele's books can be purchased through ebay here:


  1. Stopping by from my blog during my SITS day. I love the concept of your site! I'll be sharing it with others for sure!