If you follow me, you know I write a considerable amount about my cancer. This demon has been with me for over twenty-three years. It’s knocked me down times when I had doubts about whether I would get up again. Some of those bouts put me down for what I and members of my family thought were the third count. I’ve had pneumonia, resulting in hospitalization at least twice; a case of sepsis, necessitating me being put in a medical coma; a hip replacement probably due to chemical damage to the ball joint; as well as several other ailments that I would say worked diligently to take me out, if they had a conscious.
This has been a battle that I’m confident I’ve not been equipped to fight on my own. I’ve been exposed to an environment of spiritual faith all my life. My mother, my grandparents, and other family member as far back as I can remember have always believed in God. As I look back during the times they lived, it’s difficult to believe they survived and thrived to a degree as well as they did without faith in God. Living doing the days of Jim Crow was more than a challenge. At the time they were alive, they were my elders. Now that they’re gone, they are my ancestors, and their legacy is well entrenched in my memory.
I consider it no less than a miracle that I’m still alive and thriving. Cancer is supposed to be the bearer of death, the handicap that places severely debilitating challenges on your life. You’re not supposed to be able to live with joy. That hasn’t been the case for me. I would also say that it hasn’t been the case for many cancer patients today. I know several cancer patients, who aren’t in remission like me, but are living life abundantly. Isn’t that the way life is meant to be lived. One thing I would say is present in the lives of these individuals is a determination to live, not simply exist. I think we are conscious of the value of each moment given to us and that we should be thankful for each. Most so-called healthy people have no inkling about what might end their lives. Cancer patients have this little voice inside that reminds them they might be ushered into the next world by their cell destroying companion at any time. Of course, there’s faulty thinking with that, because often cancer patients die from something else.
Am I the person today I would have been had I not been attacked by cancer over twenty years ago? I don’t think so. I’ve invested a lot of time in meditating on that very question. You might find it strange when I say that cancer has afforded me that opportunity to live a much richer life. One example of this is the response I get from others. Whenever someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer looks at me and tells me they’re encouraged by my experience, I think my experience isn’t a useless one. Over the twenty-three years I’ve been on this cancer path, there have been many who have gained encouragement from my experience. I must believe that God wants me right here, at this spot. If not, wouldn’t I have been taken out years ago?
To live and live well with the grim reaper hanging around your front door is a faith builder. Yes, my life has been changed, and I wouldn’t have chosen a different path had I been given a chance to do so.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.
Thank you for this. My doctor has ordered tests to determine if I have cancer. I am scheduled to have the tests next week. I have been feeling torn between my trust and faith in God, and my fear. Thank you so much for sharing this post right now!
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I’m glad this was of some help. I pray you don’t have cancer; however, if you do, keep in mind that cancer doesn’t necessarily mean the end. There are thousands living with cancer these days.
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You would not be alive were it not for the skilled doctors at the University of Arkansas, your positive attitude, and your faith. I have been blessed to follow journey from Day One –what an inspiration you are. Live long and blessed, my friend.
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I think you may have been the subliminal breath beneath my wings as I went through my recent “baby” cancer interlude. The word evokes such horror, I can feel Linda Lee’s anxiety and do hope if she is diagnosed with it, it will be like mine, a mild case which she can breeze through. Today’s cancer treatments are so much more bearable than they were in the past. That said, I know that not everyone is as lucky as I have been. Or even as lucky as you have been with your long list of complications. You are certainly correct in noting that once diagnosed with C, we have a very good clue as to what will take us out in the end. At this stage of the game, every day is a bonus day.