You gain strength, courage, and confidence
by every experience in which you really stop
to look fear in the face.
You are able to say to yourself,
“I lived through this horror.
I can take the next thing that comes along.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Sitting in the oncologist office waiting room, I had some time to look around at all the other people there waiting patiently for their names to be called. I’ve done this before and I seem to do it every time I’m there. I smile at the others in the room, because I figure if you are here, then we’ve got a connection. Because let’s face it, there are plenty of other places to sit in this big ole world and I bet you wouldn’t choose the oncology waiting room to hang out in if you didn’t need to be there. Or if your loved one didn’t need to be there.
Cancer evens us out. Strange to say, right? But I find that those of us who have endured cancer find it easier to simply connect with someone else who has been in the same boat. It’s that common ground that we search for when we connect with someone else. By simply being in the same doctor’s office, we can pretty much bet we’ve got or had the Big C and we’re hoping to get better and stay healthy.
Cancer isn’t choosy. It doesn’t discriminate between races or genders. Old or young, it matters not. It comes in changing the lives of its patients and those who surround them. Cancer bonds people. Cancer breaks people down. Cancer divides. Cancer unifies. Cancer conquers some people and yet, there are others who conquer cancer. It’s an equal-opportunity disease for which there’s no cure, yet.
Cancer connects people in ways that they might not necessarily connect. The fear of death and the horror of cancer treatments, etc. give you a bird’s eye view of what you are truly made of and there’s no place for sissy’s with cancer. No matter with whom you talk, we’ve all had sleepless nights filled with worry and repeatedly question at every tumor marker test, if cancer has returned. Many of us have endured surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, blood tests, needles, being poked and prodded by countless professionals and staff. We’ve lost our hair, body parts and our dignity. But I’ve learned that we don’t lose our loving hearts, nor our need for comfort or our precious souls to cancer. It’s given me a new outlook on life. Sure cancer has weakened parts of my life, but it also strengthened me. It’s given me lessons on human nature that I would have never understood had I not endured the cancer. It’s made me appreciate the little things and be unafraid of dying. It’s changed my life in good and bad ways, but I try to concentrate on the good in my life at every turn.
What has cancer done in your life?
I admire your spirit and your goal of focusing on the good. I wish you continued success in the battle.
Many thanks Dan. So far, so good! But I always appreciate your good thoughts.
You are such a beautiful light of hope, love and kindness in the world Yvonne! thank you for shining so brightly. Hugs
Shine on dear Louise! Keep shining your light ~ I can see you from here! ♥
Beautifully said. Yes, there is that moment of unbelief and the next of acceptance when the doctor tells you that you have cancer. Eight years ago, after they removed one kidney, I went for CT scans for the next two years on a regular basis. When I reminded my doctor about the next one to be scheduled, I never heard from him again. After a few tries to contact him, I gave up, assuming that he had, too. I am well aware that if it happens again in the brain or lungs as he suggested it might, I cannot be treated with radiation or chemo because of my remaining kidney, so there is really nothing to do. I have cancerous spots that appear on my legs and arms, but my dermatologist keeps removing them and schedules me for appointments every three months. It is simply a way of life now. I wish you the very best and send prayers for patience and healing.
I wish you all the best as well dear friend. I am so sorry you are enduring so much. I am fine for now and have been for awhile. I just get check ups very regularly which is a good thing for me. I always appreciate hearing that I’m still ok. Do you think you would like to find a new doctor, just to have that security that there is a physician watching out for you? Just a thought. I have spots on my skin as well which are removed as needed. I will keep you in my prayers xo
Thank you. Yes, I have a new doctor who is looking out for me and referring me to other people. I will pray for you, too.
That makes me so happy! ♥
You have written beautifully and powerfully about a type of connection we don’t think about unless we’ve experienced it. I have not had cancer, but I have had so many people I love who have fought the scourge. When you ask “What has cancer done in your life?” I confess it has caused me to shake my fist at heaven and pound on heaven’s gate for respite on behalf of loved ones… and for answers. The answers to “Why?” will not likely come this side of the veil, but since I believe God honors our honesty, my railings to Him against this disease will continue. I am sad you have to battle it, but I believe you have harnessed the absolutely most powerful weapons: gratitude and love. Whether you leave this world because of old age or accident or illness, your gratitude and love will live on forever.
My heartfelt gratitude to you Elizabeth for your kindness. I am not enduring cancer now, but I did for years. I am checked every few months for I have endured complications that most people have not. But yes, I am ever grateful and filled with love for what the experiences have taught me in my life. I can say I have railed and struggled with the ‘why me?’ as have many before me, but I have found a sense of peace within that works to not struggle anymore. In a strange way, I feel that I was given this experience in order to connect with others who struggle. Not to lift their struggles, but to lift their spirits when they find themselves in the valley of life. Because I’ve been there and when you’ve walked in that valley, you know that a helping hand, a connection, helps immensely. And I guess I just want to be that helping heart and hand. ♥ Just like you! xo
You have beautiful strength Yvonne, a lot of my clients have had cancer and it can hold you in fear or move you towards strength and hope. We always have a choice when faced with disease or pain. Your positive attitude inspires many people. Much love 🙂
Well said, Karen. Yvonne’s positivity, even in the darkest moments, is inspiring. And, your encouraging words bring such comfort. Thank you both. Glad I’ve found you here…
I love when the heartlights that I’ve met through blogging connect! You are both very inspirational to me and I am honored that you come here to read my blog posts. I am honored to read yours as well as you are both amazing teachers who have enriched my life in countless ways. Cheers to you both! ♥♥♥
Karen, I walk for two as I know you do too ~ you hold out your hand, through your grief and you continue to connect with others so that they may know that there is a light in this world. So many have been blessed to work with you and I am truly grateful for our connection. You are a beautiful soul. xo
a powerful quote and post
Thankyou Vicki, I feel the same about both of you too. 🙂
As do I Karen! ♥ Your positivity is endless as is your compassion. Shine On! ♥
Thank you Eddie! So nice to see you here again! ♥
we don’t lose our loving hearts, nor our need for comfort or our precious souls to cancer – amen, my friend. such a lovely post. thankful we’re journeying together heart-to-heart.
Vicki, heart to heart, hand in hand, we move through this lifetime. I am ever grateful for your loving essence in my life and I love to watch you shine as you help so many people! xo
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Beautifully said. I’ve not had it, but have several family and friends who’ve had to fight this fight. Continue to shine your light!
Thank you Karen! I’m trying! ♥