By Nancy C.
My glass is half full. My husband often calls me “Rosey” because I choose to view the world through rose-colored glasses. I own this view and recognize it is a choice.
I am grateful for each day.
I have an incredible family. And of course, there are my friends, medical providers, the Coalition staff and programs, and my Common Ground* sisters. I am surrounded with love, hugs, laughter, and occasional “kick in the butt” when needed.
I have dreams and goals: this difference is that now I act on them more quickly.
I think I speak for everyone in saying WE HATE CANCER! This journey is tough. No one wants to join this club that does not discriminate with its invitation for membership. However, once here, we must act.
Fighting cancer is NOT for the faint of heart and we cannot do it alone.
Together we: Learn.
Knowledge gives us strength to face each day.
Empower. You can live your best life in every moment. That does not mean things are always “rosey.” Allow yourself to be scared, mad, scream, cry…whatever you need to do to get it out. Every emotion is REAL and deserves to be released. Most importantly, recognize that those close to you may need the same.
Support. Seek it out!
We are so fortunate to have the Coalition. I have found acceptance and love with an occasional “kick in the butt” delivered ever so gently.
Partner with your providers. This is especially important for me; I must have a connection with my team. I feel free to question or challenge and at times negotiate with them.
And, as a nurse/educator, this reflects my personal bias: don’t forget your nurses. They can and should be counted among your greatest advocates. I have had the amazing experience of receiving care from nurses who are former students of mine from MCC.
At a recent Voices and Visions writing session, the prompt was to complete these phrases: I used to …. But now I …. I wrote the following:
I used to be serious and controlling, but now I am more relaxed and flexible. I strive to be present in every moment.
This is my gift of living with metastatic breast cancer. Following my initial battle when I was thought to be free of disease, I returned to the previous intensity and structure of my old life. Cancer was over!
After less than a year of reports stating “no evidence of disease”, the metastatic return of my disease knocked me off my routine. No longer could I trust my body and no longer did I have control.
It turned out that becoming flexible and spontaneous opened up opportunities beyond my imagination. I take nothing for granted and have sent worry packing. It cannot help me!
I have replaced that with hope, knowledge, and belief that I will be okay.
I focus on healing; not necessarily to be free from cancer, but healing for my spirit, my mind, and emotions.
I strive to let go of toxic situations and people, as well as the need for approval or acceptance.
I strive to make peace with the “what ifs” or “if onlys.” I have no room for regrets. I recognize that I did the best that I could at the time.
What I do bring forth is love and acceptance for myself and others.
In closing, let’s agree:
We HATE cancer. We are here to FIGHT. We have HOPE.