My family has been battling cancer in one way, shape or form for as long as I can remember. Still, all of this experience didn’t prepare me for my own diagnosis. Cancer has no respect for who you are, age or economics. A routine mammogram left me feeling pretty good about myself. I’d done all I had to do and was just glad to have the rest of the day to myself.
Two weeks after that check-up, my friend at our local hospital called and told me that I needed to come back for more testing. There was a lump that couldn’t be explained. I dropped by my friends office and took a look at the X-ray and saw a very large baseball sized lump in the X-ray.
The first lesson I learned was patience. Patience was desperately needed as you had to wait around for test results a lot and simply sit. I spent a lot of time reading during that time. I also spent a lot of time in prayer.
The next lesson I learned was that cancer is not a death sentence. Decades ago, many believed that cancer was a death sentence including some of my own family members. It was hard to break free of this mindset but unless I did, I knew there would be no survival.
My sense of humor was the next to get a makeover. If you don’t have a sense of humor, it’s very challenging to get through the myriad of tests and focus on what you truly need to focus on.
As a person who likes to plan things out, I was suddenly faced with the issue of having to change my plans at a moments notice. This was a difficult thing for me to deal with and to this day I still struggle with this issue. Unfortunately, technicians become ill, machines break down and doctors sometimes have to consult with someone clear across the country, which can often delay treatment plans and cause patients to have to reschedule.
There is light at the end of the tunnel. After all the treatments and procedures, I found that I could see a light at the end of the tunnel. Cancer didn’t begin just one day and it certainly wasn’t beat in just one day, but with time and patience and diligent doctors visits, I was well on the road to recovery.
Cancer isn’t a death sentence; it’s just another challenge that some of us are faced with in life.