Offering love, hope, support and empowerment to others who are living with Lymphoma.
Friday, September 7, 2012
I AM The Light!
From the time that I was diagnosed until only recently, I refused to have my picture taken. The medications that were used in my treatment, distorted my body and made me unrecognizable. I didn't know the face that I saw looking back at me in the mirror. I felt ugly. Hideous. Bloated like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloon. I gave up hope that I'd ever get back to the real me. My self-esteem was at an all time low. It was hard to imagine what the future held for me. Cancer can make you feel unworthy. Un-loved. Alone.
Last October, I was weaned off of one of my treatment medications because it was doing more harm than good. It affected my liver and kidneys and I decided, along with my oncologist, that I wanted to give my body a break from these toxic meds. He reminded me that there is "no cure" for SPTCL. That we can always try other drugs if need be. That once it gets aggressive, there is no turning back. I left his office stunned. I've always maintained a positive outlook from the very beginning, and now I had my doctor there to remind me of what "will" happen to me.
On the long drive home, I replayed his message over and over in my head. I became increasingly depressed. I'd recently begun to feel less effects from the meds and thought I was on the upswing. Now I was being told otherwise.
A torrential rainstorm cropped up and I had to pull to the side of the road. The windshield wipers were a backdrop to the driving rain, which only worsened my mood. I began to cry. No, not a normal cry. Deep, sobbing, take-your-breath-away cries. I called my friend and asked her to meet me at a local coffee shop.
When she arrived she wanted to know how my appointment went. I explained what the doctor told me and I started to cry again. She did, too. I let it all out. Right there in that coffee shop. Luckily there weren't any patrons nearby. She held my hands and asked me how I felt. I told her that I'd just started to feel like maybe I could get my life back. She said, "Well, then do it! If you are feeling good, then just go with it." Thank God for having my best friend there to put it all into perspective.
I went home and from that day to this, I shifted my thinking. I start each day with a feeling of gratitude. I am thankful that I am alive. I have such a wonderful support system of friends near and far that I could never thank nearly enough for all that they have done for me. Once again, I found that little spark that has always been inside of me. I am focused on my writings ... I have a story to tell.
Getting cancer can kick your ass. But, it can also make you appreciate what you do have even more. Thank you for joining me on this journey and have a great day.
You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.