About 9 years ago now I had the big C word. It was larynx cancer and in the very early stages. How I found out was I had developed laryngitis which I thought was due to the fact of constantly being on the phone at my workplace. Anyways, I ended up at my ENT specialist and to make a long story short went into a huge round of radiation. My husband would pack me up in the car for the long drive into the city where they would strap my face down with a mesh mask in order to hold me in position. I remember the pain got so bad that even morphine wasn’t working. My breath smelled and my saliva tasted like boiled meat. Later two of my brothers would pass away within the same year of the same type of cancer. I was very fortunate to have caught it in time. Who knew? I will never take laryngitis lightly again.
So, what have I learned? Well, for one thing like I said, I will tell others of my history if I notice they’ve been experiencing voice loss or hoarseness. I have learned to live each day with deep appreciation. You know what the first thing was that came to my mind when I was given the diagnosis? I was watching my young son wheel around the doctor’s office on the stool and I remember thinking…”what are they going to do without me?” This is a mother’s thoughts. It is not..” Omg…poor me..wahhh”. It’s always about the others. I never fully understood this until that moment. Now I know what my mom went through when I was 6 years old and she had to leave this world due to melanoma.
During my radiation treatments I would come home and yes, at times feel sad that no one called or came over…not even my older kids! No offers to help with the cleaning or anything. No one talked about it when they came over..It was like this big elephant in the room! I found out later they didn’t know how to act. I was giving mixed messages to everyone. On one hand, yes I wanted people to come over but not to feel sorry for me. I wanted to laugh with them. Some of my best friends, or so I thought never even called!! One friend came over a couple times with magazines for me. I would really look forward to this. I could sense she wasn’t afraid of asking me questions or seeing me in the state I was in.
Now, I heard of someone who has ovarian cancer and from what I am hearing within my group is everyone is asking about her but no one seems to be taking the initiative to go and find out how she is doing. It looks like this is a common theme. Has anyone out there experienced this as well?
As for the question,”why me?” I believe I was given the gift of cancer so that I could learn the lesson of life appreciation. I was taking life for-granted and wasting away precious time. I choose to live in the “now” and my family and friends are so very important. When I am presented with the opportunity to help cancer patients in my community I have taken action and I use my experiences to teach others as I cross their paths. My life’s journey had a bit of a kink in it but I am so thankful it was not in vane.
What now? Well, I am only moving forward. I have taken my experiences and applied them to my present life situations. I continue to wake up every morning and love, love, love what I do for a living. I found out that life is way to short to try and please others and to just listen to what your heart tells you. If you are very still…very, very still..you will hear it.