I surrendered to cancer and won

Before being stricken with cancer, like most people, I saw cancer survivors being interviewed on television.  From time to time I would read articles about people who won the battle against cancer.  I wondered how they mustered the strength and courage to fight that horrible battle.  Although I don’t recall, I’m sure I wondered how I would handle a diagnosis of cancer if it happened to me.  I found out!  Life as I knew it changed.

Suddenly I was the one with cancer.  I entered a whole new dimension; a new world filled with fear, despair, and most importantly a deep feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. How would I survive?  Would I survive?

I’m happy to say that I did survive.  I am cancer free today and am extremely grateful.  I’d like to pat myself on the back and say that I “fought” the battle and won.  But that would not be true.  I decided to stop the treatments and just call Hospice.  For some reason, I reluctantly decided to continue the treatment.  I didn’t have much fight.  I just went along and did whatever I was told.  I actually surrendered and won.

I think one of the saddest things in my life was seeing the children undergoing treatment with their bald heads.  They were smiling.  Although I felt like crying seeing their suffering, they gave me the courage to go on.  I don’t think anyone can see the extraordinary courage of those children with cancer, and not be deeply moved.

I’ve had people compliment me on the courage I had to survive cancer.  The truth is, I don’t think I really had any courage myself.  I believe that deep within us lies the strength to overcome anything.  We’re not aware of that source of strength until we actually need it.  But it is there for all of us in our time of need.  The faith of those children I saw on the cancer floors of that hospital helped me to tap into that strength.

I no longer take life for granted.

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