Tuesday, March 31, 2015

On November 12, 2012 I began a journey that I never saw coming. It was that day that I learned that cancer is an equal opportunity offender and I was its victim. I was enlisted in a club that I never wanted to join. I was enlisted knowing very little, never even given the rules. It was like being sent off to war without any ammo. Despite knowing very little, I learned quickly. I learned that cancer is not for the faint of heart. It is something that knocks you to your lowest point and forces you to get back up again. You quickly figure out how strong you are when you are climbing up from the bottom. When you are at the bottom you are searching for answers, for a reason that this happened to you. I began to realize that I would never have a reason, I would never get an explanation. I had to trust that there was one and know that God only gives us what we can handle. 

Cancer has taught me that you usually don't remember the easy days. You remember the blood, sweat and tears. You remember climbing back to the top. I remember the day I started chemo, the fellow doing my lumbar puncture told me the lidocaine would feel like a mosquito sting. Try again it is more like a wasp sting. I speak from experience after having countless LPs. The next memorable event was Chris having to shave my head. Being bald taught me a number of things. 1. I have a very nice, round head. 2. I look like my fathers twin. and lastly 3. Bald is beautiful. I still have days that I look in the mirror and wonder who is looking back at me. My hair is dramatically different than it was before I started treatment. Honestly, I am sill adjusting. The next hurdle was my walking. I remember the day someone pointed out my foot drop. I knew then I was in for the long haul. Next came the physical therapy and then my braces (aka my magic legs). It is a side effect that I still struggle with and have to work on everyday. Its a side effect that may last a lifetime. Its a constant reminder of my battle. 

While I say it is easier to remember the hard days, cancer did oddly enough bring many good things. It has changed many of my relationships for the better. It has strengthened my relationships with those I am closest with and has surrounded me with people I know I can always count on. Cancer has brought people into my life that I would never otherwise have met. These are people I am now proud to call my friends. 

The funny thing is, just because I am done treatment I still have to live with the side effects and risk of relapse. Cancer will be part of me forever. It has changed the person I am today. It has taught me I am stronger than I ever thought possible. While undergoing treatment I completed my graduate studies, walked across the stage with my classmates, passed my boards and got my first job as an APRN. It has made me realize that I have many things to be proud of. Most importantly it has taught me that “life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, its about learning to dance in the rain”. 

I will continue to live my life one step @ a time. 

Till next time…KMS