“Reality can be beaten with enough imagination.” Mark Twain

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Cancer Story: Bad Ass Cancer Survivor

In honor of September being Blood Cancer Awareness Month, I'm sharing my story of living with leukemia. The WHOLE story.

Part 4

How do I live with this? Am I still angry or scared.

Before I was diagnosed, I had started a new growth phase of my spiritual journey as a Christian. For a few years previously I had been doubting a few things about what I believed and the whole Christian culture thing.

 Someone I worked with at the time invited me to his church, so I went to their Wednesday evening services for about 6 months. Their faith experience was different than anything I had previously. I received prophecies and then finally the overwhelming acceptance that God really does love me.

By his good grace, I knew that when I was diagnosed. And even though I had my human doubts, I also had a new sense of well-being, that whatever happened would be okay. I didn't want to die--most people my age don't!--because at the same time I was discovering my writing gift and was excited by the possibilities. And I had lost a bunch of weight--over a hundred pounds all told from my highest. I had hope.

But this spiritual journey can be a whole other series. Suffice it to say now, I got what I needed. And be careful when you pray for more faith. It doesn't just come. You have to go through something to earn or to realize it was there all along.

I was a little angry, however. Especially at the fact that here I was, getting serious and being successful at taking responsibility for my health and WHAM! I'm broadsided by something out of the blue. So like my life. I joked if I ever get to my goal weight, something will probably kill me the next day.

But then, I took onto account as far as cancer goes, I'm lucky. Treatment has been easy and accessible. I don't need chemo that makes me sick and knocks me out of all of life for a year or more. Right now, it mostly just a pain in the butt.

But not even a big pain. I've talked to others who were diagnosed later in the progression of the disease (It has 3 phases--chronic, accelerated and blast crisis) and needed more aggressive treatment. Mine was caught very early, it seems. For some, side effects of Gleevec are difficult to live with and thye need to try one of the other treatments. Anxiety and other psychological issues make it a harder journey for some.

I don't know how this will play out, where God will take me with it. It's been a bitter sweet experience, but at this point in the journey, now that all the flurry of frequent doctor visits, etc. is over, I can see lots of good that has come from it.

Tomorrow: Blood Cancer Awareness Month and YOU!

Ps-the dog is Faith the Bi Ped Dog. In case you're wondering how she came to be here.

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