Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Journey From Fear to Courage, Despair to Hope.....Part I

The following is an article that I was asked to write for a private publication.   I wrote this in 2003 and recently found it and thought that it is still very relevant for me and how I feel about my diagnosis, disease and life.    The following is an excerpt from that article........

......Nothing in the way I think, the way I am, or the way I do things is the same as it was before June 27, 2001.     On that day I found myself in the emergency department with abdominal pains, fever, and fatigue.   As most of us, I figured they would check me over, tell me it was bug, and send me home.

Unfortunately, that was not what happened.  I checked in at 10:00 a.m and by 4:00 p.m. I was in surgery for what was believed to be an acute appendicitis.  At 7:00 p.m. that evening the surgeon came to see me in my room and delivered the devastating news,  "I'm sorry to tell you this but we found tumours, and I think you have ovarian cancer."

The fear of the "C" word is in all of us.  We get a pain in our head or our groin and often think, "What if it's cancer?".  Well, I can say for myself that the fear was worse than the reality.   When I look back over the past months, I realize that God worked with me through this time exactly where I was.   My diagnosis was done quickly and without time to think.  I realize I work best that way.   Don't give me too much time to think about things because I will drive myself crazy.  Anyone who knows me well knows that I work better under pressure.  In a three week period of time I was diagnosed, had surgery twice, and was into chemotherapy.  I have thanked God many times for accepting me as I am.  I must digress for a moment and mention that through this period I kept telling the doctor that I had planned a trip East for August 5 and I needed to be well enough to go.   Some people thought I was crazy but I needed to focus on the future in order to have a sense of hope for myself, but also for my daughter.  I kept telling her that everything was going to be fine and the best way to make her believe this was to continue our lives as we had planned before my illness.  It wasn't exactly the trip we had planned and it was a difficult time for the two of us but we did, and now we have wonderful memories.  We chuckle about how sick I really was but we both learned that we could overcome our fear and continue our lives as we had before - one day at a time.  It is a lesson that has kept both of us going throughout the past year.   This year we did the trip again - I drove myself - and it was all the sweeter for having done it a year ago!

As I read this again so many years since I wrote it, I smile at how in many ways I was naive about what this disease would mean to my life.   At that point in time I was seeing this as an 'event' in my life to get through and move on.   Well, it changed my life forever yet I still feel that everything I wrote is true....and is still how I live my life.   One day at a time.......otherwise I would have gone out of my mind many times over the years worrying about 'what if' instead of going about my life and making many memories so there will be fewer what ifs when the time does  come to look back on my life and decide if it was worthwhile......from the view today I believe that it has been more than worthwhile.

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