“Don’t go it alone.”
My struggles with cancer (as a caregiver) were something I was woefully unprepared for. My wife’s diagnosis of colon cancer came as a shock to both of us. What to do? Where to turn? My main resource for information was the internet and Web MD. After the chemo and radiation began, the medical staff I dealt with were compassionate, but often just too busy to give either myself or my wife much of their time.
Lost, afraid, confused; these were just a few of the emotions I experienced. The only person I had to rely on was me, and I had to be strong for both of us. In addition, both our mothers were in failing health at the time, I guess ‘overwhelmed’ would be a good descriptor of the situation. If only Cancer Support Community had existed here in Flagstaff at that time, it would have made things so much easier. My main piece of advice coming out of all this is: “Don’t Go It Alone.” There are so many resources that I am now aware of, that would have facilitated the journey. I am just grateful to know that CSCAZ has stepped in to fill the void as far as education, training, referrals and networking.
“I Can. I Will. End of Story.”
Soon after I was diagnosed, I bought a sign that said: “I Can. I Will. End of Story.” I hung it across from my bed. It was the first thing I saw in the morning and the last thing I saw at night. It became my mantra. When I had moments when I thought that I couldn’t do it, I would repeat it to myself.
“We are all here for you.”
Almost 20 years ago, a biopsy confirmed that I had breast cancer. What followed was a year of surgery, chemo and radiation. A village of supportive family and friends helped me through and kept my spirits up. You are not in this alone. Reach out and receive the love, help, and support of your community. Trust in yourself and in your medical team. We are all here for you.
“Cancer empowered me to appreciate my world.”
Cancer didn’t define my life. Cancer empowered me to appreciate my world. To love more deeply, smile more often, and breath life into every moment of everyday. Today is is first day of the rest of my life. Shout from the top of the world! I AM A SURVIVOR!