Cancer is scary. There’s no “ifs, ands or buts” about it. Many of us have known someone who either has or has had cancer. Maybe you lost a friend or loved one to it? Perhaps some of you are like me, and living with it yourselves. I can picture you all reading this. You’re nodding, aren’t you?
Receiving a cancer diagnosis was the scariest thing that ever happened to me. Five years ago, I was informed that I had breast cancer. So I had surgery. I won’t get too caught up in details here, but will tell you that in 2018, I received the horrifying news that it had returned. Metastatic breast cancer in my liver, spinal column, and some spots on my lungs. I was whisked into chemotherapy mere days after my diagnosis.
I remember being terrified that day. Not knowing how it would make me feel, or what it would do to me. But if I wanted to live more than a short while, I had no choice. But I had support of family and loved ones. And, trust me, that helps. After awhile I became used to going for my infusions. I had a PICC line inserted into my arm in order to receive my treatments without having to be poked all the time. I hate needles! And because I live in a smaller city that also has a chemo department in its hospital, I could take my treatments near home, in a smaller, more relaxed environment than at the huge, bustling Regional Cancer Centre where my oncologist is located.
In time, I got to know my chemo nurses and even some of the other patients as we progressed through our treatment plans. I have always been an outgoing, upbeat sort, so it was easy for me to talk to them. I also enjoy making people smile, so I used my sense of humour to lighten the mood and make others feel better. I’ve never been a broody, negative person, and I try not to let this horrible disease get the better of me, either physically or mentally. I’ve been told, and truly believe, that attitude is everything when fighting cancer. I believe my positive attitude and my great network of family and friends cheering me on, is what keeps me going. I love to share this powerful energy with the other cancer patients. If I can help them through their day, or even the few hours they are in the chemo chair, then I am happy.
I have donated items to the department and brought presents to the patients and nurses. I even gave my favourite set of scrubs (I used to be a dental assistant) to one of the nurses, and yesterday she gave me a gift too. These little things are important in all our lives, but I think they are especially important when you are fighting something as life-changing as cancer. So yesterday I left the hospital feeling very blessed and grateful.
If you are a cancer patient, I send you my love and positive, healing thoughts. Don’t give up. Every day is a gift, so keep smiling and live your best lives. You’ve got this!
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