It is five years ago today that I was first given the news that I had cancer …International Women’s Day – Festa della Donna 8th March 2008 – I thought is was a trick of fate to be diagnosed on a day that we are supposed to be celebrating being women, holding our pocket sized branches of mimosa, giggling in some coffee bar but instead I was holding my niece Gina’a hand, trying to comprehend what was happening.
I never wrote my thoughts down the first time cancer came around because, in all honesty, I couldn’t face them… it was too painful and terrifying … the prospect of dying, knowing that your son may grow up alone ..he was only 15 at the time.
I can vividly remember the night before I went to get the results of the biopsy. The doctor had already called to schedule a longer appointment and just by that … I knew the news was bad. Meeting up with a friend that had already suffered the same fate, I proceeded to get extremely drunk … thinking that in some way it would numb the fear. But it didn’t … the next day as I sat in the chair and the words echoed… ‘cancer’ …my world fell apart.
and so the journey began.
I would like to be celebrating the 5 year mark …. saying that I have been free of cancer but I cant.I can celebrate however, what I have learnt about myself and how much I have grown as a person. I can celebrate that I woke up this morning , knelt at the bottom of my bed to thank the universe that I was still here. I can celebrate the transition of my son going to university; I can celebrate being a woman embracing love once again. I can celebrate so many things … or I could choose to be afraid, wallow in self pity, counting scars looking at my disfigured breast and cry.
Well I choose to live and celebrate LIFE and this is my message to all of you out there that are suffering or affected by this dreadful disease….. you can choose each day ,… choose your thoughts and stay true to them, banish negativity that disease feeds on and enjoy every waking moment with those that are close to you . Then you can say …. I am alive!
We are all faced with personal challenges on a daily basis: financial problems, work, family etc but it is only when you are contemplating your own mortality that you get a true perspective of your life. Life and death : two ends of a contiuum with a large void in the middle where it is written ‘live it’
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
― William W. Purkey