Monday, July 29, 2013

One Perspective from the Eyes of a Cancer Patient


What do you see when you look at these two pictures?  What similarities do you notice?  What are the differences?

From the average, normal person's perspective, you may see a medical professional and the other, may be a professional that handles toxic chemicals in some capacity.  From my perspective, being a cancer warrior, they are one in the same.  

As I was reading another warrior's blog today, I was reminded of my days in the hospital when receiving most of my doses of chemotherapy.  The image on the left is what actually was approaching me but in my mind's eye, I saw the image on the right.  I'm not sure if other people who have suffered from cancer have ever felt this way, but this has been my perspective.

I have heard the words "toxic" and "lethal" prior to (and sometimes after) the drugs were being administered into my body.  Chemo is really a frightening concept. Because of no other treatment options, other than death, your sitting or lying there allowing this toxic chemical into your body.  You realize and understand that this toxic chemical not only destroys the cancer cells but also the good cells.  The reality of your situation becomes so clear when the nurse administering the chemo has to put a protective gown on, use special hazardous chemical gloves, and mask their face.  You're lying there thinking..."holy shit, this is really serious".  You begin thinking and second guessing if this is really the best way to do this? You're constantly thinking of alternatives but sometimes it's the only option.

At times, even though the doctors and nurses, tried to minimalize the experience of receiving the chemo, it felt as though that person in the "hazmat" suit was approaching me and performing some kind of scientific experiment on me.  It felt as though so many people were hoping this would be the chemo regimen that would work.  And if it didn't, it would need to be something else.  
So now here I am after the experience, of cancer and transplant, thinking of those several months following my initial diagnosis that consisted of weekly chemo.  And then, of the week prior to transplant.  Chemo levels that were so toxic, they labeled it as 'lethal'.

Its so scary.  Your taught that long term exposure to chemicals can be life threatening, but yet here you are allowing certain chemicals into your body.  Its such an oxymoron. 

Again, this is only my perspective of my experience. And when reflecting back, it is yet another grain of sand in the hour glass that I need to process and heal as time continues to move on.

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Friday, July 19, 2013

Are You Willing To Sacrifice Your Self-Worth

I came across this quote today and it definitely hits close to home.  I have been asking many questions and have been experiencing many emotions from extreme anger to heart-breaking sadness for some of the most precious people in my life.  I have battled on whether I should even blog about my feelings.  And I realized that this is me.  This is who I am.  I would not only be lying to myself but to the others that read my blogs.

This is the best form of therapy.  It helps me heal and process so many things that run through my mind.  My thoughts and emotions have been in complete turmoil.  The above quote couldn't be more perfect.  It has given me a new perspective on how to look at circumstances that could be defined as stressful or even volatile.  I consider myself a very forgiving person, even in the most stressful situations.  But there comes a time when you have to question whether your forgiveness is worth giving up your 'self-worth'.  At this time, it saddens me to say that it isn't.  My self-worth is more important.  My husband and children are worth it too.  Not only is this enlightening for me, but for my family.  It's another life lesson.

We, my family and I, have been through so much that this is the time for all of us to be rejoicing and embracing life. Sure I'm aware that there will always be a day that will be more stressful than others because that is just the way life is.  But ongoing heartache should not be one of those stressors.

After every thing I have been through, and still trying to process, I'm not willing to sacrifice my self-worth.  It's time to know that some things are, more than likely, not going to change and I need to move forward.

So keep the above quote in mind when you are faced with a stressful situation with someone and ask yourself whether its a time of forgiveness or if your self-worth is more important.

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