I remember the exact time I had to decide whether to live or die. Whether to continue fighting or give up the fight.
Let me give a little background of what was going on at that time. It was the time even before my relapse. It was toward the end of all my chemo treatments and I was living with my mom and dad because the kids were elementary school age which resulted in numerous germs and illnesses they could bring home and I couldn’t risk the exposure. The nine (9) months of chemo began taking its toll on my body. I had been very weak and tired. I was beginning to lose my will of survival by not eating and not allowing my body the nourishment it needed. I was thinking that I really didn’t want to continue with this. I wanted to give up. I wanted all the pain and discomfort to end. I wanted the pain and stress to end for my family. I began thinking it would be so much better if I just let go. Sure my family and friends would grieve but time would heal and they would be able to move on. I could absolutely feel the darkness of the reaper lingering close by. It is one of the scariest feelings ever. So as I was feeling the end was near and thinking these thoughts, my mom and dad wanted me to get ready because they were taking me to see the kids and Isaac. And honestly, I really was not up for it. I missed all of them dearly but internally, I just had made the decision to let go. But I went anyway.
I remember the kids being excited to see me and just not having the energy to be happy. I had it in my head that this would be one of my last visits. I was feeling so weak that all of their excitement and energy was draining me even more and I wanted to cut the visit short. I just needed to be away. I needed time to myself to let go. I said my good byes as if they were my last. It wasn’t until I got back to my mom and dads that I was again thinking about what I should do and began asking myself questions. Should I just let go and allow the cancer to slowly kill me? What will become of Isaac? What will this do to the kids and how will it affect them for the rest of their lives? And then it was like a movie began playing in my head fast forwarding throughout the kids’ lives and all of the milestones and important things that I would be missing. I began thinking about the difficult goodbyes with them crying and begging not to leave me at the hospital. I began thinking of Isaac raising them on his own alone, for a period of time, or until he found someone else to move on with. And while I kept on thinking of more and more things, I began to realize that to hell with this. I am not going to allow any of them to have to go through that or worry about any of that because I am not going anywhere. I realized I am a lot stronger than that and I won’t give in. At that moment, the warrior inside of me took over.
Thank goodness for that warrior inside me because if it weren’t for the warrior I’m not sure how or if I would have survived the stem-cell transplant. I remember laying with Isaac on our bed days before I had to leave for Pittsburgh to prep for the stem-cell transplant. I remember him just holding me and telling me I need to fight, I can’t leave them. It was as if he was trying to give me a pep talk so that I will battle through. And I remember thinking to myself, why is he saying this. I know what to do. I made up my mind the before relapse that I’m not going to let ‘this’ beat me. I’ve got this. I don’t remember if I was convincing or not but I do know that even though I had an army of people cheering me on, praying for me and supporting me, it was an internal battle that only one person could fight.
I fought hard and I still fight hard every day. The battle still carries on and I will remain victorious. It was most definitely the scariest and bravest thing I have ever done.
Image source :