Well, I'm on my way into year 4 as a member of this club. Let me say, I thank God for that. I've been blessed to have tarceva still working on my lung cancer and for the many docs who have fought for my treatment.
The cancer club is not the club you want a membership card too. Although, I do have an actual physical cancer card...I try to make light of something so horrible. I think it scares some people or puts some at ease. I'm not sure, I'm not sure I care either. It puts me at ease.
Though cancer SUCKS, there are two silver linings.
1. The appreciation of life.
I'm like, "ok God, maybe we went overboard on opening my eyes" sometimes when I think about it. But I was not appreciating life and the beauty that surrounds me. I was a workaholic. I never stopped to "smell the roses". I used to just walk right past them, not even noticing. Now, I cherish the sunset over the ocean. During the summer, I love to go to the beach every weekend and just breathe it in. The smell, the sounds, the children playing, the life. (I know mom and docs, not supposed to be in the sun, I take an umbrella, my tan is just from the walk). I love my daughter so much, I get a little over protective and let her get away with a little too much.(that's a drawback but when I think of her suffering, I can't help it).
2. The friends I've made or have grown closer to.
I have made some wonderful friends (cancer patients and caregivers) I may not have otherwise known existed had I not joined this club. I can't name them all in the lung cancer community but I'll try: Shermaine Lee, Rico Lee, Paul Kalanithi, Lucy Kalanithi, Chris Draft, Lisa Goldman, Tori Tomalia, Arash Golbon, Molly Golbon, Dan and Rebecca Powell, Kelly Kayuk, Janet Freeman Daily, Debbie Pouncey McGettigan, Karla Southerland, Karen Parks Odell, Katie Dewey-Brown, Jill Feldman, Emily Bennett Taylor, Bonnie Addario, Corey Wood, Kimberly Stratham Ringen, Courtney Kyte, Don Stranathan, Craig Blower, Deana Hendrickson, Betsy Thompson, Denise Cutlip, Linnea Olson, Anita Figueras, Dann Wonser, Kristen Carlton, Roz York Brodsky, Lynn Jakobowski, Dusty Donaldson, Kelly Shannon, Matt Ellefson, Deb Bauer, Peggy Fogarty, Melissa Crouse, Lysa Buonanno, Mr. and Mrs. Stoner, Cliff Norton, "Good Morning" Jon- my first friend in the LC Community.... ok....I can't remember all the names, but look at this list! These are just through the lung cancer community. All of these people have made such an impact on my life through their stories of hope and some have really hit home when passing away from this awful disease, I'm not immortal. My time will come, as will all of ours. I just hope to follow in the massive footsteps they left behind.
I've also become closer to some that have/had other cancers and their caregivers: Gretchen and Matt Anderson, Carmen Frye, Roy Reynolds (better take those pills), Marjorie Polk, Maddie Briscoe, Ansley Jones, Chris, Cassie, and Chaseman, Brad and Barbara Graves, Cheri Burgner, Dylan Rosier and sweet Alexa and Katie. We all have had different cancers, but we are all a member of the same club. The club no one wants to join. The club that should really no longer be in existence right now! Once again, some are gone. But there is a bond we all share, regardless of the type of cancer we have or had. Cancer is on track to take over heart disease as the nation's leading cause of death.
So, in honor of World Cancer Day, just let me say it's been such a humbling experience and if I could change things, I'm not sure I would. Collectively, these people and this cancer have made me who I am today. This experience brought me closer to God, my family closer to God, and without it, I doubt I would be getting married next month because I would still be on the third floor of that condo and would not have met Brent. God has a plan for all of us. I am so happy, regardless of everything, with my life, in this very moment. My life has been a good one and I have been so blessed. I may sleep more, my hair kinda sucks, and I'm not as financially well off...but those things don't matter. What matters is the fact I'm around the people I love and I could not ask for more, except maybe a cure now. Like I said, I wouldn't change things thus far. But going forward, a cure or long term treatment (like decades and decades worth) would be amazing, for all cancers!
My eyes are open now. I was blind but now I see. And I will continue to keep my faith. Happy World Cancer Day (not sure it's appropriate to say that but wasn't sure what to say...) and to those who have left us, know you have never left our hearts. Until we meet again, know we love you and we hope you're listening when we talk to you sometimes.
Thank you all for your continuous prayers and support. They mean the world to my family, friends, and me.
Now...how about that cure?
Also, my grammar nazi sister told me I had a bunch of mistakes in here. I tried to correct most of them. But, it's hard to write after the ambien dose. Thanks Brooke!