I am so humbled to team up with the Cancer Treatment Centers of America this holiday season to share my story about how “The C Word” has touched my life.
The C word = Cancer.
While its not something that makes anyone feel warm and cozy talking about, its something so important to talk, share, and all work towards helping to find a cure.
Cancer – such a poignant word. There are very few words that will make a person stop what their doing and listen. I, like many of you, have been effected by Cancer. I think about it on a daily basis. I pray about it if not weekly, daily. We’ve all heard the stats and the truth of it is, I’m sure we all been touched by Cancer in one way or another.
My first encounter with Cancer was when I was ten. My Dad’s mom, my Grandma Mar, passed away after a fight with The C Word (lung). Although I was young, I remember hearing the word Cancer, and being so scared of it. A disease that they haven’t found a cure for.
About 10 years later, in my senior year in college, is when the big C word would touch me again. It was our Dad’s weekend in the sorority where as a big group we took our Dad’s (and family) to the football game. I remember that my Dad and Step Mom drove two hours up to my school for the game and they brought my sister with them. What a fun day we had tailgating and watching the game from the stands. Afterwards, my Dad took us out for dinner before they were to head back home. As we finished up dinner, and we all talked and laughed, I remember my Dad turning the conversation to something he needed to tell us. I remember him saying “doctor” and “test” and “Cancer (colon).” I remember the tightening in my chest and the welling up tears in my eyes as I asked a few questions but mostly sat in shock. Both my Dad and Step Mom, who worked in the medical field, were really positive. They told us that we would all know more once he had surgery. The surgery was schedule for three weeks later on the day after Thanksgiving. At that point, we closed out the bill and my parents drove me back to the sorority house so they could start their long drive back home. I jumped out of the car, gave my Dad a hug and then ran into the house. I remember closing the door behind me and thinking… how could they just drop a bomb on me and leave. I spend the rest of the night crying into my pillow scared to the core. My Dad… The love of my life…Has that big scary disease. The next three weeks went by so slow. I would go to school and work during the day and then the nights would be talking to my Dad on the phone or crying into my pillow. I didn’t understand it. My heart was terrified. After all the worrying for weeks and for the 4-5 hour surgery that day, I am HAPPY to report they were able to remove all the cancer and that my Dad is doing just great now. Still one of the scariest times in my life, but had a positive outcome.
Unfortunately, the next time it touched my life wasn’t as positive. It was 7 years after that, that I lost my other grandma to Cancer (ovarian). She was and is one of the biggest influences of my life and while I could write pages and pages of stories about my Grandma and how much I love and adored her, the fact of the matter is that it was the horrible disease that took her too soon. She didn’t get to meet my beautiful babies, one her name sake and that hurts my heart on a daily basis!
My latest (I wish I could say last) encounter with this horrible disease is with my very best friend. You might remember the article I wrote on her a few years back about how she kicked Cancer’s ass. Well…
There were three little words you never want to hear, got said right about two years ago now…
It came back!
Knife to the heart. I could barely breath when she told me. Not only had it come back but had spread. What? How? Why? The questions I would think anyone with, or effected by Cancer asks. Why? Unfortunately, there are no definitive answers as to why. What I do know is that those three little words have not only changed her life, but mine and for the better. Please don’t get me wrong, I wish with all my might that Jennifer never had this horrible horrible disease. I’ve spend days crying into my pillow for her, for her beautiful son, and for me. Feeling the emotions that come with something like this is real, but rather than wishing for something I cannot change, I have decided to look through the tears and find the HAPPY in what we’re dealt.
Every Friday we have a standing date at chemo. Being there over the last couple of years, I have found that this C word has renewed my faith. In God and in people! The nurses and doctors that work in Oncology are made of gold as far as I’m concerned. They are unlike any other nurses and doctors I’ve ever seen. They not only are there to treat, they are there as cheerleaders and caretakers. They sit and listen as grandmothers tell them about how their granddaughter was in a play that week, they cry with you when things are bad, and celebrate after patients have had their last day of chemo. They are incredible humans.
I have also found HAPPY in our chemo sessions. Life is busy but I feel incredibly lucky and blessed to shut it all off on a regular basis an sit with my friend. I know this has strengthened our friendship ten fold. We have the chance to talk each week, catch up on life latest happenings. We laugh, we gossip about whether Justin Timberlake is going to come to his senses and ask Jennifer out on a date and who we liked that week on The Voice. We play cards, we share tears of heartbreak and giggle on weekly trumps. While I can wish that Jennifer never had this horrible disease, I would never wish away the time I have with my best friend.
So yeah, Cancer has effected me. It touches me daily as I pray for Jennifer and others who are battling.
For those of you going through the Cancer and maybe looking into different options, can I suggest looking into Cancer Treatment Centers of America?
What makes Cancer Treatment Centers of America different?
- They have a number of great facilities available.
- At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), understands that each person’s cancer is different and so they leading technology to aggressively treat cancer each person’s cancer differently through support with nutrition and other therapies. In many cases managing the side effects of cancer treatments is half the battle.
- Their hospitals, physicians and experienced team. You can contact them today HERE to find out yourself.