Our guest blogger this month is an ovarian cancer survivor who was an incredible human being prior to cancer, and yet has used the opportunities through cancer to continue to grow in so many wonderful ways.
I believe it is how she chooses to see the world around her and how she chooses to interpret the events around her that have and will continue to make the biggest impact on her post-cancer life. Feeling empowered to be the writer of her story is critical.
Do you feel empowered to be the writer of your story? If not, how can you start to feel more empowered?
When my angelic friend Polly asked me to write about my survivorship from advanced stage ovarian cancer, I was very excited because I had so many stories that I wanted to write. But when I sat down to write, I realized it was not easy. There are so many stories around my survivorship - I only want to share the one that impacted my survivorship the most! This is the story that turned a disease around for me into a gift: the gift of life! The Gift of seeing, smelling, wanting, loving, forgiving, healing! The gift of connecting, losing, finding and much more.
I was on the top of my world when I was diagnosed with cancer. I was IN LOVE with my soulmate. My son, whom I had raised single handedly as a new immigrant from a far land in war, had just become a beautiful young lawyer. I was starting to have more financial freedom in my life, after 52 years of good and struggles! I was physically fit (did I say “the top of my world!?”)
The cancer news came on Wednesday March 2nd. After I found out, I had to share it with my friends and family. My family lives scattered around a few states in the US, and countries around the globe. I had to gather myself to tell my only son, who lives in Florida; the one who had told me many times, “mom you are my rock, my earth, the only person on the planet that I do truly count on” – and I am all he has in this universe. I also had to tell my brother; he is only two years older than me and had already survived supposedly terminal cancer twice. He has been in remission for the last 6 years !! Finally, I had to tell my soul mate. We just finished planning for a life together on a beach house, somewhere simple and warm.
On march 3, I received two very important email replies, the first from my survivor brother who is a scientist himself. He never says much, and you can count on what he says. The 2 line email said: “I had to sit down when I got your email – I am shocked! My only suggestions to you are: don’t under estimate the power of your mind, AND no matter what they say, don’t lose your cool! “. His very simple suggestions helped me find a peace, a cool, a calm that I still haven’t lost .
The second email which came at exactly the same time as my brother’s e-mail – as if angels are at work harmonizing everything – from another survivor friend only 6 months a head of me. It said: “avoid the Internet at all cost“. God, she was so right. The day I got the news about my cancer, I opened my laptop and googled ”ovarian cancer”; the first thing I saw in large bolded print was “ovarian cancer is fatal.” I immediately shut the laptop and said to myself “no its not!” I sat there and thought to myself “It can’t be. No - I am in love! I am happy! I am all my son has. NO this is not my story – my story is not ending now !”
Even though I ended-up losing the love of my life after surgery, I didn’t lose the spirit and the inspiration of his love. The heartbreak did not compromise my faith or my belief that I am in charge of writing my own story! With that mentality, I was able to manage and accept my cancer, and I was an exceptional patient in the face of 5 months of very hard of chemo every week. After the Chemo, I became a success story! There were many moments that I was taken over by my ANTs (All Negative Thoughts) – however, the love of in my heart and positive thoughts in my head always prevailed!
I still don’t read anything about ovarian cancer unless is sent to me by a trusted source. And still I only read about the cure, not the disease. The best part of the story is that throughout the entire process, angels kept showing up everywhere, from my surgeon, Naturopath, and Acupuncturist, to my friends and family – angels were everywhere, acting in harmony to support me and help me write my own story.
I have never felt this vibrant and alive and connected and happy and healthy in my entire life as I do today. I have never lived life so fully and with so much intention and light heartedness!
I am putting as much stamina and commitment into enjoying life as I did when I was reclaiming my life! As they say, I am learning to live my best life every day!
Believing in angels, having the burning desire to be the writer of my own story – not having cancer write it for me – and keeping the zest to love life changed the course of the disease for me!
This is my story and I am sticking to it