I have faced cancer.
My story is everyone's story.
My mother's death was the only sorrow greater than this. The only good thing I can say about it is...I became stronger and my priorities and perspective changed. It made me who I am today.
I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at the age of 47. I underwent chemo, radiation, and surgery within 4 months. I have been cancer free for almost 10 years, thanks be to God.
This thief takes away all pride, dignity, and sense of control. I totally shut down. My only focus was on getting this monster out of my body. I visualized the chemo as God's army destroying completely every evil thing growing in my body.
The radiation was the most humiliating. Imagine yourself alone in a cold steel room. The lights are hideously bright. Huge machinery is all around you. It is whirling and clicking and singing its strange, awful song. Behind you, where you cannot see, is a big glass window where young people are sitting. They are talking and carrying on with their lives. Your life is in their hands, as they remotely program the machines. You hear a voice from the speaker. Someone is talking to you from the other room. It feels so distant and cold. You feel so alone. The voice asks you to drop your pants to your ankles and lie facedown on the chilly steel table. You are to put your face through a hole in this table. Now you cannot see anything but the floor.
The lights dim and the machines become more talkative. You feel one approaching you. Soon it is hovering over you and moving all around you. You can do nothing, as you have been given strict instructions to stay completely still. It whirls, clicks, clacks, hums, shining its beams of light in the most sensitive areas. It is hard to imagine this machine is your friend, one of your saviors. You say prayers quietly to yourself... you sing hymns of praise...the time seems interminable. You pray those young people behind the window know what they are doing and are paying close attention. This is your life, your only one.
Then suddenly it all stops. The room is blindingly bright again. You hear a voice say you may rise and pull up your pants. Alone you walk out of the room, only to do it many times again. It never gets easier. This is the face of cancer. The only comfort you have is believing there is someone greater than you...who loves you unconditionally.