Tuesday, January 27, 2009

When you hear "those words"

Just like you remember exactly where you were and how you felt during other momentous occasions, the moment when you were told "You have cancer" is seared into your memory.

I had to call my surgeon to get the results of my stereotactic biopsy, and I mustered all of the courage I had to dial the number, bracing myself for the news. When I was told, "I'm sorry, the biopsy showed cancer; but we will get you through this", I didn't think, "I'm going to die", but "What do I have to do to beat this thing?" The good thing is that "cancer" didn't equal "death" in my mindset. And, this is from someone who lost her Father, Aunt, and Uncle to cancer.

The hardest part was when, immediately after receiving my diagnosis, I had to call my husband at work to let him know. I completely broke down and sobbed into the telephone, even though I shed no tears while speaking with my surgeon. I hated to burden him with the news, even though he was more than willing to walk alongside me on my then unknown cancer journey.

People say that you are the sum total of the things that happen to you: I say that you are the sum total of how you respond to the things that happen to you. Having a positive outlook has proven to be vitally important in getting me through two surgeries, post-operative infections, 6 weeks of radiation, many, many scans and MRIs, and the negative effects of my anti-cancer medication.

Having cancer has taught me that I'm a heck of a lot stronger than I would have thought. Also, cancer puts everything in perspective for you: things that were formerly big problems really do pale in comparison, which is a plus. Cancer also makes you realize that your time and energies are limited, and from that moment on, you should concentrate on what is truly important and fulfilling to you. That's another positive aspect of the diagnosis. 


  1. once i read a thought from tagore, in spanish is: "no llores cuando veas ponerse el sol, porque las lágrimas no te dejaran ver las estrellas"

  2. The sentiment is so lovely:"If you cry because the sun has gone out of your life, your tears will prevent you from seeing the stars."

    This is exactly what we must remember - not to dwell on what is lost, but to focus on what is still present and beautiful.

    Thank you for leaving these inspiring words!

  3. I have added this quote to my header - thank you again, Cafe P11!