Saturday, May 15, 2010

Cancer in a Nutshell -- With Update

A few weeks ago, I had gotten a message from a friend whom I haven't seen nor heard of in 25 years. We immediately reconnected as good friends. As we talked and laughed, reminiscing old times, she had revealed out to me that she had terminal cancer. She has less than 18 months. I was shocked!

As she was telling me her story, I became amazed. Yes, amazed. I was amazed by the fact her strong will is there! Instead of letting this terrible condition bring her down, she chooses to live her life to the fullest! She is full of smiles and laughter. Her spirit is inspiring, infecting those around her with smiles!

This is her story:

As someone who is battling cancer, you see life through whole new out look. You understand that most people don’t understand the struggles. But yet you push on that everything is ok. Some do see when a health struggle like a heart attack hits their lives, they understand the struggle. I also understand that some have it worse then yourself. Knowing this, my struggle is not was worse then person before me.

My cancer is squamous cell carcinoma (head and neck) stage 4. Terminal

So what is my point of view? Well, I look at life and the irony of it. But now the choice is which side will I look at? Honestly you can’t look one and not see the other, but I try to look more toward the positive.

Some of the positives of being a 44 year old female, is most of my friends are going through menopause. I hear them complain about their systems and some of their joys. Yet I don’t have to worry about, a right of path age that will be lost or missed?

Still looking fresh and young, but not worrying about buy expensive cosmetics. I still like taking walks, exercising, and eat right. But do enjoy the some of the naught pleasures of life.

I can choose how and where I am going to die. If you are a car accident, you don’t have that choice.

Some of the negative is not seeing my two children approaching middle school, having their first crush, first date, prom, high school and college graduations, weddings, grandchildren. Even thou I will miss these very important mile stones in their lives, I can rest assure that I place some of the life lesson seeds in their young minds.

Life lessons on the important of manners, dreams, goals, education, and loving family and friends.

I have been brave and honest with my kids about this nasty evil that has came into our lives and the people who effects also. So I do share my enjoyment, my happiness, and my pride in them during theirs and our good times and bad times, well lesson learned and water under the bridge. There is good in today and there will be tomorrow.

It is not their job to become little adults. Thank you God for the blessing of family and friends to help these two precious souls navigate through life’s good and evil.

I want to thank my friend for her inspiration and a lesson learned in life. My heart and prayers goes out to her. Her condition may be terminal, but in my mind, she's a survivor....

UPDATE My friend, Brandie, emailed me with a new message. UPDATE

Thanks Drew!
There is one thing that I forgot to mention in my writing, and that is this cancer is starting to hit more women my age. Yes this was considered a man's cancer, so there is no real research on how this cancer and treatments effect women.
Plus, because this a fast growing cancer, and life expectancy is only less then two years, the hopes for a cure or even remission is not in the cards for me. But I do pray that a cure can be found for the next woman, and she can live a long life.
Brandie C. the author of "Cancer in a nutshell"

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