This I Believe

Barbara - Dallas, Texas
Entered on March 22, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: carpe diem

After a life altering experience in 2004, I believe that the miracles of modern medicine and a positive and strong will can not only save a life, but strengthen and in funny ways enhance it.

Let me explain.

I was in my early 50’s in April, 2002, and I walked in the first ever Dallas “Avon 3 Day” which was a 60 mile walk celebrating and honoring breast cancer survivors and fighters. I trained furiously, walking 900 miles in preparation for 3 20-mile days and 2 nights in a tent. A wonderful experience, I trekked each mile and celebrated the research and wonder of modern medicine and the fact that many many people “beat” the disease.

Little did I know, in July 2002, I was “one in eight”. I had found an ominous lump in my right breast, and a biopsy confirmed my fears of a large tumor. A lumpectomy confirmed that the cancer had spread to my lymph nodes necessitating 8 rounds of chemo and 36 rounds of radiation.

No time for tears or fuss — rather I believed all I read and researched, and importantly, I was blessed to find leading edge, compassionate and agressive doctors. I believed that each visit, every treatment and all of the fear and no-energy, hard to drink even water days and sweaty nights were leading me not only to wellness, but to a new found wholeness in both spirit and attitude.

Every pill I swallowed, I swallowed believing that the research and understanding of the disease by countless highly educated and dedicated medical professionals, and the absolute trust and belief I had in my own doctors had me on a path to wellness and a full and rewarding autumn in my life.

I was in various stages of treatment for almost 18 months. When it was time to cut back on doctor visits and blood tests, I worried about not hearing the words of wisdom and the instructions. I worried about losing their validation about all being well.

My belief in them was overshadowed, however, by belief in ME. Truly, each day is a blessing. I had battled the demons and won. In an odd way, I was refreshed and more wide-eyed again at the joy of living, and the value of the loves in my life. I realized attitude matters more than anything else. That a smile on my face and a positve approach at work, with friends, and in testy situations in a medicine all by itself.

Carpe diem. I believe in the wonders of modern medicine, I believe in my doctors and I believe in me.