This I Believe

Ginger - Des Plaines, Illinois
Entered on October 18, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: illness, setbacks

I am a 7 year, so far cancer survivor, living with cancer, It has reoccured three times, the third resulting in stage 4 metastatic breast cancer to the bone. I was dealing with life with cancer just fine until it turned into stage 4 and changing my life overnight. I had begun my journey with my 12 year old Alaskan Malamute who got cancer in the same week as me. This in itself was a gift from God as it helped me to cope with my situation/condition easier as I was too busy taking care of my little buddy. He also taught me HOW to cope with cancer, as dogs always teach us humans certain things, this is if we are open and listen to our pets. I think God put them here for a reason, to teach us how to live and love and also to cope as they do. He taught me alot. He has since passed but the lessons I learned from him in dealing with my illness continue on with me day to day. I try to inspire others as well, to do the same, to live and love as we are meant to be but this world is changing. Its a me, me, me world, cruel, nasty, self serving sort of world and it makes me sad. I believe that my cancer was given to me for a purpose, it’s been 7 years and I am still searching for that purpose. There HAS to be a good reason why I have this cancer, now in stage 4, something I live with daily, I call it a mental disease because the mental part of it has so much to do with living, healing, believing and going on. I hope to inspire others in their fight, I just do not know where to begin, besides taking a big ad out in a newspaper and telling my story, I really dont know where to start. My life DID change over night with the last diagnosis, I was an active, physcially and otherwise, happy go lucky, living my life with cancer and doing well to waking up unable to move and in much pain.. I went from being 44 and okay to living like i imagine a senior citizen would live being that the cancer had spread throughout my bones. This makes everything different, how i move, what I do, what I cannot do, things I certainly miss, simple, basic things, like working, or vacuuming or the little basic things that people generally hate to do. THese are the things I like to remind people to appreciate. YOu know the saying, dont miss it until its gone. Believe me, I can attest to that. I miss every job I ever had, I am thankful for all that I did do in my previous life, I miss all my physical acitivites, things that even if I were normal I would probably not be doing but the choice was there. It makes a big difference to have a choice, of whether to do something or not but to not have a choice can surely dampen ones mood. Being in chronic pain is hard for people to understand as I am not one to complain, whine or let it couch me. I never was a couch potatoe and its a bit hard to become one even while being ill or in pain. I have to inspire, I have to live, I need to move. People find this hard to understand as I have also seen and learned that people do NOT have compassion, they only can empathize if they have been through it and it makes it quite sad to know, to see, to realize that this is a self centered world. What are we teaching our children? Certainly not to be thankful or appreciative, to get outside and play, to be active as I was as a kid. ITs an electronic age and I think this is changing the world. Its not fun, people live on their computers, their phones, in their rooms with all their appliances around them – it’s about convenience and all I miss are all those physicle activites that I want to do, even though I might be a bit too old to be doing them, it comes down to the choice of being able to do them if I want to. I have to watch everything, dont lift this, dont move this way, dont do the basic things in fear of breaking a bone, a hip or something, in otherwords living as I saw my grandma live in her 90’s. I , although am in my forties. Not fair, although I have never said, why me, I believe there is a reason and I hope I see what it is someday, I hope I learned that maybe i inspired someone, somehow, in some way. I may not know it but would love to hear from others about their experiences, their coping skills. I know I am doing well when people do not believe that i have bone cancer. I know i am doing well when I am raring to go, well mentally and mentally plays a big, big role in healing, coping or just living with this disease. My story is too long to tell, as I had just gotten married and was so happy in my life. I begged my husband to NOT marry me if he could not be committed to me as cancer would now be a part of my life, future, every day everything, OH, no problem, he would be there until the end. When the diagnosis changed to, my life would be changing drastically he hit the road. His abandoning me at that time was worse then the diagnosis but I still believe he is the loser here, not me. I am sad of course of people I have lost because they cannot deal with MY cancer or their own issues that they lose. I would love to tell the whole story but 7 years of coping with, living with and dealing with living with cancer would take longer then this site would allow. I hope you will let me tell my story in a longer version, details and in a way that I may hear from others and that I might get a chance to hopefully inspire someone in the same or nearly close sitaution or even someone who has just been diagnosed with cancer. I have been through it all. I survived the beginning and I am still here to tell the story. I hope someone will let me as I have alot to tell, I have learned alot and there was NO ONE there to help me, inspire me, I had to do it all on myown, so I hope i can change that and be there for someone else, to inspire them, to teach them what took me so long to learn. Please let me know if this is possible in some way other then this site..