This I Believe

Viola - Mountain View, California
Entered on May 21, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65

I have learned life offers opportunities for growth in ways I would never choose.

I would never wish cancer on anyone, but must admit a surprise diagnosis of stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma has given me some wisdom. It was not until I had to confront my own mortality that I felt at a gut level the importance of savoring each day. Before this, I had tried to be aware of the preciousness of the present, but would quickly get caught up in efficiently pursuing my daily agenda.

I had always thought there were many good years ahead of me. After all, I was very careful and health conscious. I’ve learned I only have so much control.

I am a worrier and will continue to do what I can to avoid suffering. I will eat my vegetables, exercise, wear my seat belt, and encourage my family to take precautions. I still fear the dangers, but am learning to accept whatever life offers and to try to grow from it.

I am learning the importance of today in treasuring the people in my life.

I feel very fortunate to not have had to deal with this disease until my 50’s and to have the incredible support of my husband, family, and friends.

I am very grateful for my oncologist and for the caring staff at the Stanford Cancer Center. I know I am lucky to be a patient of Dr. Advani. Not only is she a wise lymphoma specialist, but she also gives healing hugs.

I am thankful for the research that has made this cancer potentially curable. I feel lucky that my lymphoma has now been in remission for more than two years. I hope I will get many more years to use my new insights.

Living with cancer has been a difficult and scary journey, but it has taught me to be aware of the miracle of each day.