If you've seen the movie, March of the Penguins, you might remember how they huddle together for warmth when subzero temps hit. I feel your warmth.
I admit that I’m hesitant to share some of the low points of my cancer experience. After all, this site is called Miracle Survivors! I’m supposed to be this shining example of positivity and vitality! Yeah right … The truth of the matter is, I’m human, and this cancer s*&@! sometimes sucks. It’s unfair to you and me if I don’t share all aspects of this journey and let myself be vulnerable. The people who so bravely shared their stories in From Incurable to Incredible and this blog did this for us. Their stories wouldn’t be complete if they didn’t share their struggles.
What I didn’t expect was the unbelievable outpouring of support and sharing of wisdom I’ve received the past couple days. I consider it my mission to help other cancer survivors and their loved ones. It has come back to me tenfold, to say the least.
After meeting and interview Jonny Imerman for my book, I became inspired to volunteer for his organization, Imerman Angels, as an Angel Mentor. Since then, I’ve been matched with several stage IV breast cancer survivors and have developed wonderful relationships with them. One of my newest Angel mentees, Beth, sent me this incredible message the other day that brought tears to my eyes. She is echoing back a message I’ve told so many people. I needed the reminder, and wanted to share it with you (She’s a beautiful writer, don’t you think?):
I’ve just read your blog and am aghast at what you went through yesterday. It’s a situation we all dread, and yet we know that sooner or later each and every one of us is going to be faced with something large or small that will utterly slaughter our confidence and reduce us to a quivering wreck.
Your experience yesterday and your courage in telling the world how you reacted, gives each and every one of us, strength to face whatever life throws at us. If you can do it and still be proactive, then we all can.
We are slaves to numbers, numbers, numbers. Over a lifetime we have been programmed to live by that sword, respecting and believing them to hold some kind of magic key to our existence. They do not. They are merely a unit of measurement designated by man to herd us all into a controllable world.
Without knowing the exact time on our clock, the sun will still rise and set. Without knowing the days of the week or the months of the year, spring will still follow winter and without counting months and trimesters. New babies will still be born.
Your world yesterday was shattered by a number. A number we have learned to put our faith in and by which we have been conditioned to judge our lifespan. It is something against which, because of this conditioning, we have no defense. Yet against the odds we survive. Against the ‘odds?’ There’s those numbers again. All we can do is hope, when faced with what you went through yesterday. We can think things through, take small steps, and tell the world that in the end numbers are merely a unit of measurement. They can never, in a trillion years, measure the human spirit.
Yes, Beth, numbers are just numbers. Isn’t that what I always say? Thanks to all of you who have lifted me up and reminded me of the truth. Today is a much better day, and I look forward to many more.
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