No Matter What…Get up!
It feels like at every corner there’s a new challenge and his flagitious companion waiting to attack me. It feels like life always find a way to kick me down and try to keep me there permanently. Even when I can stand, I get another punch in the gut and I go back down. At least that’s how it felt in the last three years. When I was just getting use to the cold and empty bedside, I got the worst phone call of my life thus far. “Are you sitting down?” When anyone start their conversation with that question you already know something is wrong.
You guessed it. At the age of 35, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I underwent 3 surgeries, 6 months of chemo and 28 sessions of radiation only to run into…colon cancer 12 months later. I went through another major surgery and another 6 months of chemo. During that period, I was a single mother of three young children, business owner and entrepreneur.
Many times, I cried about how hard it was. There were days when I wanted everything to just…stop. I wanted everything to go back to the way it was when I was not sick. I wanted to a painless life. No neuropathy. No arthritis. No chemo brain. No nausea. No depression. No medical bills. No daily doctor visits. I wanted to give up.
Then I hear my mother’s voice as the chemo runs through my veins in the infusion chair. “If a caterpillar can eat a leaf one bite at a time, you can overcome your challenges one step at a time.” That thought gave me hope. I didn’t choose cancer. Cancer chose me. With or without cancer, I had to keep going. The pain was overwhelming but over time it was controllable. The neuropathy disappeared. Arthritis became submissive. Chemo brain ran away. Nausea stopped, and depression was consumed by smiles.
Mornings were the worst…the fear of pain and stiffness chained me down to my bed. But I knew that if I could bear those first few minutes with movement, I would own the rest of the day…so I got up. One day after another…I got up as my mother’s voice echo in my mind.