It’s 2:30 in the morning and I just awoke with an overwhelming thankful heart! First, thank you! Thank you! Again, thank you! I still get overwhelmed with gratitude in my heart and tears in my eyes. While a little lengthy, please read. I have something I want to tell you from my heart. Think of me across a table, sharing a cup of joe or tea looking in your eyes with sincerity and after sharing my heart giving you a hug.
5 years ago I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma Breast Cancer. From ‘Day One’ I did not fight alone, but rather was lifted up by family, friends, co-workers and even strangers (no longer strangers). Physically, emotionally, logistically, financially, you cared for and supported me! I was overwhelmed with support, cheer,and help. Some came and served with their nursing skills, others at the hospital as an advocate watching over me while I couldn’t do much of anything, some encouraged who have been in my shoes or a similar situation, others gave gifts that spurred me on, so many prayed, sent flowers, cards, gifts, shaved their heads in support, others rallied and so much more! You made me laugh, smile, cry. Whatever way you could you supported; a garage sale to help with extra financial costs, giving of hard earned hours at work, gifts to cheer, time, prayer, a cheerleading team that spelled out ‘GO CHERYL’ from miles away, meals for the family, your gifts such as keeping people informed, visits, cards, thoughts, artwork, putting on a ‘Celebrate Life Cruise’, loves on me and on and on! I was and am humbled.
You were in the trenches fighting with me and I cannot thank you enough for the way you’ve had my back. Today, this day, I am considered ‘cancer free.’ Yes, I still see my oncologist and surgeon every six months but that beats two or three times a week like in the past.
I want to use my experience to help others and not just the cancer experience because there have been other huge hurdles these last five years as well. I don’t want to waste the pain. Thank you again . . . Those words just don’t seem enough, but are filled with so much emotion and gratitude! So often I think of friends I’ve lost to cancer, some that are still fighting and some that are living cancer free. Today I’m among the later and from me to you, I’m talking to you personally, thank you! I am forever changed because of your love, care and friendship.
If I can offer a little perspective as a result of this journey. Love hard. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Be grateful for each day even if that day seems to suck; it’s a day to make an impact, learn something, a day to breathe. Go for those opportunities and take some risks. You’re not going to please 100% of people but just be kind and if there is a naysayer just move forward anyway. Pay it forward. Take care of yourself. Be a blessing. Have faith. Chose better over bitter. Make today count! Live like you were dying. These are just a few thoughts forefront on my heart after experiencing cancer. It can’t beat my spirit down. It can’t take the strength of a circle of support like you! Hope and love wins! I am not grateful for cancer but I am grateful for the gifts in the journey and those gifts include YOU! Thank you! Know you are greatly loved and as a community a force to be wonderfully reckoned with.