I had a conversation today with a colleague in Florida. He thanked me for allowing my boss to share my diagnosis with him and others. He said he was glad to be able to lend support and positive thoughts from so far away. That made me think of two comments I have received on my blog. This site started as a way for me to basically "emotionally throw up". It was a coping strategy for me to learn how to get all of the overwhelming thoughts out of my head. The funny thing, is like just about anything cancer related, it has its side effects. However, unlike the nausea, fatigue, hair loss, that comes along with treatment, I am finding the blog's side effects are positive. And better yet, not only are they positive for me, but they are for others as well.
First of all, I do believe in the the footprints concept. For those of you who are Catholic, and especially those who have old Italian catholic blood you have probably seen the footprints prayer somewhere in a relative's house. If you aren't familiar with it, it tells the story of a person who looks back over the course of their life. They see footprints in the sand. Most times, there were two sets. The person pondered why it seemed that there were only one set of prints where he encountered hard times. The answer from the Lord was "that was where I carried you". So basically, I am not going this alone. I have a strong support group, and I have my faith that will carry me when I cannot walk on my own. I already have offers from the team that will be walking in my honor in the Avon 2-day. Thank you!
I am so blessed to know that there are prayers coming from literally around the world at this point. Among the high concentration of prayers coming from New Jersey, I know that there are prayers from Pennsylvania, Arizona, Washington DC, New York, Florida, Wisconsin, several parts of New England, Spain, and . Dang, that's pretty impressive if I say so myself. I am really convinced that God will be so sick of my name, He will heal me so everyone can finally shut up and go back to their normal lives. haha! I think the amazing thing is that hopefully, for all of the places there are prayers, there may be people learning about this disease, and understanding the importance of early detection. I believe it will save my life. It would be a miracle if my blog would save someone else's life as well.
I have to say, I cannot tell you how wild it is for me to see how people are reacting to the blog! It's amazing. It's beautiful. I'm all about you reap what you sow. So if my writing is making people feel better about this, I hope in turn, I will continue to as well. What is so strange (in a good way of course) is how people are finding me inspirational. To me, this fact is inspirational to me in and of itself. I feel like there are even more people on the list of reasons to life and fight. More people to make proud. It's truly uplifting to me! But I will say this, I appreciate people calling me a hero, but I don't know that I deserve that title. It's an honor that I haven't yet earned. I have only been at this trial for 3 weeks. That's nothing. People have colds that last that long. Please indulge me and allow me to share the stories of a few people I consider true heros.
I know a girl who has fought with physical limitations her entire life. She and I went to high school together. She is now in her mid 30s, and against all odds, she just recently graduated with her Bachelor's degree. She is someone who was dealt a rough card in life, and is so strong. She has been overly kind to me in my journey, selflessly complimenting me. I have never heard her complain about her lot in life. I have only seen her make the best of it. I wonder if she realizes how amazing she is.
I know a girl who was born too early, and ended up with a lifetime of disabilities and health challenges. I have never seen her without a smile. She is happy, sweet and loving. The world is a better place because of her. I wonder if she realizes how special she is.
I know a woman who faced a different kind of cancer for the better part of 20 years. She fought like the devil. And she kept an amazing poker face when she suffered. She always protected "her kids" as best she could from worrying about her. She endured treatment upon treatment and many surgeries. She always kept a brave face and an awesome sense of humor. She would tell me all the time "eh, what can you do? sometimes you just have to laugh". And she was right. Sometimes her wig was a little crooked while she was going through chemo, but never was she more beautiful. She was my grandmother. I wonder if she knows how much I miss her.
I know a man who worked for the JCFD his entire life. He has seen death, despair and fear. He never ran away from it. On the morning of , he had just come off of duty in downtown Jersey City when the towers were struck. He turned around and went right back. He called me on the phone to tell me what he was doing, and I begged him not to go back. He told me "this is my job. this is what I do." And he went in. I still thank God for keeping him safe that day and always. He is my father. He defines brave. I wonder if he realizes how much of a hero he is...(Dad, after you read this and are done crying and sniffling all over the place, just know I love you. Don't start getting all weepy when I see you next, ok?)
I am not a hero folks. At least not yet. But I will learn from those who are. I will learn to keep walking when the road gets tough. I will learn to be positive no matter what I have to do.I will fight with all I have while staying true to the person I want to me. I will learn to be brave and face that fire head on. If they can do it, why can't I?