Saturday, July 2, 2011


It means different things to different people. For years, it meant being able to express my feelings verbally, having equal rights as a woman, living in a culture of respect. These were beautiful rights I was grateful to have.

This year, it means something completely different. This year, it's something I seeking: freedom from cancer. Even if they got it all in surgery, I don't think I am ready to declare victory quite yet. I still seek more.

I want freedom from my drains. There is nothing more irritating than having tubes sewn into your body. I feel like I look like I'm smuggling grenades around under my shirt like a terrorist or like I'm pregnant. Neither is making me feeling too good these days. 

Freedom from the incessant "what ifs". I was always a relatively confidence person, never doubted my choices, never was afraid that things wouldn't work out, never pessimistic. The fear and the uncertainty is an unwelcome intruder. I need to find a way to get rid of that. I spend much quite time driving out defeatist thoughts, trying to remind myself that I am going to beat this, I am going to survive.

Freedom from my "new normal". I have heard do many survivors speak of this. It's not a place I like very much. I haven't made it my home yet. 

Freedom from my sleeping restrictions. Oh, how I long to sleep in my bed on my stomach, instead of in a recliner. Sometimes, it's the little things I miss the most.

Freedom to move how I want without pain. Freedom to fully use my arms again. Freedom to drive a vehicle. Freedom to carry my little boy. Freedom to lay down with him at bedtime to help him fall to sleep. Freedom from being the subject of people's sympathy.

When I earn my freedoms, they will be much sweeter because this time it is something I am fighting for myself.

I am grateful to live in America: the land of the free and the home of the brave. This is the promised land, the place where miracles happen, the home of the best doctors in the world. I wonder if I can get fireworks for my survivor party. Seems appropriate. 


  1. Nicole-

    You will have those freedoms, and so many more. You don't have my sympathy, you have my love and respect. I strive not to feel sorry for people, because, let's face it, I don't want people to feel sorry for me. You will be a survivor; because you are a true fighter. Yes, you have gotten discouraged at times, but never, ever once in any of the posts I have read from you have you given up any hope. It is the glimmer of hope and courage that will see you through this. One day at a time my friend, you will get there. I promise. Much love and many, many prayers coming your way. Take care and always know I am here for you.

    Love and hugs-


  2. Nicole,

    Freedom means you have the right to make choices. You have chosen to fight the beast called Cancer, to share you determination and will with others, and to inspire others who have battles of their own. Keep up the awesome work!

    Cousin Nick