It can bring old friends back in to the picture, it can bring a new understanding of yourself and others, it can bring NEW friends who understand you without you having to say a word! Unfortuatly some of those people leave us too soon! You can develop a new appreciation for the "little" things in life. The importance of good friends, family and joy small things can bring. As Nancy said tonight "sure makes you think and readjust your life". You readjust because you realize life can be short. So you leave behind the things you know don't make you feel good...that take the happiness out of your life. You find the joy in little things that you took for granted before. Having energy was something I always took for granted. Until it eluded me!! Never thought I would find it again. Until the other day when Len said..."looks like the energizer bunny is back"! It feels good to change my own curtains in my house, move furniture around, cook and bake again! Prepare for company and not have any of those things put me down for a week after I do them!!
Some of the other things I always took for granted was my friendships. I know that I have always been a good friend to those people in my life however, I am not sure I really understood how important they are to happiness. Relationships with family have always been important to me...I will alway feel blessed that I reunited with my brother when I had. We bonded first through his illness and then mine. I like to believe we develop an understand we had never had before. I am so glad we had the opportunity to do so before he was taken from us! I know that my cancer gave HIM a different understanding of me!
I have also reunited with "long ago" friends. It's been great to get to see them...some have reconnected or come in to my life due to cancer. Lori and I didn't really know each other well in high school...but we did understand what each other's lives were like now! Steve was battling this unfair disease and it wasn't his first time. She became a partner in every sense of the word as she was his lover, wife, friend and caretaker! I am sure she can attest to the "funny things cancer can bring to your life" I was glad to be there to talk when ever she needed to talk and when Steve "finished" his long battle I felt her pain! I was glad to be able to open my home to her and welcome a NEW friend in to my family. She will now ALWAYS be family. Another one of those things cancer bring to your life! It's a bond that I just can't explain. One of the other "long ago" friends I have been reunited with is Laurel. We go way back to junior high school! Haven't seen each other since 1975 but we will be together Thursday whe she comes to NJ from Va. We will be attending a Breast Cancer Awareness Photo Shoot in Ct. Laurel is also a survivor! SO excited to have this time with her!! While we are in Ct we will be seeing many "long ago" friends and one them, Rich, has joined our club. He is battling Prostate cancer. I loved Rich and his sister Sharon since we were kids and lost touch but cancer has brought him back in to my life!
Barbara has come back in to our lives and with out her my days would definitly be harder. She relieves me of having to give myself a daily injection in my stomach. But much more, we have renewed a friendship from many years ago when our girls were young. Not sure why friendships grow apart but reuniting them that is the silver lining in a pretty ugly cloud!!
Cancer has brought new friends like Nancy in to my life and I believe we have bonded in a way that we might never have, had it not been for cancer...and I am forever blessed with that friendship.
Lou was my patient before and during cancer...and I believe he was also my friend...but cancer brought he and I closer then I could have ever imagined, an understanding that I just can't explain. I believe it brought our families together in a way we never would have...and now that Lou is gone I feel a bond with his family, his wife and his children, that I am not sure we would have had with out cancer. Again, I feel forever blessed because they will be forever family!
I never had the honor of really meeting Pam but when she finished her battle with this unfair disease I was able to reach out and help her family through the foundation and just as a friend.
Cancer has made me a better practitioner...having dealt with my own devestating illness has given me a better understanding of my patients. It has also made them aware that no one is exempt!!
It has given Len and I a new appreciation for the friends we have developed over the years in the healthcare field. Not sure where I would be with out Dr. Sanford White and his wife Shelly. They stood by me through this whole thing...even doing surgery on me!!! Answering my crazy questions and always caring about me! Dr. Bruno Fang, (who says he reads these blogs) I had been referring to him for many years and now I had first hand knowledge as his patient. Deals with my questiong EVERY allopathic thing he wants to do (sometimes with tolerance LOL)!!! A very different perspective I must say...but a learning experience!! Dr. Doug Hutt who stayed with me every night after rounds when I was in St Peter's Hospital! Dr. Doug Fine, one of the MOST understanding doctors I have ever met. Comforting me through radiation and the effects of it. Being there immediatily when I called him for Lou and understanding how important helping Lou was to me. Supportive, when we lost Lou and I didnt take it "professionally". I feel truly blessed by the finest medical team any one could have ever asked for! My surgeons were the BEST Dr. Rachel Dultz and Dr. Matt Lynch...no one could ask for finer more compasionate physicians! These are not just my doctors, they are my friends (some more the others) but they are loved...I referred to all of them before and now I can do so with a different understanding and emotion. They are forever in my heart!
So cancer has brought some wonderful things in to my life...a new appreciation for LIFE!! How can I hate something that has changed my life in such a positive way, that has brought so many wonderful things and people in to my life! I guess it is all part of always finding the positive in every adversity! I have always stressed this to my kids...not sure I lived it quite as completly as I do now!
I don't know that anyone can ever say that they were glad cancer came to them...however, in making the best of things...cancer has strengthened my relationships, gave me an appreciation of the little things in life...helped me see them and to enjoy them. Gave me a closeness with a brother I was unaware I was going to lose...maybe because he was afraid he was going to lose me!! But his loss has made us realize Life can be short for any one...not JUST a cancer patient!!
So, love completely, forgive freely, share always, keep people close and tell them how you feel. Enjoy each day as if it could be your last! Don't waste what God has given you to cherish!! Find a way to give back...every day...some radom act of kindness. Consider helping us help others the only way we can when dealing with this unfair disease...day by day!!
Two people I can NOT forget that cancer has TRULY strengthened in my life Agi is one!!! Where would I be with out you!! You were by my side no matter how sick I was and you remain here, helping me with this foundation and making it your passion! Francine is the other...being there through some of the ugliness, the pain, the wounds...helping through it all!! Even "baby sitting" me! What can I say...I love you both!!
My family goes with out saying because they have always been there even before cancer...we will remain forever here by each other's side!
Thank you to all of you...who faithfully follow our blog...sharing our blog...commenting on our blogs...it is what helps us to get our info out there. The more we are known the more people we can help...day by day!! Thank you!!