There’s Always a Silver Lining

Life certainly is a winding road, full of surprises and challenges. In April 2009, my husband of thirty five years passed away after a 12 year battle with a degenerative disease. We often talked about the ‘silver lining” that came with serious illness, the ability to get your priorities straight and truly appreciate every day that you have. Little did I know then that two years later, I would set off on my own journey of dealing with a serious diagnosis!

In August, 2011 I went to the Dr complaining of bloating in my abdomen, I remember sitting in the car before going in and thinking “Gosh, I hope it’s not Celiac, I don’t think I could stand having to give up bread & pasta”…. You guessed it, it wasn’t Celiac! Turned out I had advanced stage Ovarian cancer (Stage IIIC), I had no other symptoms.

In a little over two weeks, I had surgery (radical hysterectomy, debulking of the tumor, removal of the Omentum, appendix, lymph nodes and a few other things). About a month after surgery, I had ports put in my abdomen & chest and started an agressive Chemo regime.

I finished up my treatment in February 2012… less than a week before my 60th birthday. It was one of my best birthdays ever…. When you survive something like cancer, getting old takes on a whole new meaning… a very positive one! Throughout my journey, I was overwhelmed at the support & love from my family & friends. At every bump in the road they were there for me, cheering me on, making me laugh, fixing me food, cleaning my house, putting up with me when I was tired and/or cranky… they truly “loved me through it” as Martina sang. I still get goosebumps when I hear that song. I am still in the every three month Dr visit cycle, and will be for the next three or four years, but I am 16 months out of treatment and doing well. I figure God just isn’t through with me yet and I try my best to “pay it forward”. Life is settling into the “new normal” and I have come out of this journey a stronger person… I mean let’s face it, after you battle cancer, you can handle anything that life throws at you. I also think I am a calmer, more patient & nicer person. So while I never would have chosen to get cancer, I like the person I am now, better than the old me… It’s that silver lining!