Year of first diagnosis: 2007
Kind of cancers: lung metastasized to liver, omentum and peritoneum
What was your initial reaction to hearing “you have cancer”?
Initial, brief response was “Why me?” quickly followed by “Why not me? I thank God for choosing me to be his advocate during my journey with the expectation that this is much more than just me. I can affect those I know and even those I don’t know in a positive manner.
What has been your greatest learning experience?
Many learning experiences with the knowledge that there are many positive aspects to cancer… knowledge, new friends, relationships with family improved, greater faith.
What has proved most helpful for you in staying with the process?
“It is what it is, and this too will pass,” along with “this is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” There is great comfort in those words.
What resources (people, places books) have offered the greatest support?
Gilda’s Club, family, friends and Sister Sue.
Has your own spirituality been enhanced or lessened by cancer?
The depth of my spirituality has increased. “God works in mysterious ways” has become more evident as I experience his hand in my journey. God is always with me through the good and bad times.
What would you say to someone who was diagnosed with cancer today?
Don’t despair. Cancer can be a very positive experience. If we reach out to God, he takes our hand and helps us through the trials and tribulations. We have choices to make that will determine our lives. Positive ones can be harder to make, but are the most rewarding. Don’t worry. God does the worrying for us and he will take care of us. “It is what it is” and we can’t change it, so accept things and move forward.
Cathy’s final thoughts: Thank you for the opportunity to share. It is much easier to talk about the answers than to adequately write down responses. Value the people in our lives and live each day as a fresh new day. Explore your inner strengths and faith. Great opportunities for self-conversation are many.