Name: Heather~~~Cancer Sucks!
Year of first diagnosis: 2009
Kind of Cancer: AMPL/APL~~~Leukemia
- 1. What was your initial reaction to hearing “You have cancer”?
Fear and shock. Thankful my family was there to fill in and heard all the important information. However, once I heard that my cancer type had an 80% rate…I just wanted to get under way. I took that information on faith and told myself, “God will make that 100% curable!!!!”
- 2. What has been your greatest learning experience?
That positive thinking, faith and the love of others gave me the strength to fight. All I ever wanted to know from my doctor was if I was doing well and if my numbers (blood-count) were good enough to go home. Family, friends, church, Sister Sue & hospital staff helped with moral support.
- 3. What has proved most helpful for you in staying with the process?
Hope, love, humor and faith!! … people keeping me in check; positivity.
- 4. What resources (people, places, books) have offered the greatest support?
All my family, friends, church and community were especially helpful. As I was hospitalized for most of my treatments, places didn’t really apply – unless we would be talking of my happy place, which was listening to my church band’s musical CD. Reading was challenging due to my treatment and its side effects. Being that I am a motor-mouth-talker, visiting with people was extremely high on the list for emotional support. Yet, I will have to say that pet therapy was the best support by far!!
- 5. Has your own spirituality been enhanced or lessened by cancer?
For me it is a HUGE YES! My spirituality has been enhanced. When going through something so scary and traumatic… life and the understanding of how limited really it is… has a different focus. As unbelievable as it may sound, during all my rounds of chemo and the enviable return to the hospital after each treatment…I never felt as if I was going to die and I can only attribute that to God. His mercy and grace save me. However, I had a part in it… I needed and did do what was necessary during my treatment by praying continually and remaining as positive as possible. God provided inner comfort to me personally. I had many people acting as angels (praying, fundraising, assistance with medical costs & disability support). He surrounded me with love and so increased my faith, outlook and hope!
- 6. What would you say to someone who was diagnosed with cancer today?
Wow, this is a hard one. Focus on your personal strengths, the help of others and things that bring you joy. Use them to combat the fear, the physical challenges and unknown. It will help you remain positive and have hope in your heart.