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– The path you choose

The diagnosis of cancer left me reeling and disoriented. I stopped at the store and spaced out… staring… in front of the dairy section. “So what does this mean? How long do I have? Do I buy a pint… or a gallon?”

Time slows down; mouths open; people talk; nothing makes sense; the non-existent wind howls in your ears; time speeds up; you don’t know where you are or how you got there. So much is unknown and there are so many ramifications. So much information. So many emotions to process. And your loved ones need to process. And everyone is watching you process. All you want to do is curl up in the fetal position and hope it just… goes… away.

Ultimately, you must choose a path. Cycle through the stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Inform yourself. Commit to yourself. Choose a path that honors you.

My own path began in 2007. I’ve survived against all odds and prognoses. As of this writing, I am healthy and vibrant, in spite of having a terminal diagnosis and been given just weeks to live… twice. They say that it is incurable and that it will kill me, sooner than later. But that maybe they can buy me some time. Screw that! Who are they to give me weeks? I’m gonna take them. And I’m taking as many as I want, dammit!

The truth is… they don’t know, nobody knows. There are many people who beat the odds they were given simply because they refused to accept the odds and took action. I am a single mom and I have chosen to do everything I can to defeat it, or buy as much time as I can. I’m buying the gallon… not the pint.

I have chosen to fight. I have chosen to be the author of my destiny. I employ naturopathic protocols and toxic modern medicine. Radiation shrunk tumors and chemotherapy stopped the advance of new growth. I cleanse my body of toxins and provide nutrients and anti-cancer remedies from around the world to change the bioterrain that allowed cancer to thrive. I choose to view cancer as a gift and explore my emotional landscape for opportunities to grow and cleanse my mind and soul. The healthier my emotions, the better equipped to fight and win my body will be and the less likely cancer will dominate. And I will show my son what it means to not give up. That is the path that I have chosen. Because I know that if I don’t choose that path, there is no chance of winning. And I will win.
And if I die? I will be a better person for this path!

While shopping in a consignment store near the oncology clinic, a bald woman in a turban was trying on some white pants that she liked. “You know the rule about white pants after Labor Day, don’t you?” her friend commented. “Yeah, well, I’m into breaking rules right now,” she replied.

A second friend entered the store and joined them. “There is nothing but snow and mud back home!” she exclaimed. “Why on EARTH would you be trying on white pants?”, her Southern lilt demanded. “Because…” our shero avowed firmly and testily. “…I will wear them next SPRING!” Buying those pants was a symbol of hope… a way of thumbing her nose at the prognosis. I completely understood. She was buying the gallon.

She stood at the cash register, white pants firmly in hand. She fidgeted nervously, still upset at her friends who obviously doubted that she would survive the winter to wear those pants in the spring.

“I floss my teeth,” I offered.

“Excuse me?” she said, puzzled.

“And I use wrinkle cream. These are MY affirmations that I will be around long enough to be happy I did these things.” She hugged me gratefully. And, I returned it. A nice, long hug.
 
 

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