Cancer is a coward

Yesterday, I reached 9 years as a breast cancer survivor. I count my diagnosis date as my annual milestone as a survivor. On what should have been a joyous day, a cowardly act only reminded me that life is full of unaccepted acts that will only set you back momentarily.

My daughter's car was hit and damaged by a hit and run driver yesterday. Despite the obvious anger and disappointment, we were thankful that she wasn't injured. The whole incident was a reminder that you can be going through life when an unexpected and undeserving event can rock your world.

It is how you handle those obstacles that will define your character and measure your strength. You never know how strong you are until you have to be strong.

When I was diagnosed, initially I was terrified. I actually put off chemo therapy for 9 weeks simply out of fear. This was not a wise move nor was it a move driven by knowledge. I was simply afraid of the unknown and ready to accept what could have been fatal consequences.

It was through outreach with other survivors, self reflection and my daughter's encouragement that I found the courage to undergo chemotherapy and exhaust all medical intervention to give myself the best odds of beating breast cancer. Soon I realized that I wasn't a coward; cancer is a coward.

Just like that driver who hit my daughter, cancer causes harm with no reason or recourse. It seeks to break spirits, separate families, test faith and strip people of all they hold dear. It awakens the fear and uncertainty within us. It is ruthless in its pursuit of death.

I am beyond grateful that I have seen 9 years since that dreadful date of April 24th, 2007. I've had 9 years to spend with my family and hopefully impact lives in a positive way. I have laughed more and enjoyed special memories with special people more than I ever did before battling cancer.

Cancer enabled me to focus on myself more and live fearlessly. I'm not afraid to speak up, be heard, walk away, facilitate action and live a life that I've crafted that defines my purpose but also cater's to my heart's desires. I focus on people in my life who share my synergy.

People used to say "you can't have your cake and eat it too." Yes you can. You choose the life you live. When you are faced with your own mortality, it is in that moment that the rest of your days will be defined. What will people say about you when your time here is up? What will you be remembered for?

A cancer diagnosis feels like someone hit you and then ran off. You are left breathless and asking why this happened to you. Don't let the coward win. Stand up, fight back and embrace every moment of the rest of your life with confidence and certainty. I may have had cancer but I promise you....cancer NEVER had me.


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