With less than 4 hours left in the year 2018, I thought it fitting to sit down and type up another post. A year ago today, I was facing the new year with a recent “terminal” stage IV diagnosis, trying to decide how to treat this beast. I knew that simply following conventional oncology would never offer me a cure. At best, it would delay death but likely at the cost of my quality of life; those simply were not options for me. I could strongly sense that God was pulling me in a very different direction, down a road rarely traveled. As I looked towards the new year, realizing what lay ahead of me, I decided that my “word” for 2018 would be “persevere.” To persevere means “to continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.” Yup, that was a simple and accurate definition of what lay ahead of me.
I can look back at this year and I marvel at how it unfolded. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that just 10 months of treatments would lead me to no evidence of disease! I continue to read success stories of other cancer patients with other types of cancer who are seeing success, regression, healing, using this metabolic theory and I am so excited for the future! At the same time, I am frustrated by the fact that this information has been under our noses for nearly 100 years but was poo-poo’d by the medical community. I am frustrated that this is not yet standard of care and that so many are afraid to navigate these waters. To take one’s medication and health into one’s own hands, to build up a team of one’s own, is no easy task. I have been SO blessed to have supportive doctors in every corner, not one who tries to pull rank on the other or me. I realize others may not easily come by doctors as supportive as mine and for those of you, I truly hope you can find a second or third opinion who will support YOUR health on YOUR terms.
Cancer does not have to mean heavy doses of toxic chemo, surgery, and radiation. Cancer can be healed using low doses of chemo alongside supplements, diet, exercise and repurposed meds (and sometimes no chemo at all)! I don’t live in fear of cancer any longer and no one else needs to either. Apart from a stupid high dose of chemo to begin with that landed me in the hospital, I’ve been able to live quite a normal life this year, being a wife, a mother, friend. I’ve been able to work in our yard and house to transform our little slice of Pacific Northwest Paradise: clearing brush/blackberries (no easy task), moving rocks, raking leaves, diging trenches, priming, painting, etc. I enjoyed hikes and camping with my family, making meals for friends, field trips with my kiddos, and so much more! I LIVED this year while I HEALED! And THAT, my friends, is SUCH A BLESSING!
We have had the blessing of spending the past week with our families in California, to include my paternal grandmother and my husband’s paternal grandparents, all in their 80’s and 90’s. What a joy it has been to hear stories from their youth and see our grandparents revel in precious memories. Conversely though, this week has caused me to ponder again the fragility of our lives. I wonder what my life will count for when I have taken my final breath. What will I be remembered for? Will I have made a difference where it counts, eternally? Did I waste my time on trivial matters or did I invest it well? Am I creating good memories for our children and building them up? Am I intentional in my time spent with friends? Or do I allow life to pass me by as I sit behind a computer screen?
If you are reading this, perhaps you are facing a giant in your life. Maybe it is a health crisis or maybe it’s financial or relational. Or maybe your life is sunshine and roses but wherever your life is heading right now, I challenge you to persevere. The path less traveled may not immediately be as clear or mapped out but it is usually SO much more beautiful. Take time to smell the roses, figuratively AND literally. Slow down, say “no” to commitments once in a while or…..maybe you need to say “yes” and step out of your comfort zone! Cherish the PRESENT. BE PRESENT. Choose JOY.
I wish you all health and joy in the coming year! Cheryse