Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 5

WHAT CANCER MEANS

Reflection

What Cancer Really
Means to Me

W

hen I first heard the
news you have cancer
I was shocked, scared
and nervous. How was
I going to live with
cancer with all that I have going on? Those
were the most painful words I ever heard in
life. I continued on in life with the support of
my family, friends and cancer organizations.
Having cancer changed my life. It changed my
life in such a way I don't think I could ever go
back to life before cancer.
Life before cancer was great! I had finished
college, had my own place, wanted to buy a
car and continue accomplishing things in
life. All the money I had saved had to go to
medical bills (cancer meds, visits, therapy)
even though I had insurance. Crazy right? I
started fundraising - selling things I had -
just to come up with money to pay for cancer.
Cancer has changed me. Cancer made me
more scared of hospitals, kind of like anxiety.
I have to say a prayer, ask my support family to help me get through the day because I
won't be able to make it without them. I'm
extremely thankful for them. While having
cancer I couldn't sleep. Sometimes I wouldn't
eat. I was emotional. I would stay up past
midnight because I was afraid I wouldn't
get up the next day! I could only sleep a few
hours at a time. Nothing really helped other
than prayers and support from others.
I was diagnosed at 26 and on vacation
when I heard the news I had endometrial
cancer (cancer of the uterus) it was scary
a bit crazy and worrying. Hearing that I
might need a hysterectomy was challenging.
I always wanted children and to start family I was crushed beyond words. I began to
pray, ask everyone I knew for a prayer, go to

BY A M A N DA F I T Z PAT R IC K

" Cancer has taught
me to trust in God
and brought me closer
towards him, cancer
also has brought me
closer to my family. "
church, write in my journal about my journey. I stayed positive, kept busy and used a
saying " I don't have cancer, cancer has me "
I began looking for a support group within
the hospital because I was so young, and the
support groups only had people near retirement age in them. I became the ambassador
for the younger support group I was in!
Young woman group 20-30s year old and we
talk about being young and having cancer.
We do many activities like knitting, yoga,
meditation and even talk about sex - just
a small group where we all understand each
other, give support to each other and have
fun. Similar to the many young support
groups I'm a part of now, I wish I knew about
them earlier.

Cancer has taught me to trust in God and
brought me closer towards him. Cancer also
has brought me closer to my family. Before
cancer I was just a beautiful girl and turned
into a beautiful woman during cancer. I
was someone who was strong but becoming
stronger because of cancer. Now, after cancer I say thank you to cancer for making me
stronger and able to live life saying I beat
cancer and it's not a death sentence. I like
to say it's only a test of your strength. I feel
like now that I beat cancer I can do anything
I put my mind to. Cancer is an addition to
the list of things I've gone through!
Hearing it came back I became angry
mad at myself, angry at my Doctor and
simply MAD. I've done all I could to remain
cancer free but somehow it still came to me
to say hi now I felt like I had continue to
pray, remain positive and continue to reach
out to people who are like me, who had the
experience that I was going through.
W hat cancer means to me? It means
being STRONG, alert with doctors making sure I understand enough to relay the
message to my family and support because
most of the time during treatment for me
I was alone or I had my social worker or
even my doctor spend time with me or
my new family the numerous young adult
support groups.
I'm forever grateful to my support system, family and friends. I honestly don't
think I would have made it without them.
Life is easier to deal with when you have a
support system that loves and cares for you.
Cancer is a disease that taught me how to
be a responsible adult, had it not been for
cancer I don't think I would know as much
about my body as I do now. l

ELEPHANTSANDTEA.COM
MARCH 2021

5


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Elephants And Tea - March 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Elephants And Tea - March 2021

Contents
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - Cover1
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - Cover2
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 1
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - Contents
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 3
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 4
Elephants And Tea - March 2021 - 5
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