HERE’S MY STORY:
I have always loved being active, enjoy being outdoors, living life to the fullest, as an adventurer. I challenge myself to be the best that I can be and have been blessed with a great attitude and energy level to accomplish things I have desired to do.
In September 2013 when I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, (the autumn after celebrating my 70th birthday), one can only imagine the shock when the doctor told me I had 2 to 3 years to live. The myeloma had left bone lesions in my spine that caused extreme pain, and until the chemo could stop the progress of the Myeloma, I pretty much was unable to move without help. It took a few months before I was functioning again. It was scary to be so disabled. It took a toll on me; I lost confidence in myself, and the fear set in. What if? What if? Do I, can I, will I ever…?
The word cancer is scary enough. Yet I was told that what I had is a treatable cancer, but it is not curable…and the side effects of the treatments that I take daily…wow, what would treat those? So, I did what I always encouraged others to do – I picked myself up, brushed myself off and started all over again. I searched for resources to help me be strong, mentally and physically, to live my life the best that I could, to change my attitude, my body and my everyday living.
A friend had heard about and suggested that I read the book “The Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor.” For those who know me, it fit me very well. Well, the “Crazy Survivor” part anyway! The book opened new avenues to healthy living, setting me in motion.
Then, Wellness Within (a non-profit offering support services for patients, survivors, caregivers and families coping with the stress of cancer) came to me from a flyer at my doctor’s office. I went to every class I could. I participated in everything that might or could help me find me again, or if necessary a new me, to know that I would be OK no matter what, that I can face this head on and to become strong mentally and physically again… It was awesome, inspiring and comforting to be with people fighting a similar fight and striving to be better.
And, then, I heard about Triumph Fitness (another non-profit organization with a goal to help recovering cancer patients). They offered a strength and fitness program. I don’t know that there are words to write that will tell you the strength and will to move on and up that this program has also given me. Believe me when I say I have turned yet another corner in my life, one that leads me to be all that I can be, to gain my strength and endurance back, and to work-out with people who have challenged cancer also.
Multiple Myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer and, sadly, has one of the lowest five-year relative survival rates of all cancers. But while there is no cure, great progress is being made. God, My Angels, and My Spirits have been by my side as we have traveled this road. And I thank each and every one of you who have contributed to my greater emotional and physical healing.