1. Surround yourself with people you love, then share your story, because there are so many people out there that will support you, that you NEVER EVER assumed would be there for you. It is expected that your closest friends and your family will be there, but so many people have their story to share and their love to give you. If you don't let them know what is going on in your life, you will never know the true meaning of friendship and who is out there truely caring about your life. It has been so nice to accept those new friends into my support group!
2. Let go of the people that are there to bring you down and add stress to your life. The very first appointment that the Fab 3 had with the oncologist, the most stressed point of Dr Hahm's appointment was to GET RID of STRESS and get rest, or your body can not heal. That is a hard thing to get rid of, but I realize quickly with lots of tears and lots of hurt and sleepless nights, that I MUST do that and turn over that stress to other people to take care of- kinda hard for someone who likes to control my own life.
3. Patients is a must with cancer and you have no control- your life is going to come to a streeching halt. You want be able to plan (hard for a planner). Dr's are in control, sure you make the decisions, but you have to turn your treatment and schedules over to them. One of the hardest things to do is think of the future- going back to work, planning a vacation, what comes next- I can't think about it, because I can't control when and at what point and time that will happen and it upsets me so much. I don't know how I will feel tomorrow, or in one hour, so how can I look beyond that?
4. Fear is now a part of your everyday life- fear of cancer, fear it will come back- fear of the unknown- fear of all the treatments and test you have to go through- fear your life will never be the same. You have to push that fear out of your mind and focus on other things- like getting better and changing your lifestyle.
5. Laughter is more important than EVER- surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Period!!! When we go to chemo, everyone knows we are there, because we are so loud and laughing so much. You have to!
6. Trust in God- you have to know that this has happened for a reason and that he is the one who has total control over what happens from here. When I feel out of control, it helps to know who is.
7. Love yourself- you have to focus on healing and focus on what is right for you. Don't overdo it, sit, sleep, and focus on what your body needs.
8. Little things do not matter anymore- my ruler is huge and most things don't touch it, unless it is big. I have never been much of a person to worry about the small stuff, but it is a lot less so now. My motto was always, "don't worry about it until it is time to worry about it, and now is not that time" Unless it is huge, it will really not measure up for me.
I have said in the past that cancer is like a gift of a magnifying glass- it puts everything into perspective for you and hopefully for your loved ones too. It makes love, emotions, and pain magnified. Use that magnifying glass as a tool to transform your life. To give back to those who give to you- to love greater- to laugh louder- to get rid of things you can't control- to change yourself, by seeing your flaws and make a change. I hope these lessons learned in 2012 have made me a better, changed person and 2013 will be a great year for this new person and I will be on the upside of healing, for me and my family! I hope through sharing this journey with strangers, it has somehow touched your life and put your life back into perspective. I don't want people to feel sorry for me, I want people to see how you can turn bad things into good, by surrounding yourself with love and laughter, and by turning it over to God.
I have finished chemo #5 and have only 3 more to go- I can see the finish line and I am confident that I will get there. Thanks to everyone again for cheering me on- you don't know how much your support has mattered to me!
|Dawn's last day of chemo- we celebrated!!|
|Even baldheaded with Cancer, I am happy!|