|Chondrosarcoma a rare form of bone cancer|
Thank you Cancer, for changing my life for the better. Ha ha! Bet you thought you couldn't do that. But, you did. Oh yes, you made me suffer. But, you know what Cancer? I learned a lot about compassion and caring and humanity because of that. I learned to recognize when other people were hurting and needing help. That changed me for the better for sure, because I care about others so much more than before you came along trying to frighten me. You terrified me, in fact. But, because of that, I learned I am stronger than I thought I was. I learned I'm stronger than you, Cancer. Nyah! Nyah!
Thank you Cancer for giving me patience and fortitude, and gratitude. Thank you for teaching me how to be humble and brave at the same time, for teaching me how to cry out loud and not be ashamed. Thank you for helping me to understand that it is okay to ask for what I need, to not feel a burden to others, especially if they have said, "if there is anything I can do..." I understand it's okay to lean on others when I need to, and I can offer kindness in return, too, whenever they need it. And, hopefully, understanding.
Thank you for teaching me how to let go of fallacious beliefs, pettiness, and small minded thinking, for giving me the opportunity to disconnect myself from things unworthy of my attention. Thank you for teaching me what is important and "don't sweat the small stuff".
You taught me to research, to get serious about educating myself in every aspect of my diagnosis, of the condition of my health. I've learned a lot of things I never knew before, important things, useful things that have helped me on my way through life. I've been able to share that information, too. It was hard to learn all that awful stuff you do, but I learned too, how the body works, how science is always making improvements. I've learned there really is hope even in the face of darkness.
|Aptos Beach, California|
Storm is brewing at sundown
You're not going to believe this one, Cancer! Thank you for helping me get more organized and focused. Oh, I know I will never be perfect at it. But, you know what? You taught me to put my life in order, to take care of business... the important business that I didn't want my family to have to deal with in case I... well you know better than anyone, Cancer, what I'm getting at.
Thank you, too, for teaching me about how to communicate with doctors and nurses and others who helped me. I learned so much about how to get my point across, how to listen, how to keep track of my medical appointments and most of all those very important papers. Yep, back to that organization thing again. And while we are on the subject, Cancer, thank you for showing me that nurses, medical technicians and doctors are human beings, too; that none of them are in the business of making money off me, for showing me that they have hearts and souls and work hard to help people heal.
Thank you Cancer for teaching me how to face my fear of death, my fear of mutilation, my fear of loss of self-identity. Thank you for giving me peace of mind once I learned to accept life with all it's beauty, and depth.
|Elizabeth Munroz, Sterling Cridge, Dar Parsons, Storm Cosby|
Thanks for teaching me that my hair doesn't have to be "just so", that I don't have to be embarrassed about the imperfections of my body or the condition of my skin. It is what it is. I'm so grateful for that because now I don't judge others based upon their appearance either. And it's so much easier to see beyond that outer wrapping and discover a person for who they really are inside. It's so much easier and feels so good to be kind and loving. It takes so much energy to be hateful and mean spirited. I understand that now.
Thank you Cancer for showing me that sometimes it is necessary to stop what I'm doing and take inventory of my life to get my priorities in order. Did you know that, Cancer? You taught me how to simplify my life, to not take on more than I could handle, to not allow myself to be so overwhelmed trying to do too much. You taught me how to say "no" or "later" or "I'll think about it" before jumping in and committing to something I could not complete so I wouldn't be disappointed in myself for failing. You taught me to not make promises I couldn't keep. It lifted a great burden off my shoulders, that feeling of obligation that I was dragging around like a load of laundry. Wow! That's a lot! What a tremendous change for me. I'm not perfect at it, but I'm way better. Yes! Thanks for that!
Thank you, Cancer, for teaching me to be a daredevil. Really... I mean... I like to take chances now that I wouldn't before. Like stand up and walk when "they" said I couldn't. I might have fallen down. I might have not been able to walk. But it was worth trying. "If at first you don't succeed, try... Well, you know the phrase, I'm sure, Cancer. You've taught me to try new things I would have been too timid to do in the past. Like dance with abandon not caring what people think and have fun, every sweaty minute of it, even though I knew I might hurt in the morning. What did I have to lose? I would be in pain anyway. Might as well enjoy it. Eh, Cancer?
|Elizabeth Munroz and son, Xavier Rodriguez|
1979 Covina California
But now, Cancer, you raised your ugly head to make me sick again after all these years of leaving you behind. I recognized you in your new disguise and I'm not afraid of you anymore. Go ahead, Cancer, I know you are going to do your thing. But, I'm not cringing. I'm not wishing I could run away. I'm not giving up! I'm going to live my life as fully as possible whether you are in it or not. Because there's one thing I learned on my own Cancer. There's one thing I learned how to do by myself. And that is to face you down and take up the challenge, and fight the good fight and keep on going and do the best I can to cherish each moment, whether dark or light. Because they are my moments and no one, not even you, Cancer, can take that away from me!
Written and copyright by Elizabeth Munroz
Previous survivor of rare bone cancer called Chondrosarcoma
Presently living with Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia