As of January 11, I will be a seven time cancer survivor. That is the day I will have my seventh surgery since 1996 to remove endometrial stromal sarcoma, an extremely rare form of cancer.
Not only have I survived, but I own two businesses, am a single mom, and travel around the world giving communication workshops and keynote speeches to help others let their voices be heard. Travel is not easy after so many surgeries and through this "battle".
On my way home from a two-week women's adventure tour in New Zealand, a new tumor that had been found the day before I left, threw a blood clot and a few days after getting home I was in intensive care with a pulmonary embolism.
So how do I thrive, not just survive, through these curve balls life is throwing me? I continue to get check-ups! I get mammograms and colonoscopies according to American Cancer Society (and my doctor's) guidelines, just in case it spreads. I see my doctors regularly and communicate even more, ask a lot of questions and check out "suspicious" behaviors, because I got checked for a constant urine leakage last year a new tumor was found.
Consequently, my sarcomas are still Stage 1 and have not spread outside the pelvic area. Seven surgeries and side effects from those surgeries have still given me a difficult path, but by being an advocate for my health, working with my doctors and specifically, doctors who are able and willing to communicate, I have continued to live my life and not let it be defined by having cancer. I reach out to my "Village", my circle of friends who pray for me, who give me strength and are there to help in any way each time. It wasn't easy for me to learn to ask for help but I had to do it to survive.
I am not only a survivor, but I am living a life full of passion and purpose. There are rules to follow (like check-ups and taking medicine), there are days I want to scream and cry, but overall, I focus on the good things in my life, which are plentiful, and thank God for the great doctors and friends that I have.
All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.