Posted Wed. Feb. 9, 2016 by Cara T. – Mesothelioma Center
Change is Constant. Remember the Silver Lining of Living with Mesothelioma
Every single day, we meet people who are facing invisible battles.
Approximately, 39.6 percent of people in the world will be diagnosed with cancer. That’s an estimated 2.7 billion people who will, at some point, hear the words: “I’m sorry. It’s cancer.”
In that very moment, the world stops spinning.
Cancer is a word of horror in every language around the world. The very whispering of it is enough to leave a pit in your stomach. For many, hearing the word cancer brings up images of chemotherapy, surgery and baldness, but what many don’t realize is there is so much more to cancer than just the scary images that haunt our nightmares.
Every year, new medical advancements and awareness events scroll through the headlines reminding us there is hope. From promising clinical trials to medical breakthroughs, researchers and oncologists are working hand-in-hand to provide the best options in health care. Finally, survivors are living longer than ever before.
Nearly everyone knows someone with cancer. Whether it is your mother, father, co-worker or best friend, cancer leaves its mark in your life. For some, that means stepping up as a caregiver.
For others, that means a new daily routine filled with more doctor appointments. No matter what, a cancer diagnosis always means one thing: Change.
So how has your life changed?
Richard is a community role model, a man of faith, an eternal optimist and a mesothelioma survivor. After diagnosis, Richard was forced to retire early, but he says “it opened up other opportunities.” Now, Richard is part of the White County School Board where he can impact the lives of people in his community.
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Raeleen was only 37 years old when she was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma, but Raeleen was born a fighter. So when she was diagnosed, she wasn’t about to stop fighting. While in the midst of the toughest battle yet, Raeleen found time to plan her wedding to the love of her life. She remembers celebrating that “It was a day, not about cancer, but a day about love.” Even after losing a handful of organs and 13 feet of intestinal tract to fight the deadly asbestos-related cancer, she remains optimistic that she will not be giving up this fight.
Almost three years after her diagnosis, Patricia, a mesothelioma survivor, is still doing well and checking items off her bucket list. Her advice: “Take it one day at a time, moment by moment. We are not in this alone.” When Patricia was originally diagnosed, she had to quit her job as a teacher. Now she jokes: “I miss the children so much. But I don’t miss the paperwork.” After diagnosis, she immediately turned to her faith to help her remain strong and positive.
Every single day, survivors are beating the odds. Whether you are a cancer survivor, a domestic abuse survivor, a depression survivor or anyone else pushing past the boundaries of your condition, you are extraordinary. Today, and every day, we remember you for never giving up and always looking forward. Yes, a cancer diagnosis means your life will change, but it does not mean your life is over.
So the next time you hear the word cancer, don’t focus on the debilitating image of IVs and chemotherapy, but rather think of the good. Think of a survivor being told she’s in remission; think of a child getting his or her last chemotherapy treatment; think of an oncologist walking hand-in-hand with a survivor at a Relay for Life; and most importantly, think of hope.
Cara joined The Mesothelioma Center as Social Media Specialist in July 2015 to continue her mission of making a difference in world. Every day, Cara speaks with survivors, caregivers and their loved ones in the online mesothelioma community to answer questions and offer emotional support. If you have a story idea for Cara or you’d like to learn more about social media, please email her at email@example.com.