Definition – guest post

My girls...

I have spent quite of bit of time over the past few days adding sites to the Cancer Blogs Lists.  I have been able to locate some treasure-loads of links, many providing threads to yet more sites.  I will be featuring examples of these in the coming weeks and months as we focus more on the community aspect of cancer blogging.

Today I want to showcase Heather’s blog Just a Young Mama Fighting Cancer.  She is a former Special Education teacher, a job that I had immediately after college.  In her introduction she writes “the day my daughter turned 6 months old was the day I was diagnosed with Stage IV Melanoma. That day changed my whole life. After a year long round of chemo, I thought I would be able to live my life cancer free. Apparently, God has other plans. On February 12, 2010, I was told that my cancer is back. I am currently in the process of fighting cancer, living my life to the fullest, and being the best mommy and wife that I can possibly be.”

In this post she suggests very directly the redeeming side of cancer that many of us have experienced.
Sometimes I get so mad that cancer has changed me. It has not only changed me in the inside but also on the outside. It has changed how I feel, it has changed what I do, and it has changed how I think. It has also changed the way OTHER people look at me. But, I have decided that I am ok with that.

I don’t think people look at me and say, oh you poor dear, you have cancer. I think they look at me and say, seriously? You have cancer?

And I am ok with that. Because even though cancer has changed me. It has changed me for the better. Odd, I know, but I am ok with that too.

Because, you see, because of cancer, I am a better mom, sister, daughter, wife, and friend. I realize the importance of family and friendship now more than ever. I realize how important it is to be there for the ones you love and to make sure that they know how much they mean to you.

I also believe that cancer has made me stronger. Fairly certain that 2 and half years ago most of you would not have considered me to be brave, or strong, or a fighter, however, I have NO doubt in my mind that those are words that you would use to describe me now. Because I am. I AM brave, I AM strong, and I most certainly AM a fighter.

So, yes cancer does suck, MAJORLY, but because of it I have become a better person. I no longer take for granted those special (and some not so special!) moments with my adorable little babes. And I no longer care about stupid petty things. Things are in perspective. So, thank you cancer for giving me that.

Now, if you don’t I feel as if I must kick your ass… (I’m talking to cancer there, not you readers:)

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About Dennis Pyritz

Dennis W. Pyritz, RN, BA, BSN, has been a cancer nurse since 1987 and a cancer and bone marrow transplant survivor since 2004. In December 2001 he was diagnosed with t-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive form of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Dennis was treated with the then new monoclonal antibody, alemtuzumab (Campath) as this disease has a median survival of 7.5 months. He achieved a 26 month remission but relapsed in February 2004. He was retreated with Campath and went into a second remission. In August 2004 he underwent an allogeneic peripheral blood stem cell transplant with his brother, Mark, as donor. Dennis has remained in remission since - a near miracle. Throughout his career as cancer nurse and patient, Dennis has had the opportunity to speal to both lay and professional groups. Dennis has spoken on cancer topics and survival issues across the country as well as in the United Kingdom, Norway, Austria, Portugal, Honduras, Panama, Guatemala, Trinidad, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Cyrpus, Israel, and India.

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