As I embarked in my long, strenuous battle with cancer, I frequently experienced life or death decisions. From the onset, this was the consensus. Each of the proposed treatment options offered to me could have resulted in a life or death sentence. I can’t express how devastated I felt at the time. Granted, I was young and the world was my oyster, and now all I saw was death knocking at my door. Internally, I was shouting at the top of my lungs, WHY ME? WHAT DID I DO TO DESERVE THIS? On the outside, I displayed a cold and stern poker face.
Numerous choices given and difficult decisions to make. My decisions were crucial which made me feel overwhelmed and consumed with grief. I just wanted to run away and pretend this wasn’t happening to me like it was just a dream. My inner thoughts kept me awake at night, repeatedly asking myself, how could this be happening to me? I was supposed to be enjoying my youth and decide my personal goals in life, and instead I was having to make decisions that would determine if I would live or die. Every day felt like a double edge sword. On one hand, I was happy to be alive on the other I felt like I was dying.
I had always heard the classic clichés, “Life is like a roller coaster”, “Don’t know what you got till it’s gone” but I never knew what they actually meant until now. My life did feel like a roller coaster going up and down with twists and turns afraid for my life wanting to throw up at any minute. Up to this point in my life, I thought I was invincible, bulletproof and there wasn’t anything that could harm me. Actually, I saw a slogan once that I liked and decided to live by it, “You sleep when you die”. To be candid, there had been countless times where I had been reckless with my life and taken huge risks without thinking of the consequences. You know typical early 20’s reckless behavior.
The miracle of life is an invaluable gift bestowed upon us when we are born. We should cherish every moment because life is extremely precious. Although cancer was a dreadful disease, it was also a gift from God for me. I learned to value the gift of life, my life. Each day could very well be my last day on this beautiful earth so I tried to make the most of each day regardless of how awful I felt. Unfortunately, I had not fully appreciated my life when I was full of life and in good health. Now, I had truly awoken and started living life. Enjoying the small things in life, enjoying time with family and friends, and learning to love myself. My life had forever changed for the better and I knew I would continue to fight and pray for life. My life was at a crossroad and I chose faith and hope. For me, having hope eased my inner pain and took away my fear. I learned how to pray and began a relationship with God. I discovered that no matter how difficult things are in the natural, God has the last word.