I am exceedingly grateful to report that my cancer scans have been read, and I have been declared cancer free! With the memories of chemotherapy and radiation never far away, my heart sings every time I hear the "all clear" from my doctors. It doesn't matter how many years I've been cancer-free, I will always be haunted by the fears of a recurrence.
don't talk much about my cancer experience primarily because it is a
part of my life I wish to forget. Waiting for my test results, coupled
with some distressing news about a friend, the dreaded "c" word has been
making an ominous presence in our home. As I am celebrating being
cancer free, my friend is currently losing her
battle with the same cancer that I fought.
When Vashni was
diagnosed she reached out to me and I relayed my story. I told her in
blunt terms what to expect during chemotherapy and radiation. We talked
about the side effects and even joked as many of my predictions came to
fruition. We were so similar that I expected her disease to respond as
mine did to the treatment. About three months after her diagnosis, it
became clear that she was battling a completely different beast.
cancer did not spread; Vashni's spread to her liver. During the past
year she endured grueling chemotherapy, painful procedures and
debilitating clinical trials in an attempt to beat those horrendous
cells. Yesterday I learned that hospice has been called and that her
parents have taken up residence in her home to be with their daughter
and her husband during this time.
The news of hospice
involvement shook me to my core. I sat in my prosthetist's office and
began to cry. My heart breaks for Vashni, her family and everybody who
loves her. When she learned of her diagnosis, I promised her that she
would be okay. She was understandably scared, but I knew in my heart
that she would beat the same disease that I beat. Now she is dying. It
wasn't supposed to be this way!
Knowing that my friend is losing
her battle with cancer, I feel oddly guilty about rejoicing in my being
declared healthy. Her struggles have reminded me that cancer does not
discriminate, and that good health can never be assumed. I owe it to
everybody who has lost the battle with cancer to remain vigilant about
In honor of Vashni and to celebrate my cancer-free
status, I have decided to participate in the National Race to End Women's Cancers next month. I can't think of a better way to honor this moment than to try to raise money to eradicate this horrible
disease. I will be walking/ jogging with pride, knowing that I have
beaten cancer and that I am representing Vashni, somebody with an
extraordinary strength and loving character.