Today is my birthday. I am now, a 46 years old woman. I made it finally! I am an extremely happy person right now. To me it is a big deal. Two years ago when doctors told me I have stage 3B cancer, they did not looked very optimistic. I was not expecting “that” in my life. I had believed if a person look after herself/himself, there will be no need for doctor visits, one could have a happy life without depending on anybody.
Then I had to elaborate this idea, sometimes you do need some treatment, ( like an accident or some bad virus infection ) science would help you to recover, still if you still do your best to take care of yourself.
At the age of 44, my whole belief system shattered. I was wrong. Indeed, even you care about your health, you may still get sick, and science does not always have a cure.
What was I going to do? Be depressed? Prepare myself for painful death? Obey the doctors and believe them that I have very little time to live. Consequently consume a lot of painkiller, anti-depressants, sleeping pills, pass out my last days in the earth, and eventually die.
I looked at this option and I said, “no that is not me.” I will not let anybody take the joy out of me and create a miserable person.
First of all I am a happy person, I work on my happiness, I make sure I do not go to bed with anger, I will not keep negative thoughts in me. If I am angry, I say it out loud and get over with it. I will not carry a big “brown bag” wherever I go which holds anger, hatred, self pity, and jealousy. When I met these types of people. As soon as I discover their “brown bags”, I avoid them.
No negative vibes.
That is the new the rule.
Eight months ago when, I visited a doctor, who works at the university, I just wanted to ask ‘a second opinion’ about my cancer treatment.
I did not know her, in my mind she was an expert. She did not know me. She came to the exam room, shuffled lots of paper a few minutes. Then with a dry voice, said without chemo therapy you can only live 6 months according to statistics. Even you get chemo therapy you will die within 12 months. There is nothing we can do. She said this to my face like describing an address to you. ‘Turn right, yes the narrow dirt road will take you to graveyard.’
I was astonished her callousness and calmness . At the same time, I realized my dear husband nearly fell off the chair. He was hurt. I have never seen him that hopeless. I was so surprised that fact that I was dying very soon, and I was deeply saddened I unintentionally caused a great deal of pain of in his life.
I knew how much it hurt to lose someone you loved. I lost my first husband from a heart attack at the age of 46. It took years to get rid of the emptiness in my heart. Only another big (real) love would heal my deep scar.
For the first time in my life I did not know what to do. I simply said: “thank you” to doctor and we left from her office.
At home we hugged each other. I prepared my will, I notified my clients that I will not be helping their website for a while and suggested them to find some other designer.
I spend a couple of sleepless nights. I analyze my life during those days. Then I made the most difficult decision of my life at the end of the week.
I did not wanted to quit believing in science. I decided to fight back. So all I had to do was create a mental shift. Doctors were not in charge of my life.
I promised myself, I was not going to die before 46. My dear Steve did not look after himself at all, smoked like chimney, drank every day, had terrible eating habits and died young. On the other hand, I never smoked, did not drink alcohol, eat healthy all my life. Why should I die early?
Doctors are not scientist. Medicine is a practice, an art. They have big fat ego, and we feed these ego in them. For me it was time to take the power back. I decided to use my common sense and pay attention of my own health, regardless of what they say. No matter what, I was going to find happiness in my life. That was my goal.
I took chemo therapy and did not have any drastic side effect, even though they were so sure I would. They were wrong.
I walked and rode a bicycle every day, ate very nutritious food. Good thing I like cooking. I made sure I had fun, so I read a lot, watched many comedies. I kept my attitude positive above all and shared that with others: Nurses, clinic staff, my friends who live here and in rest of the world, and with my family online.
Anybody can find something to be grateful in the life. For me that is love and sharing that love.
We all face to mortality. We should take time to say thank you to people who love us.
I am happy because my mom taught me that love and determination can overcome every difficulties in the life.
I do not know how long I will be around ( no one does really ), so I will say thank you to my family; dad, sister, brother and my dear aunt, your support means a lot to me. My dear Rob, you are the best Buddhist I ever met ( I actually never met any other Buddhist but that is OK ). Without your help it would be much harder to walk in this path, thank you so much.
To my friends, I am so glad that I met you, and wish you to cherish our happy moments. You create the beauty in the life. Please do not forget to say thank you and I love you.