My friend Claudia recently underwent her regular six month post-cancer testing. Some of her numbers came back a slight bit elevated which was enough of a concern to warrant additional tests. The results of the subsequent tests still indicated elevated numbers, so she was scheduled for a PET scan—a more accurate and definitive means of knowing what is truly going on.
Almost anyone who knows Claudia falls deeply in love. She is a vortex of positive energy and enthusiasm. She also owns a velvet covered steel boot and is willing to kick me in the butt if I start sputtering about my college work, which I deeply appreciate. But I digress.
Many people throw themselves into a depressive hole when medical experts dabble with their wellbeing. Not Claudia. She throws herself into research. While faith and inner-knowing are important, she needs science, data, and studies. She’s an active participant in her health, and she fights for answers. Claudia surrounds herself with loved ones and friends who focus on affirmative outcomes and not fear-based assumptions. She meditates, eats a healthy diet, runs for joy and exercise, and is filled with gratitude. It is a powerful combination.
The results of Claudia’s PET scan were to be delivered on the same morning that she and I had scheduled an “It’s summer, let’s have fun” lunch. Both of us were nervous about how we would respond should the results mean more fighting for understanding, more research, more questions. It’s hard not to want to hold her and protect her from any more uncertainty, but Claudia resists any fussing or hovering.
Shortly before I was to leave to meet her, she sent out a simple email and I almost cried.
I now put those two words right up there with “Jesus wept,” and “I do.” Having a healthy, beautiful, and strong Claudia in my life is the best part of my day.
(See Claudia’s interview and words of wisdom on my home page under the Menopause, what are they saying now? icon. Then go to In-10-tions. If you have questions about cancer please feel free to contact her. She’s an incredible resource.)
I’m so honored to be in your blog, Gail. I adore the way you describe me but know that you seeing through a filter of love, but it nurtures me.
I believe passionately in the ebb and flow of life. I believe that we all have “troubles” and joys. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I never asked, “Why me?” because I believed it my turn for troubles. I grew up in a loving home with parents who cared for and about me. I met and married the love of my life and am blessed, challenged, and enriched by the two sons we are so fortunate to have. So, when the doctor said, “Oh, look, there’s cancer” my thought truly was that it was my turn.
My journey through cancer was challenging, painful, frightening, filled with miracles, chock full of more love than I ever knew existed, and joy unlike any I had ever known. Am I recommending a journey through cancer? NO!! I’m also very sure that I have grown in ways I never would have without cancer. I’m very sure that, as much as my life has always been filled with love, it’s even more full (if that’s even possible). Cancer gave me a sharper lens and a clearer focus on what needs and requires my love and attention and what doesn’t. It’s a great shedding process.
I’m so grateful for the totality of my life and of having the same future as everyone else has . . . . tomorrow.