Monday is usually a blah day. I think most everyone can agree with this. The weekend is over and there are 5 days to get through before the next weekend. I’m usually feeling extra tired because I try to have as much fun as I can over the weekends ;) However, this particular Monday was NOT so blah. It was a Monday that showed me how lucky I am today, how lucky I am to be cancer free, how inspired I am to make a difference with Zero Negative, and how fortunate I am to have had such an amazing family and team of friends on my side of the fight.
I received an email from a customer that had ordered a bunch of stuff from the Zero Negative website for his daughter, who was going through breast cancer. Coincidentally, she has the same type of cancer as me, triple negative breast cancer. Anyway, it struck me that by being a cancer survivor, I am now a member of a certain community, or tribe. It's a very supportive community, where everyone treats you with respect, everyone calls you a warrior, and everyone has you in their thoughts and prayers. In the past, that might not have meant much to me, but today, it means a lot. We are all human beings, we are all living on this earth, and at the same time, we are all vulnerable to this cancer thing. And once you’ve been there, you know how hard it is to BE there, and how desperate you want get to the ‘cancer-free’ side.
Now, as a cancer survivor, so many things remind me of when I had cancer and how grateful I am to NOT have it anymore. And with that, I’m inspired, or called on, to help other people going through cancer. Not that I know anything more than I did before cancer, but I DO know what I went through and HOW I went through what I went through. So, when I heard from Mark, the father of Jessica who has triple negative breast cancer, I wanted to help in any way I could. I heard that Jessica’s tumor wasn’t shrinking from the chemo she was on; that she was doing 16 rounds of chemo where I did only 6 rounds. I heard that she’s doing surgery after chemo and removing and reconstructing one breast. I could sense the concern from her dad, who had said the tumor wasn’t shrinking.
I know I can’t really help, but WANT to help! I want to tell Mark what I did, and what worked for me. I want to pray for Jessica because being so far away from someone you don't even know, praying is about the only thing you CAN do. I want to send her a Love Tote from Zero Negative. I want to watch out for her and make sure she’s going to be ok. This is what I feel when someone reaches out to me, and it makes me remember when I was on her side, going through chemo, talking to so many people who were survivors. It helped me to hear their stories, hearing how they felt, what THEY did, and how healthy they are now. It made me feel confident that I could do the same.
Believing in yourself and in your journey is such a big part of beating cancer - I think at least :) So, if I could help someone get to the other side of cancer, that would definitely fulfill me. It really would. It would also make my cancer serve a higher purpose, and as the creator of Zero Negative, I’m always looking to make my cancer mean something positive.
So anyway, this Monday, this ‘not so boring’ Monday, I would like to send a huge prayer out to Jessica and her family. May her tumor start shrinking right away, and may she have a successful surgery to remove all of the lingering cancer as they reconstruct her breast. May Jessica live a healthy and cancer-free life after the surgery and radiation, and may she help others who will be going through what we went through. I wish this for Jessica, and I hope on this Monday night, with my small, humble voice, that the universe hears my prayers and Jessica is on the road to health. I am on her team, even though she probably will never get to know me and I will never get to know her. But that is what cancer does. It connects us. It makes us feel understood. It makes us feel like we are a part of something. And we are. We are a part of humanity, AND we are cancer survivors.