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Hi all, I had a message from one of our Cancer stories members yesterday asking to hear more about mark, than from Mark. So Leanne storey here it is just for you.
It’s hard to think back and remember how things felt at certain times in this battle, what I do know is that my brain tends to shut out how it really felt. It’s a self preservation part of me, a part of me we all have to protect us.
Before cancer arrives, you are just a normal person that thinks cancer is something that happens to others, not me. I did not know what chemo was, I just knew it was how cancer was treated. I had no picture in my mind as to what it looks like. I had no idea what side effects it had, how sick it made you feel, how emotionally it floors you.
This is how I see cancer, when you hear you have it you have 2 choices. It’s like you have arrived at the sea front and the only options are to turn left or right. One way is rocky and up hill and difficult, the other is down hill towards a black hole called Death. Which ever way you go it seems a negative way. I chose the rocky uphill road, because I believed I was more than I had become. That cancer did not belong in my life or body. I did not care what this journey would throw at me, I was determined to win. I was determined to cross the finish line. As I travelled I realised there were more people than I had realised on the journey, my thoughts were to help them no matter what. My odds were not great at getting into remission which made me want to help more people in case my efforts were futile.
As I walked along the road, I saw faces more regularly. My wife all the time, she was and is dependable. She always looked me in the eye with belief, encouraging me. Crying with me, laughing with me, and grieving with me. My parents and my brother were of great strength to us. My sister in law was a great support to Andrea keeping her awake after hospital visits. Bev and Josh did lots of fund raising. The further we walked the more people there were near us. Like a Tour de France uphill stage, the further we went the more people arrived to encourage us forwards. Spurring us on, sometimes looking back at the road with the black hole in it. Wondering if I had gone the wrong way. The road began to break up tumbling down the mountain, the road became a cliff face. A steep cliff which was impossible to climb, but still people remained holding out their hands, they cheered believing we would reach the summit.
I was getting cut on the rocks, hurt by procedures at times believing cancer would be beaten almost left me. I would feel overwhelming feelings that this could NOT be beaten.
You see before I was diagnosed with relapsed Hodgkins Lymphoma I started the group Cancer stories on face book. It’s now renamed as cancer stories (a support group) this group grew with other fighters, other people that were a source of strength, giving strength to all that were in that group.
Although the feeling on this road were overwhelming the people, Gods people. Were there for me, there for us. People we did not know became friends, and still are friends. Some days were impossible, even minutes became impossible. So I blogged and I blogged and never gave up, taking people on the journey with us, we found that the weight of the people with us was not a hinderance. The strength from them eased the load instead of weighing us down. The people that were to matter for the rest of our lives showed themselves. People you thought were going to be there for the rest of my life recoiled, showing they did not have the right to be in our future. Learning to forgive those that made those choices learning to pray in a new way. Forgiving people for their limited knowledge and putting in the bin some words people say. But holding so close some of the amazing things people have said to us, holding on to everything that was positive in our eyes.
When the trudge was halted by a small shed 15 ft x 12ft a place I was to have a transplant. On looking inside the small shed we saw many jagged rocks, there was nowhere comfortable to sit, there were no comfy seats, no positive words on the walls. As we looked closer though there were allot of people looking through the window. More people than I could count, we were amazed at who was there looking through. They held up signs one said ” in order to see a rainbow, you need to see a little rain” there was no way out of this shed. It was a one way ticket until further notice. A period again of unknown which required faith, love and encouragement. …….. Part 2 tomorrow.
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Everything you read are based on my own experience and my own opinions. I express them here to encourage you. Please share with others, if it meant something to you it will to someone else.