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Taking Nothing for Granted

I found out I had kidney cancer when I was 40. For over a year, I had experienced a number of symptoms, including fevers, high blood pressure, anxiety attacks, and heart palpitations. The doctors told me it was stress. I wanted to believe them, yet I knew I had cancer. All the blood and urine tests came back negative. Only a CAT scan revealed the true nature of my illness. Soon thereafter, my kidney was removed. I've been cancer-free since.
During the year before my diagnosis, I lived in fear that I would die before we could find out what was wrong with me. I was afraid my young children would grow up in a day care center without their mother, that my husband would have to do all the work by himself. I knew I was seriously ill, and felt frustrated that few people seemed to believe me. I complained all the time. People would tell me to calm down. The doctors gave me anti-depressants. Nothing worked. I fought with the insurance company to get other tests done. I felt powerless. When the correct diagnosis was finally made, I felt great relief. I knew something would now be done to cure me.
That was over 4 years ago. Since then, I noticed I appreciate the little things in life much more, like my son's graduation from elementary school, working at the summer camp where my kids play, horseback riding lessons with my children, and more. My relationship to my husband went to a new level. I now feel much closer to him.
I don't take a single day for granted now - I love being here every day. I love being here for every occasion. I believe it's important to listen to others. I respect myself, life, and the lives of others much more than before. We're all responsible for each other. I complain far less than I used to - although I'm still working on that one!
After I recovered, we moved to a new home. We felt the old house might have contributed to my condition and we wanted more room for my parents, in case the cancer returned. Our new home is next to a horse farm. My daughter started riding horses, then my son, and now I do too. I had always loved riding horses, but hadn't done it for many years.
Unlike some people, I cannot consider my cancer a "gift." I find it hard to be thankful for something that results in death for others. That would be arrogant, in my view. I'm one of the lucky ones.
Did cancer change my life for the better? Absolutely. To be more accurate, I changed my life because of the cancer; it didn't change me. My experience made me feel stronger, less afraid to stand up for what I believe in, to know myself better, and to be more assertive. I take much better care of myself now. I have learned a great deal about nutrition, homeopathy, yoga, and more, all to keep myself healthy.
Remember to appreciate the small things in life. They are precious. -FC

    Tags - Fly at a Smile-Price