In A Blink of an Eye Everything Changes


Today life as he knew it changed. Forever. Today my friend was diagnosed with cancer.

Only those who have been diagnosed before truly understand. The fear. The unknown. The out- of -body feeling. The second guessing. The lack of control. How did this happen? Why did this happen? If only I had…..No, it can’t be happening.

The “C” word has this power that takes over.

My heart breaks because I understand the feeling. The world is spinning.

I analyze things as a matter of fact. The cancer has been removed. It was small and it was caught early. As news goes, this is good news. But that is my perspective after two bouts with cancer and much experience in this area.

For my friend, however, I understand the facts get lost amidst the emotional mayhem. The “C” word usurps any rational thoughts.

Cancer plays mind games. The goal is to not let it take over the mind. “Take it all one step at a time,” I advise. “Don’t jump to conclusions. And whatever you do, don’t get on the internet!”

We all remember where we were, how we were told. Just like people remember where they were on Sept 11 when the airplanes soared through the World Trade Center.

People will react in different ways to the news. Some of those we expect to give support may not. Not because they don’t care but because they are scared and don’t know how. Others will be there in ways we could never have imagined. Ironically, we console our friends and families and let them know we will be alright.

Life seems more precious all of a sudden. Those small irritating things don’t seem so important any more. Life and death suddenly becomes real. We are stopped in our tracks.

The good news is that there are survivors who can tell their stories, share their experience and most importantly instill hope. Hope that we can regain power. Take control of the things we can control. Endure what is to come and come out on the other side.

My friend, you have now become part of the club. A club no one wants to join but one you are in for life and one that will inspire you, give you hope and hold your hand.





About Shari

I am a two-time cancer survivor and patient advocate. Diagnosed as a young adult, at age 25 with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, I had to quickly face the reality of life’s curveballs. My treatment offered a potential cure while at the same time, underestimated the long term side effects including a secondary cancer (breast cancer) nine years later. Shortly after my breast cancer treatment ended, my youthful, seemingly healthy mother was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and passed a year later. I have lived the cancer experience as a patient and a family member/ caregiver and understand both sides. Life after treatment is often challenging emotionally and physically and there is a gap in providing needed support. I don’t consider cancer a gift as it is not something I would ever want to give to someone. Rather, I view cancer as an opportunity; one I received at an early point in my life to live intentionally, understanding how things can change at any moment. I live without regrets, fully understanding the gift and fragility of life.
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1 Response to In A Blink of an Eye Everything Changes

  1. Pingback: Life is Hard, But We Keep Moving | The Ministry of Happiness

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