When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, it came as a shock. Every time I had a biopsy before, it came back negative. However, right at Christmas of 2021, the news of cancer crept into our home, casting a shadow over our celebrations. The festive season, usually filled with joy and laughter, became a time of uncertainty and fear.

But I am a fighter. I completed the treatments, had the surgery, and now, I am proud to say, I am cancer-free. The journey didn’t end there, though. Preventative treatments are now part of my life to ensure the cancer doesn't return. The medication I take will end after five years. I see my oncologist every six months and now undergo bone infusion treatments because of the damage the medication is causing to my bones.

The road hasn't been easy. My other health issues over the years and the medications I've taken to treat them have only added to the challenge. This past week, I went for my usual infusion in the oncology department. They were really busy and running behind schedule, so I was placed in the chemotherapy room. The beeping of the machines and watching the people around me stirred up a whirlwind of emotions. The recent deaths of people close to us weighed heavily on my heart, making the experience even more overwhelming.

My infusion doesn't take long, and I was able to leave after the nurse finished. But the lingering thoughts stayed with me too long. I have spent a lifetime taking care of others, and I couldn't stop thinking about all the people who still need care. We have so much we need to do to help improve our world, and today, I felt tired.

I'm not as consistent as I should be with my social media, and I need to do better. There is so much I want to do, need to do, and will do as I work through all of my challenges. Even on the toughest days, I remind myself that this journey is not just about fighting cancer or other illnesses; it's about living a life of purpose, hope, and resilience.

Every day is a gift, a chance to make a difference. My battle with cancer has taught me the value of each moment and the importance of caring for oneself while continuing to care for others. I may be tired today, but I am determined. I will keep pushing forward, sharing my story, and working to make a positive impact. Together, we can improve our world, one step at a time.

Through this journey, I've learned that strength is not just about physical endurance but about the spirit that refuses to give up. I am here, alive and grateful, ready to embrace each day with renewed vigor. The challenges I face will not deter me; they will inspire me to be better, do better, and live better. My story is one of survival, hope, and unwavering determination. And I will continue to fight, not just for myself, but for everyone who needs a reminder that there is always hope, even in the darkest of times.

There are days, when people need a friendly face and a warm smile. Be the person who says hello to others, strikes up a conversation with strangers and calls up an old friend to say hello. It is hard for some to get out in the day, but a conversation is a great way to lift them up with what you say. It only takes a few minutes to check in. Make a list today and for the next 30 days, check on a different person each day. See how it helps them, but most importantly-see how it makes you feel.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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