"As we advance in life it becomes more and more difficult, but in fighting the difficulties the inmost strength of the heart is developed." (Vincent Van Gogh)
Do you know what I enjoy the most in life?
Sipping a cold tall glass of lemonade during a hot summer day, with small droplets of water on the outside of the glass formed by the sweet tangy coolness of its contents. Each sip brings a new freshness to my senses. I try not to drink it too fast, but I find myself eagerly gulping down the sweet nectar, and once the glass is empty the pleasurable experience is over. I'm left wanting more.
Life after cancer is definitely not like drinking a tall glass of lemonade.
There is no longer the 'old normal.' As a cancer patient, I find myself facing upcoming permanent life changes not only in my physical health, but also in my relationships and especially in my spiritual standing before Him.
For cancer survivors, adopting and maintaining a new healthy physical way of living is key to a long-term quality of life. As a cancer patient who experienced the removal of 33 lymph nodes and a wide margin of flesh, I face the risk of Lymphedema, and there's is no cure for it. Therefore, I need to be cognizance of the symptoms of Lymphedema for the remainder of my life, moreover, to be diligent to maintain a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise.
Relationships - family, friends and work colleagues - have always been important to me. Throughout most of my life, I have benefited in my emotional, relational and spiritual development from past and current healthy and strong relationships. My life, and who I am as a person, is particularly anchored back to my relationships, especially in my relationship with Jesus the Christ.
As most of you know, I am a Christian. And I am grateful and fortunate to be blessed by His grace and mercy by healing me through the hands of the medical staff, the support of family and friends, and most important, through the prayers of the saints. In the beginning of this trial, the doctors told me that I was on the fence - they either could treat my type of cancer and hope for a positive prognosis or begin palliative care. It was that bad.
However, through the grace of God, I am able to write this today.
So, when I start to feel sorry for myself because of the forthcoming changes in my life, I need to remember to make lemonade from the lemons and enjoy the new taste.