Dying Defiantly

Bile Duct Cancer and other terminal diseases take so much from us.  In July of 2021, I was 265 pounds and in what I thought was great shape. Thirty days later I had lost 38 pounds and not by choice.  The disease and the treatments surrounding our journey all take a toll, both physically and mentally.  It is your choice though on how you’re going to let those changes affect you.  Obviously, it takes you accepting that no matter how the journey goes, you will be forever changed through it all, as well as those around you.  I had come to realize that I was never going to be that 265-pound beast that I thought I was ever again, that there was going to be continued weight, strength, and muscular losses.

I try my best every day to keep my body moving forward through all the infusions, doctor appointments, medical scans, and communicating to as many others facing similar circumstances as I can!  I hear “you don’t even look sick” all the time from people who didn’t know me prior to my diagnosis and as my team of doctors constantly tell me, “You’re as healthy as you can be in your situation.”  That “situation” for me is currently being over a year past what every doctor predicted would be my “expiration date.”  I deal with a pain that I can only describe as someone shoving a sharp knife into my liver and twisting it around.  If I took what the doctors have prescribed to me to cope with it, I would be a walking zombie.  I have times when there is fluid buildup in my abdomen, making me look fat, but it’s actually my body putting a layer of fluid around my liver to protect it.  I have side effects from my immuno-therapy including loose stool, upset stomachs, leg weakness and more! The alternative to not doing that therapy would probably mean a much quicker demise, so I learn to deal with the new normal.  No one ever said this journey would be easy.  It’s not fun or exciting, but it IS the toughest challenge you will ever face in your life, because your life, or what’s left of it, depends on just how hard you fight!

Cancer has been a blessing to me.  It has stripped from me everything that society puts on all of us.  I once believed that it mattered how I looked, what clothes I wore, what watch I had on, and the car I drove.  I was a bit egotistical and materialistic because that’s what I let my success in life create.  I was a good person, just misguided in my direction because of what I thought society wanted to see from me.  All that is gone!  What my cancer left behind is the core values, the clay that had been molded by life in a heap!  It has allowed me to remold myself into an image that God would be proud of.  I have gone back and apologized to others I felt I may have wronged in my life.  I started this charity with only one mission, and that was to help as many people as I could as I walk this journey to eternity!  Every day cancer reminds me to be a better person, to be a blessing to others!

If you’re thinking that cancer or your terminal illness has ruined your life, then you’re not living, you’re just existing.  Stop letting negative thoughts rule your days! Use it as an opportunity to teach those closest to you the biggest lesson they will ever learn: That they too can face the toughest things in their lives with a smile, strength, and grace!  Don’t let the final memories of yourself be negative.  Make the choice daily no matter how bad you feel, to smile, laugh, and share the blessing of your love with those around you!


One Response

  1. This is a message to all who are broken by some affliction that seams insurmountable. With a joyful heart and love to give. Do just that give love and joy to all who criss your path. Live, love smile and laugh through it all and your days will never disappoint you. Thank you for your military service and now your continued service to all of us.

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