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Why I Take Nothing for Granted After My Cancer Diagnosis

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Now that it has been a little over a month since my cancer surgery, I have had time to reflect on the entire experience. From the time I found out I had skin cancer in January, until right now, I haven’t cried. I think it’s because I was trying to convince everyone else I was going to be fine.

One of the hardest things I had to do was to continue to tell my son, Dominic, I would be OK even though I really didn’t know.

It was difficult for my daughter, Lauren, because she was away at college and couldn’t come home.

My husband was so strong through all of this. He was never negative. He kept everything positive the entire time.

I relied on my faith during this time. I told three priests about my cancer and one of them anointed me with oil. The feeling of calmness after he did that was incredibly powerful. When things are out control, sometimes the only thing I can do is pray.

The amount of support I received from my family and friends was tremendous. I had so many people reach out to me, both publicly and privately, and I feel blessed to have such a huge support system. I told a lot of people about my diagnosis, not because I wanted to be the center of attention, but because I want people to know when getting a full body exam, to look for suspicious moles, then everything I went through feels worth it. Malignant Melanoma is a very serious and deadly cancer.

I have had people tell me I am “lucky.” I do feel very thankful. I am thankful the cancer was caught early. I am thankful it hadn’t spread. I was extremely thankful I only had to drive one hour to receive treatment. I had reconciled in my own head that if I was going to die, I was ready to go. Thank goodness it wasn’t my “time.”

About a year and half ago, my dad had a massive stroke. He and I have had lots of discussions about what he went through and what I just went through, and how it was similar. He came up with one word that describes what are lives are now. That word is gift. We have been given the gift of extra time. That is something no one should ever take for granted.

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Thinkstock image by ookawaphoto

Originally published: May 15, 2017
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