Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Living Strong through LIVESTRONG

"Funny what a difference a year makes". That was my husband's comment the other day to a friend who asked him about my health. I think we both found irony in the understatement.

A year ago I was in the throes of chemo for breast cancer. And today I attended a LIVESTRONG foundation conference which in collaboration with the YMCA of America is looking to bring cancer support programs to communities. Eau Claire, WI is on board.

I was excited and felt quite prepared to both discuss what it feels like to be a cancer patient and to develop a program that would assist cancer patients both physically and mentally reach their health care goals, a passion of mine. In addition, I appreciated the need to transition a person going through treatment back into everyday life. One of the crazy phenomenon of being a patient is that you spend a very good deal of your time (often several days a week) in a medical setting receiving all kinds of care. And then one day they say, "OK, you are done". No complaints at the time, however; there is that lost feeling of "now what. " The treatments stop but the confusion lingers. In addition, you are left with your own realization that the fear will never go away as well as a lovely stack of medical bills on your desk to boot.

And yet, prepared as I was, it only took a few minutes of viewing Lance Armstrong's video The Manifesto for the hollow feeling in my heart to come back. I thought I had worked through these emotions crying buckets of tears with my family and friends. And yet it honestly felt almost as raw as that first week of diagnosis.

My only guess is that living through that year and respectively coming full circle it occur ed to me that I may have found the one answer that I had been chasing since day one, "why me?" I believe we receive messages from God, once we find the capacity to listen. I'm hoping I'm right and that now its my turn through LIVESTRONG, through yoga, and through everyday life, to bring compassion to cancer survivors. Then this will make some sense to me.

Live Strong, Live Strong Eau Claire.

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