Awesome Huffington Post article on spiritual living, written by Ed Bacon. It reflects my points of view and just makes me feel good.
If you don’t want to click through, here are my favorite two lines:
My experience is that real love, authentic love, is not about just loving ourselves alone, as we so often hear, or saving our love for only those who are like us or think like we do. When we are motivated by love, when we become aware that it is the core of our lives, it then expands to other people and we cannot stop ourselves from loving everyone.
I came across your blog while looking for some information on colon cancer. First of all, I wish you all the best in your recovery journey and pray for a happy and healthy life for you.
Secondly, I am a bit worried about what Google search results are saying about my symptoms (extreme levels of fatigue, tarry stools and anal pain). Although I haven’t yet seen a doctor or explored my options, I thought I’d first make a thorough web search.
Could you please share something about the symptoms which you may have experienced earlier, if that’s alright with you? Where the above 3 symptoms experienced by you?
All the best!
I’m new to using this blog, so, if it isn’t too much trouble, do let me know if you see this reply!
First, know that colon cancer is completely curable if caught early. So that is a good reason to act.
Second, I know plenty of people who were diagnosed with advanced stage (stage 4) cancer and given short times to live, and were completely cured. Not just stories that live in the ether, but real live human beings who were either friends of mine or close relatives of friends.
That said, it is scary as sh*t. (Little colon cancer humor – poor taste?) I know that I put off being tested. I just didn’t want to know.
Here is the other thing – whatever you are doing is COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY RIGHT FOR YOU IN THIS MOMENT.
For me, here were the symptoms that finally made me agree to be tested:
1. Extreme fatigue. Not tired as in “wow, what a long hard day” but just unexplained fatigue that hit hard and often.
2. Hair loss. I learned later that this was from being anemic, due to the tumor bleeding. But I was losing ALOT of hair. Everytime I touched it, I would get lots of it on my hand.
3. Shortness of breath. I couldn’t climb the stairs or walk a block without stopping to rest.
Even with all this, the thing that sent me in for tests was chest pain. I was having trouble catching my breath while sitting at the table cutting food for my son’s dinner. And even then, I put off going to the hospital another day. My son was in a school play and I wanted to see it.
Would I do anything differently? I’m not sure. I truly believe that we walk our path for a reason. But if I were talking to my child, I think I would say, “Prioritize yourself. Take care of yourself. Get checked. Know that you can deal with anything.”
And to you, I want to say, let me know what you do. And I promise to hold your hand through this. WHATEVER it is, from nothing to something, you are in the hardest part. The guessing, the not knowing. We never really know what will happen, but sometimes, it is too much in our face.
Finally (sorry if I’ve rambled too long!), I googled and read on the web as well (and sometimes still do) and learned that so much of what is there doesn’t apply to me. I do not fit the checklist of folks who would be at risk for colorectal cancer. And I do not fit their statistics, either.
So I expect that what you are reading does not apply to you. Know that in your heart.
Please let me know what you do. And if you are in the Boston area, let me know if you need a hold to hold.
Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to my query with such detail. I am deeply touched.
I did read it the same day you replied, every word of it. I just didn’t have the courage to write back. I still haven’t made an appointment with my gastroenterologist. I did share my concerns with my sister, but she dismissed my doubts and instead just encouraged me to see the doctor. I know how I am feeling and it’s so scary 99% of the symptoms are matching with the exception of age. I am 26 years old woman from the Middle East.
Your kind words have been quite supportive and I’ll come back and read them all over again. As I am writing them, I am struggling to catch up with my breathing, my fatigue has gone beyond description and it hurts when people say that I am just being lazy.
Nevertheless, nothing has been confirmed yet nor did I seek professional help. So, I guess I’ll just have to remain optimistic (although that’s not as easy as it sounds).
I want you to know that you are on my mind and in my prayers. I wish you good health and a happy life ahead. Salaam.
I am waiting for my chemo infusion and planned to write back to you during this time. But I am having trouble getting an Internet connection on my computer here! So will write more fully as soon as I can get a connection. (Hard to type on my phone.)
In the meantime, I want to encourage you just to make the doctor appointment. It doesn’t commit you to anything. It doesn’t even commit you to going. It will just be one step, though I know it feels like a big one. But do see if you can just call and get on the doctor’s schedule. Just that one step. It doesn’t commit you to anything more.
Once you have made that appointment, start to think about the person you want to have with you there. For me, I need someone who could listen carefully (because I never take it ALL in and need to ask someone, “Did he say….?”). I also need someone who can make me laugh. And, sometimes I bring someone who actually knows something about that area of the body and can understand the words, know what questions to ask, etc. But this is the lowest priority for me, as the doctors will explain whatever you need to know. And then, you have someone to chat with afterwards, either about the appointment, the weather, or any other topic in the world.
As you navigate this, I will pray both for your health and your peace of mind, and that you know that the strength of God resides within you.
I can write more later. Feel free to write back anytime. I can COMPLETELY relate to the place where you are emotionally right now.
By calling the doctor, you are doing all you can in this moment. And then go do something that you enjoy, that feeds your soul, or that is of service to another.
Let me know how you do.
Sending you love and my very best. Salaam