The gift of love and connection
The greatest confirmation of wealth in our lives is to love and be loved. No matter what our circumstances, love is the most valuable gift you can ever hope to give or receive. Through a totally unexpected twist of fate, a wonderful friend introduced me to CaringBridge, an emotional lifeline that connects me to a heartfelt community of personal cheerleaders and creates a two-way flow of love.
I hope to be a “wonderful friend” to you and others by sharing my story.
My future, suddenly untracked
In November 2010, I was in nursing school, aspiring to care for oncology patients in a medical/surgical hospital setting. Before that, I’d been a hospice volunteer and a CNA (nurse’s aide) in a nursing home. My long-term goal was to return to my first love—caring for those in hospice. Graduation was around the corner, my grades were at the top of my class, and I was set to go onto the registered nurse program. My future was bright.
But the day after Thanksgiving, my doctor told me that my CT scan revealed a mass entangled amongst major blood vessels. I wasn’t sure I was hearing words correctly. My world slowed to a crawl, my knees turned to jelly, and I found myself walking around in a kind of dream. But reality kept coming at me — and hard. The biopsy confirmed that I HAD CANCER!
From caregiver to patient
On December 9, 2010, I was diagnosed with Stage III/IV Pancreatic Cancer. Even more bad news; it was not curable, and pancreatic cancer’s dismal prognosis loomed in front of me. I was looking at lifetime chemo treatments to stay alive. I thought, “I’m not ready! I have plans! I am just too darned young! How do I cope?”
In one life-changing instant, I’d gone from caregiver to patient. But from that moment forward, I was determined to have a positive influence on my physical, spiritual, mental and emotional healing.
The power of my patient journal
Then I started a CaringBridge site, which quickly became the key to my emotional support system. My pancreatic cancer journal is a safe haven where I can share my innermost thoughts. And to my amazement and delight, awesome people respond, sending their love and encouragement back through the guestbook. I don’t even know some of them!
It’s new for me, but I’m learning to intentionally participate in my life’s purpose and viewing my cancer as an opportunity for personal growth. It allows me to experience a heightened sense of life and ultimately, hold dear what is important.
CaringBridge can inspire and help anyone
You, too, have your own powerful, personal story. You are special—whether you are a patient, caregiver or well wisher—and you can discover first-hand the value of channeling love through CaringBridge, with your own free website. Simply because inspiring and supporting the needs of others can create true joy.