There are times in our lives that change everything that we
are, or what we believe, how we act or react to our lives and every thing and
every one we know. Years before I
found that I had a hidden gift for gab and could put words to paper in a way
that touches people, I had that kind of life changing event.
I write this to give hope and strength to all who come
behind me that have the same battle to fight.
If you get nothing else from this article, remember, no matter what the
adversity in your life... there is always hope. It is one of the greatest gifts God has given us and
surprisingly one of the most prevalent.
As 2011 grows
to a close, I am moved to say with great strength and
dignity... I am a 37 year cancer survivor.
I have defeated the enemy for over half of my life.
That in itself is a miracle to me. With
all of the things I have had challenge me in my life, cancer was the only one that
could truly have been life ending.
It was the early 1970's.
Back in those days, Cancer was the "Big C", and it was a death
sentence. Everyone knew that.
I was just as young and indestructible as any other twenty plus year old.
I thought I was impervious to all things and that nothing could touch me.
Funny how that feeling changes as you grow older.
Is it that we gain wisdom or fear as we pass through life?
I prefer to think we gain wisdom.
So I guess with all of the years I have added to my life since then, I
must be really smart!! Oh yeah
All of my life people have said to me, "You are so
strong!" You know the type...
you probably have someone in your life that you would describe that way.
Let me tell you that the "strong" ones have just as much fear
and just as much pain and just as much indecision as everyone else.
So give that strong one a big hug from me.
We all need hugs more than anything.
had just come back to Colorado from 4 years in Italy. Imagine an art major
getting to study in Florence, Italy! Heaven for sure. Then the
summers I spent on the Italian Riviera in a big pink marble villa with my
family. We were not rich, just military and civil service. Blessed,
I call it. Coming back to reality after graduating and having to find a
job and make a life on my own was a definite culture shock. I came home
alone, no medical insurance, no job, no friends, ready to conquer the
world. I was so naive and indestructible. Ah... being 20
something. You know how it was.
went in for a routine checkup and pap smear. It was a little unusual, but
nothing serious, but my doc was vigilant, so he checked it again... no
biggy, I though. He got the test results back and that afternoon I was in
the hospital having a D & C and cone biopsy. Again, vigilant
doctor. They sewed me up and sent me home to await the pathology
tests. I handled it... I was strong. Then I broke one of the
stitches on a small artery. Remember... no insurance, no help, so I shoved
a towel between my legs to catch all of the bleeding, got in my car, and drove
to my doctor's office. Strong... but really, really dumb! My choices
were to sew it back up in his office with no anesthesia or to go back into
the hospital No insurance... you know what I chose. So many tears
and screams later they sent me home in a taxi.
sad, I was allergic to the astringent packing they used to help with the
swelling and bleeding.... a ride to the hospital where they filled me up with
morphine... funny, I was allergic to morphine, too. So I got my several
days in the hospital. Really strong, until the bills came in.
My doctor thought that I was so strong, that he told me on
the telephone that he had checked the tests twice, and that it was true.
Malignant carcinoma of the cervix. Can
you imagine, I am 24 years old, sitting in my apartment, my family 8000 miles
away in Italy, so incredibly alone in that moment, I did what most people in
that situation would do. I calmly
hung up the phone and had hysterics. Funny
how your priorities change in a matter of moments.
A phone call. Life is
suddenly different, in fact, life may not be there at all.
When faced with this trauma, we all react in different
ways. I think that we all go off
the deep end a bit when news like this comes our way. I went out and married a man I liked a lot at the time,
because I did not want to die alone. Foolish?
Maybe. Can any of us facing
a death sentence be truly sane at that time?
is a long process, checkups every 3 months to see if it has come back, did they
get it all??? The ups and downs, the fear, the what ifs, the realization of no
children or grandchildren, the incredible cruelty of some coworkers and
acquaintances, the extraordinary kindness of people you least expect; it
is eye opening. The strength that grows in leaps and bounds, we all have
to grow up. Sometimes, it is just a bit faster for some than for
But... I did not die.
Despite the doomsayers, and the doctors, and the statistics, I refused to
die. There was always hope in my
heart. No one can tell you when
life is going to be over. It will
only be over when you give up hope. So,
I say to you all, never give up! I
have been told so many negative things in my life that were going to happen to
me because of injuries or illnesses. But,
I am not blind, I am not in a wheelchair, I have defeated many of my enemies,
and most of all... I am not dead. Hope.
So what has happened in those extra thirty seven incredible
years. My first husband and I
stayed together 10 years. When I
did not die, we gave it a shot and ended up parting ways.
But I went to his wedding a few years later... Why??
Because he asked me to.
They have found what causes cervical cancer... a virus!! So
now young girls can get a vaccination against it. Hallelujah!!! Research
science at it's best. No more
early, untimely deaths, no more giving up having children for the rest of your
life. This one makes me so very
Nine years ago, my sister was diagnosed with stomach cancer
and given 6 months to live. She
also decided not to die. She
accepted Jesus into her heart the night before they took out her stomach, her
spleen, and half of her pancreas. Can
you imagine a diabetic trying to balance her sugar with no stomach??
She does it and has for 9 years. You
can't tell me that miracles don't happen. I
have seen so very many in my life, that sometimes I have to share them.
God at work, every day.
Sharon and Jennie back in 1981
I found Paso Finos and they have changed my life and have
taken me in a direction that I would never have guessed would happen.
Through these horses I have been given the opportunity to talk to people
from all over the world by phone and emails.
What a blessing so many of you have been to me.
I cannot thank you enough.
I have seen so many Pasos enter people's lives in the past
few years, even with the market so incredibly depressed.
These horses have changed people's lives and added so much joy to their
every day existence. There is nothing like looking out the window and seeing a
paso smiling back at you. It moves
the heart like nothing else.
So in these hard economic times, there are so very many
things to be thankful for. Hope,
joy are at the top of my list. What
Paradise Paso Finos