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@2001 Jennie Williams
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Defeating the Enemy

2011

 

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 right....

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. 

I 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.  

I 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.  

So 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? 

It 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 others.  

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.  Faith,

 

UPDATE

 

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 happy!

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, faith, and joy are at the top of my list.  What about yours?

 

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Jennie Williams 

Paradise Paso Finos

678-592-8206