Truthfully, people say this alot and I'm not just saying it. If you can pull through a very serious illness and inspire others by walking the talk then I am very humbled by the complement. The life I choose to live is a healthy, proactive, productive and positive one and when I walk out into the world this is the face I would hope most people see.
However, with every ray of light there is a shadow and that is also what I have had to accept and to learn to live with with eveyday. Having gone through the physical, emotional and financial experience of cancer it is not uncommon for people to come and ask for my help. I would average at least one person a month either asking me to call their friend or requesting my number "to give to such and such'. I am a loving, caring person but in all honesty I simply cant. Not just for my own health and well being but I am not a professional counselor. Don't get me wrong, I do understand the importance of being able to connect to someone when you are going through a tough emotional time or not coping with prescribed treatment, but there are structures within society that will assist those that need it.
Just like most of us, it takes me all my own energy to get through each and everyday and I would hope people understand that one can only extend themselves so far. For me life has always got to be about boundaries and balance. It is actually a critical part of my life now and I don't expect people to understand unless they have lived through this surgery and have the looming threat of cancer over their heads. I discovered through my journey I have a genetic disorder called Lynch Syndrome. In a nutshell I have a faulty cancer protective gene which is in each and every cell of my body. This means I am far more likely to develop one or more cancers throughout my lifetime as this is the more dominant gene in the cell. So, you see I live with the threat of disease everyday of my life. As proactive and as positive as I am nothing helps the anxiety leading up to quarterly blood tests,yearly scans and intrusive procedures. I will never be 'over' cancer, this is something my human side has to deal with for the rest of my life, period
I wanted to give back to society after my illness so I put a structure in place to be able to do that. I created a Support Group on Facebook called https://www.facebook.com/SupportGroupForPartialTotalGastrectomyPatients for people who live with partial or no stomach. Along with four other administrators (all stomachless) I am able to help people on a daily basis just by living my life and sharing personal experiences and information. I do not extend myself further than that unless someone locally with stomach cancer comes through the No Stomach for Cancer website (http://www.nostomachforcancer.org) , my GP, my surgeon or my oncologist. For my own sanity and to stay out of the depths of other peoples despair this is just one boundary I am constantly having to uphold.
As well as being extremely lucky, I am also not your average type of girl. I am committed to do the work on myself to evolve. I believe anything is possible and I want to express myself and inspire people through my artwork and hopefully light a few internal flames in those who are searching for more than this human experience, I have committed myself in spiritual meditation classes for over five years and I've had to do alot of self healing and releasing during that time. The more I define myself the clearer the decisions and choices I have to make. This includes finding that cold compassion with people and being able to detach from those who are no longer a reflection of me, no matter how long they have been a part of my life. Letting go of the past is incredibly difficult and emotionally hard, but for those committed on this journey of higher consciousness there is no room for illusion just the truth. It takes a lot of hard work spiritually, emotionally and physically to ' Look Great'. So when someone pays me this complement, I know I've earned it!