Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Ultimate Question

Is there a god? I think no matter who you are, how old you are or what faith you practice (or in some cases don't) at one point; even if you were young; you have asked yourself this question.

Now let me explain why I bring up this topic. My families background is Methodist but no one actually practices it faithfully or is particularly religious in general. I am included in this as well. I have asked myself the question of is there a god? and to be honest even to this very minute I am not 100% sure. The best I can do is that I have come to the conclusion that I believe there is a God or higher being but not necessarily "THE" God. But I am getting a little off topic as to why I bring this up. As part of me saying that I believe in higher being is because I believe in Karma, Fate, Destiny, that everything happens for a reason, etc. But I haven't decided what or who drives that.

As someone who has had the unfortunate experience of having cancer I think a lot about higher powers.

Pre-Cancer: There was nothing about my life that was what I would refer to as overly bad. Everyone has different events that happen in their lives but then again that goes into that I believe everything happens for a reason and that those events have shaped me into the person I am today and the life I lead. But my life for myself was not much, I didn't take very good care of myself all the way around, I was over weight, didn't exercise, didn't even take anytime for myself to do much of anything. So when I was diagnosed with cancer it came as quite a shock but not entirely unexpected. The way I was going despite my age something had to give eventually. I am actually it happened when I was still young enough to learn from it. So I made it through with flying colors and achieved a complete remission.

Post-Cancer Treatment: It took sometime but I finally came to see that I was in control of me (I know sounds odd when talking about higher powers) and that if I wanted something to happen I couldn't just do nothing and expect things to change. So I started to change but I had lots of help along the way be people and events that I believe I was meant to have in my life and experience. A friend of our family just happened to be an oncology nurse at the hospital that I received treatment and she sent me an email about a cancer transitions program. I would have NEVER known about the program had she not sent me the info. The program was/is amazing you got everything nutrition, exercise, mental health, etc. During this time a doctor came in talking to us about the survivorship clinic they had recently opened and she happened to casually mention that they were working on having more survivor studies and one they were working on was going to be specifically for lymphoma patients. Afterwards I talked to her and mentioned that when they get it up and running I would love to be apart of it. Aside from that I also was motivated to join a gym and I learned about the balance plate which has been my saving grace of eating healthy.

About a month and half later I received a phone call from the same doctor saying they were starting the study. Now mind you this doctor did not write any of my information down but still some how remembered me and that I wanted to do the study.  The study ended up being a cardiac wellness program which was 13 weeks long and included cardio, weight training, relaxation, yoga, nutrition and stress reduction. It taught me so much and gave me so much motivation I loved it.

I also have to add into the whole equation of a very good friend of mine, Sara. She decided last January that she was going to complete a triathlon this past September. I don't think she realize just how motivating she has been for me and continues to be. There really isn't too much I can say because words can't describe what inspiration she has been and still pushes me and challenges me constantly keeping me going.

As you can see the way these events have all transpired all had a connection and I believe they were meant to happen and I was meant to meet people and have certain people in my life. For months I have been working extremely hard and have come a long way in getting towards healthy in all aspects both mind and body. To date I have learned to take time for myself and do things that make me happy as well as give back to others. As far as body goes I have lost 47lbs total, I strive to exercise at least 5-6 times a day although at the moment I am doing 7 days a week due to a challenge Sara proposed  which again is pushing me to be more creative and push myself to try new things. I am also eating a lot more healthier than I ever have before.

Today I went for my one year CT scan follow up appointment. regardless of how I feel I think I will always be worried about what the scans will show. However when meeting with my oncologist this morning he proceeded to tell me that not only am I still in a complete remission but that my scan actually looks even better than it did in June. When diagnosed I had a large mass on my lower vertebra that was 15+ cm, on the CT scan results from June there was small amount still there, about 3 cm, but was not cancerous and is scar tissue. I also have many bone lesions from where the lymphoma was which again are scaring. As of today's scan not only am I still in remission, but there is not visible evidence of the mass that was on my lower vertebrae and most the lesions were still stable or have had more healing done. 

After my appointment I did a lot of thinking and came to the conclusion that I think the outcome of all of this is all related. I had a life altering event because I needed to have a life altering event. Had I ignored all this and continued the same route I was on I am not sure I would have gotten the same news as I did today. I believe that because I was smart enough to realize that I needed and change and actually put the hard work into working towards that change that I will continue to have these results and hopefully never have an experience with cancer again. 

So as I said before I don't know if there is a God, but there is definitely something out there that saw where my life and health was going and this was the way I got my wake up call. So the next time something happens that you just can't explain or figure out just give it time and something will surface. So many people and places had a huge role in all this and I really can't thank them enough!!! So whether it is Destiny, Fate, God or some other higher power pay attention or just might miss your opportunity.

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