As each of us hear the word “cancer,” we respond in our own way. Each of us have to find our own paths. Each of us make choices, how to get through…today…the next, the next… step-by-step. There are no two of us alike in how we make this journey, what it does to us or, in some cases, what it does for us. I have heard that word “cancer” three times in my life, once for cervical and twice for breast cancer. After each surgery, I responded differently. When I look back I see how blessed I am to have all these years. I realized I had much to give back…to “pass it on.” Thus began my journey which led me to The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation (MPCF). Initially, I was crocheting and knitting chemo caps to give to others, distributing them through MPCF. Each time I entered their office door, I was greeted with warm smiles and giving hearts. At first, I did not see that I needed them, but soon that become apparent. I was awestruck by the knowledge and compassion the staff showed me and the vital materials I was receiving from their vast research. The more questions I asked, the more I realized how little I knew about my cancer and what it had done to my perceptions of who I was. That’s when the counseling services provided by The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation boosted me, encouraged me, taught me, and empowered me.
An example of empowerment is a recent trip to California I made alone. With oxygen supply in tow I rented a car and drove down the California coast. It was something friends and loved ones tried to talk me out of doing. But just because you have had or have cancer doesn’t mean you stop living. My awareness levels are attuned to my new body and its ability and limitations. I work within these parameters and continue to follow my passions. This trip was a needed lift for my spirit and a challenge to my ability. No survivor should be told not to do what they want to, as long as it is within the scope of common sense.
All the services at MPCF are available to any patient, caregiver, family member, whomever is seeking help. It was an amazing step for me to reach out for help and let their professionals become a needed part of my circle of support. When looking back, knowing that Sarah Cannon was a breast cancer survivor, I feel a kinship with her. Her dedication to serving others is as far-reaching today as it was 25 years ago. Hat’s off to you, Minnie! I will forever be indebted to The Minnie Pearl Cancer Foundation staff. Thank you!
|Blog Author: Marsha Morley|