Childfree Reflections

With Marcia Drut-Davis
February 13th, 2014 by Marcia Davis

The Gifts of Cancer

The Gifts of Cancer

By Marcia Drut-Davis

Before I share my gifts, I must state having cancer or any other serious illness is awful. I will never say it’s a walk in the park. My heart goes out to brave survivors fighting any serious disease and to the people loving and supporting them.  That being said I’ve experienced many gifts of having cancer.

I was diagnosed the day after Christmas. It was a shock. I’m still in shock after having had a very healthy life to this age of 71. How could this happen? I ate well, exercised and faithfully took care of my body, mind and spirit. My nephew remarked, ”Aunt Marcia? Are you kidding me? With all her health foods and vitamins!”

Why not me?  Of course I could be challenged with this disease, as too many others are every day. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It just exists.

It didn’t take long for me to see that having this illness opened the door to many heartfelt realizations. I’ve had daily texts, emails, tweets and phone calls from those loving me. There have been times I can’t speak due to the ravages of chemo. But, those sending those heartfelt wishes and prayers have been the first gifts. Those who continue to reach out make me smile every time. They show genuine compassion and touch my heart every time.

The nurses and doctors I’ve met on this journey from Jupiter’s South Florida Radiation and Oncology have been overwhelmingly awesome. Dr. Sheih and Dr. Shapiro will forever stay in my heart. I’m not just another patient. They care. One nurse gave me her personal cell phone. I had a question one night and called. I didn’t want to bother her but had a pressing concern. To my delight, she immediately answered on the way to food shopping at Publix! To you, Cathy, I give my gratitude for your genuine love and compassion. To Dr. Valerie Barret from Renu Facial Aesthetics who got me a biopsy right before Xmas (when no docs were available) and who continually texts me her prayers and heartfelt love, I’ll forever know what a gift you are to my life. To Dr. Jayshree Matadial, who pushed me though with the needed colonoscopy and made sure I got the required heart clearance; you’re now a forever friend and not just a doctor. To Dr. Sri Ghanta from Anchor Dentistry in Port Salerno, who got me connected to Dr. Kimberly Dettori on a Sunday when I thought I needed a root canal, I felt your concern. She opened her office early Monday on the day I was to start chemo and thankfully, told me I didn’t need that root canal! She never charged me.  Do you see these gifts to my life?

It was raining and dreary one day. One of my daughter-friends said it was such a gloomy and awful day! I corrected her reminding her we are alive! Watching the precious rain coming down, seeing the plants and critters drinking in that rain is joyful.  I love each day and see them as gifts never to be taken for granted.

Sitting in my backyard, I’m touched by the beauty of nature. Every bird, cloud, creature scurrying around, or dove sitting on my birdbath means more to me now, than ever before. Every tree, flower or lone tomato that got through our cold spell makes me smile.

Some local businesses have proven they’re not just a business out for my money. They’re truly caring people. To Kathy, owner of Wigs For You on Federal Highway, who tenderly helped me choose a wig and insisted I not purchase it until I needed it, I’m grateful for your honesty. You could have easily made a sale that day but insisted I wait. She is a cancer survivor herself.

To Ritz Ballroom in Jupiter, thanks for leaving me two tickets to see my precious chemo nurse Kaiko dance her waltz in a showcase.  David Cook, understood I didn’t know for sure if I could attend so he never asked me for a dime. Instead, he left those tickets without asking for payment. I will be there for lessons once this is over!

To Tracy, our dog trainer from Petco and Lynn Barton from Barton’s Jewelers who offered to take our yipping Chihuahua for a day, at no cost to us, that was above and beyond and very much appreciated! We haven’t done that yet but knowing you’re there is wonderful. Yipping dogs can get to a person not feeling well.

To those who offered to take me to treatment: Jane, Linda, Rose, Heidi, Sheri and Tania, you helped me and gave my Jim a day off. It’s a gift for him as well as me. Never forget that caregiver and what they are dealing with.

To my dear neighbors Adrian and Jane and my sister’s sister in law Jill who made me home made soups that helped me through the rough times when chemo made me unable to eat whole foods, taking the time to do that is a testimony to caring neighbors and friends.

To my husband Jim Davis, I can’t find the words on this keyboard to tell you how much your love and support means to me.  You’ve picked me up when I thought I couldn’t go another day. You’ve allowed me to vent, cry or take out my frustrations on yourself. You’ve shopped for food, taken me to my treatments, cooked dinner, walked our dog and tried to continue your computer repair business all at the same time. As my hair started falling out, you assured me I was still beautiful. I didn’t believe you but my heart melted. I’m blessed to have you.

To my loyal followers who have read my book and loved what they received from it, it’s you who have also kept me going. I still have so many more hearts to connect with. The simple joys of a childfree lifestyle are important choices to consider. The end of pronatalism must be fought.

To my dog Pippa, our 8 pound Chihuahua, you know something’s wrong. You cuddle with me more and sadly stare into my eyes on the bed. Many times, seeing your little body spooning next to me is another gift during these challenging times. I’m sorry if I yelled at you when your barking seemed to be incessant. You’re just defending me feeling something is wrong in our family.

I’ve also learned some valuable lessons:

1. Never ask any patient in chemo or radiation how they’re doing. Trust me. They aren’t doing well. Asking makes them focus on how they’re feeling. Instead, simply tell them how much you care about them. Ask them if there’s anything you can do. Then, do it! Tell them you feel so badly for what they’re going through. If they do tell you they feel awful, don’t tell them it will be worth it! Don’t tell them their hair will grow back! Tell them how awful that must be. Sympathize with them.

2. If you can, buy anyone facing a serious illness, “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne. This philosophy has come in handy in my darkest hours. It also helps any caregivers to support people going through illnesses. “The Law Of Attraction” should be required reading or listening. I suggest the CD.

3. Never take a hemorrhoid for granted!  If there’s any bleeding, go immediately to your gastroenterologist! Don’t die of embarrassment. Make sure it’s just that hemorrhoid and not any cancer. If you’ve not had a colonoscopy, think about making an appointment immediately! If I can save one life from this plea, it’s worth it.

Cancer is a terrible challenge to overcome. Knowing there are people there for you who care and offer their heartfelt love is something I’ll never forget. I’m grateful to experience and share these gifts of cancer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

2 Responses to “The Gifts of Cancer”
  1. Marcia, may God bless you today, tomorrow and forever. I have never believed in taking anything for granted and always say thank you for everything and I mean everything. Thank you for sharing your experience and for being an inspiration for others.

    • marciadavis says

      I apologize for JUST seeing this post! Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Continue to help childfree people as you are doing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please prove you are not a robot ! * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.