By Angie Ramage
On July 8,2017, I woke up from surgery thinking that like many times in the past, the doctor had routinely removed noncancerous endometrial mass. But instead I heard an oncologist say, “You have stage two cancer. But we got all of it. If I had to stage you today, I would stage you at zero. We’ll do six rounds of Chemo and go from there.”
No one wants to hear this news. I had no real understanding of cancer or the treatments involved. I knew nothing about the side effects of Chemotherapy. I thought “six rounds” were six treatments. Nope! One round contains three treatments. In my case, we were talking about 18 treatments some of which were more intense than others.
While people applaud those who are survivors, they rarely understand the implications to the disease — the private battles that cancer patients and survivors face.
- Cancer is not a friendly word.
- It is not a welcoming word.
- It’s scary (even when you know God is right there with you).
- It is not a word that reflects strength, especially from the perspective of our working world.
- It is a word that is seen silently as physical weakness, being less than, and possible death.
After a few months of chemo treatments, I was faced with a layoff at my job. I was told that my position was being “restructured.” This language prevents lawsuits. That I did understand.
Two weeks before, the CMO told me she needed strength on her team, and I was not going to be strong enough to do the work she needed! I dropped my head and apologized.
I tried to reassure her, “I know that right now I’m weak, but I will regain my strength.” She quickly replied, “That is passive aggressive language, and I don’t appreciate it.” She placed a huge period at the end of that sentence.
A positive recovery from cancer is based on the way a person chooses to view each day. I chose to move forward believing that God has a good plan for my future. (Jer. 29:11)
In our politically correct world, people eagerly sign up to run 5ks in honor of loved ones, who battle the disease. They give to the American Cancer Society and commit to pray—all needed and appreciated. But few actually know what it is like to live with cancer and the treatments required to live another day on this planet.
Certainly during this time, my faith in God and His love sustains me. My friends offer hope, understanding, and care. Since leaving that company God has provided for me in amazing ways. I continue to recover and will for a few more months.
I now work with a marketing firm in the Atlanta area. I write, I edit, and most of all, I choose to live. They know cancer has touched my life, and they chose to make me a part of their team. I applaud them! They are fearless, and God will reward them. (Scripture)
I also choose to forget what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 3:13-14).
One day, if you find yourself facing some unfamiliar battle that up ends your world choose to—press on—don’t give up or give in. He has a good plan for your life. Go find it!