She should be dead already.
19yrs ago her doctor told her the cancer was spreading. 10 years ago she was told there was nothing else they could do. The conventional methods weren’t working. Nothing left but experimental treatment.
19yrs later, she speaks to groups as a survivor. She uses her story to inspire others to keep fighting.
But she has to keep fighting as well. It’s not over for her. She still takes treatment. She still deals with the side effects. She goes to the doctor and waits in dread for the test results. She never knows if this is the time they tell her it’s spreading again or not.
Every day is a new day for her. A new day to live. A new day to fight.
The truth is: we all suffer. Just in different ways.
“Healthy” people that die suddenly. Traumatic brain injuries that turn adults into children. Bad backs. Diabetes. Children with tumors. Heart attacks. The decay of dementia. And everything in between.
Everyone’s story is unique. But at the same time, similar. Because we’re all in this together. Living and dying.
And on a long enough timeline, all results are the same. No one gets out alive.
But mixed in to these moments of pain and despair is a life full of beauty and promise.
So what’s the point of survival anyway? When our path leads to destruction no matter what we do?
Back to the story
Let me tell you something else about my patient. She shouldn’t have cancer. Because she should have never been born.
What I mean is, her mother had surgery to prevent pregnancy. But it didn’t work. Her mother then went to an abortion clinic. But the doctor told her she was too far along.
So she had a baby.
And that baby grew up… to be a survivor.
If you don’t believe you have a purpose in this life, then you aren’t paying close enough attention.
I am not saying all things happen for a reason. I am saying that life and death happens, no matter what you do.
Your pain can overwhelm you. There is no amount of “positive thinking” that can undo what you are going through. Optimism can’t stop terrorists, lone gunmen, hurricanes, or crooked politicians.
Your circumstances are out of your control. But that doesn’t mean it has to control your emotions or your actions.
You have more power than you realize.
Don’t worry about being strong. BE PERSISTENT.
You don’t need permission. You only need to keep going forward.
The pain you are going through hasn’t killed you yet and this means you’ve already discovered the secret to your survival. The determination. The fight. The will.
Think about the things that have upset you in the past. That time you were depressed, upset, angry, betrayed. It didn’t feel like there would be a day that it didn’t hurt. You didn’t think you could get through to the other side. But you did.
And now, you are here. A different day. A different circumstance. Fully awake. Fully alive.
Think about the impossibility of your existence. The earth is at just the right distance from the sun. Your ancestors survived earthquakes, tornadoes, famine, ice storms, wooly mammoths, the plague, the flu, depression, addiction, poison, drought. They survived against all odds to reproduce. Your parents had to choose each other over every other mate in the world. Your genetic code had to line up just right. You had to survive in the womb.
When you understand all the forces and factors that had to be perfect just to bring you here…..then maybe you will start to see: You are a walking miracle as well.
BY DEFINITION: YOU ARE A SURVIVOR.
The things that brought you here may have been painful. But this is where you are. It doesn’t mean this is who you are. Just where you are. You get to pick who.
Life isn’t always easy. It sure isn’t fair. But it’s an adventure worth taking.
My patient shouldn’t be here.
All the cards have been stacked against her.
But she’s not done yet.
Because she’s a survivor.
How about you?
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