Monday, November 16, 2009

Olympics & Cancer

I had the opportunity this past Saturday to take this photo of the Olympic Flame as it passed through our area. Pride on the faces of each of the torch bearers was only a sneak peak of the pride that will be displayed right around the world as each country participates in Vancouver, Canada this coming February. Athletes have devoted most of their lives to intense and enduring training for these games, in a hope of winning the top prize, that of a gold medal to bring back home to their country. But even more than achieving this, training for the Olympics, is also a personal goal of strength and endurance by each and every competitor.
Seeing that flame, made me personally realize that the endurance of cancer patients along their cancer journey is somewhat comparable to atheletic training. The goal though is to beat their opponent - cancer - and to overcome the obstacles it presents along their way.
  • Training for each and every cancer patient is definitely intense and unrelenting and continues everyday.
  • The obstacles they encounter along the way are immense and no training can ever prepare cancer patients for the unexpected events that will happen from day to day.
  • Travel is a given along the Cancer Olympics trail, as the numerous visits for doctor visits, testing with CT's, MRI's, Pet Scans, radiation treatments, blood tests, oncologist's visits and test results are never ending.
  • Disappointments will be many along the way....but with each disappointment there will also be advancement and encouragement to continue
  • The pressure to continue will be enormous and you will want to just give up so many times, but don't relent - keep going
  • Each cancer patient has to focus on what is important in order to reach their goal
  • Energy levels will be at an all time low on most occasions, but despite this, you keep going
  • It will most definitely be not only a physical challenge that you face against your cancer opponent, but also a mental challenge. It will be an emotional roller coaster - but you CAN do it
  • You will need an exceptional COACH to encourage you on. This person will have to be tough, unselfish and mentally strong. Instead of a stop watch, your coach will have a blood pressure monitor, thermometer, appointment log and be able to negotiate and yes, even argue with your health care professionals if need be to ensure you always receive the best advice and medical treatment available. Your coach must definitely have the ability to continually inspire you to NEVER QUIT
  • Cancer patients focus on what is important to reach your goals...eating healthy, resting when feeling tired, keeping positive even when the going gets very difficult to bear
  • Sacrifices will be at the top of your list as a cancer patient......your schedule will be constantly rearranged depending on how you feel at any particular time of day and the things you used to do when you were cancer free, might not necessarily now be at the top of your To-Do agenda
  • You WILL overcome adversity

Yes, the endurance of cancer patients along their journey is most definitely an Olympic challenge. They are AMBASSADORS for not only other cancer patients, but also for those of us who stand along the competitive trail and cheer them on.

How do I know this? I have watched my husband travel the road to his own Olympics, and believe you me, I have personally seen the struggles and adversity that he has encountered along the way.......he may have not won the Olympic Gold, but he has won the hearts of all those who have had the opportunity to know him.......that is indeed such a priceless reward.

He is a true HERO of his own Olympics with cancer

There's so much strength in all of us

Every woman child and man

It's the moment that you think you can't

You'll discover that you can!!!


Joanne said...

You are one amazing woman Deb! Take care.

Hannah said...

Such an inspirational post Deb!

Joe said...

I recently discovered this website and am so very happy I did. Your writings give me the encouragement I need to keep going despite my chemo therapy treatments and side effects. Thanks for just being there.