Can Your Illness Be Your Wakeup Call?

In 2009 I was diagnosed with Thyroid Cancer. I remember after my surgery I had a hard time recovering. The following week, I had a doctor’s appointment with my thyroid specialist. My doctor told me, when he removed my thyroid during surgery he had sent it to pathology and it was indeed cancer. I remember hearing my doctor speaking to me but when the word cancer was mentioned everything my doctor was talking about was a blur. All I remember is the word cancer and I was diagnosed with it. I was calm and my doctor wanted me to go see a nutritionist along with him saying he was going to be my new best friend for the next five years. My husband, who has always been my rock and my biggest support, took my hand and we proceeded going into the elevator. When the doors closed, I cried and fell into my husband’s arms. For those 30 seconds I was very vulnerable. When the doors opened I had composed myself and both my husband and myself walked outside to our car. As we were driving my husband Tom asked me, “are you going to tell our daughter Alex?” I replied, “of course she has to know and she has to understand our families health history.” When we arrived back home, I went straight to the couch still not feeling well. I still had the bandage across my throat and I was feeling very weak.

My husband and daughter were my biggest support helping me in every way. Cooking, cleaning, cleaning my bandage and trying to make me as comfortable as possible. As my daughter was cooking me dinner, she was dicing vegetables and I had asked her how her day was and she asked me how did the doctor’s appointment go. I told her that it went great. The doctor said I was healing nicely and that it was cancer. I was waiting for my daughter to reply back but she said nothing. I said Alex, did you hear what I just said? She replied, “I heard you.” and she kept dicing the vegetables, never looking up at me. I said, “Alex say something.” She stopped doing what she was doing and said, “mom this time you were lucky. But if you do not change your ways you will have cancer again and next time you won’t be so lucky.” Wow she stopped me dead in my tracks. I thought she was right. I am always there for everyone with no limits for what I need or what I am going through and there was never the power of no. I was taking on everyone’s worries and their responsibilities that were never mine to begin with. I knew what my daughter Alex said was so profound and so right. My 18 year old child saw what all was around me from people to people’s problems. I was the energizer bunny, going going going with no end in sight. I started thinking about how I could start changing my life. I was going in operation rescue Susan.

What I started realizing is how cancer taught me how precious life really is. I started thinking God woke me up today, today is another chance to get it right. Happiness is a choice, gratitude is a choice. You can choose to be grateful or you can choose to be miserable. I asked myself do I want to live? The answer was yes. But I needed to make changes. I reminded myself of why I wanted to live. My husband, my daughter, my calling and what I can do in helping, guiding and directing people. Solving crime cases such as homicides, missing people and giving people the much needed closure they so deserved.
I was on a mission to find my balance through all of this. I started to realize how important it is to listen to your body. When your body is hurting, or you do not feel like yourself, your body is speaking to you. Listen!!!

It is important to have a relationship with your doctor and for you to be heard. Make a list of questions everytime you go to the doctor. Make sure you have this wonderful connection with your doctor as it will be very important now and down the line for you to recover.

The next and most important is your belief. Faith and strength with God. You are on this journey with him. When you have an illness whether it’s cancer or any illness it changes everything. It is your wakeup call. You need to surrender to God but you also have to start to let things go. From people that drain you or in my case how people use me as a commodity to make money for them wasting precious time on the wrong things that do not serve me. Learning to let go of the past and letting go of bad habits. Embracing on healthy spirited people who have the best intent for you as you have for them. Getting rid of a job that is draining you and making you sick. And becoming the best person you can be for you. Learning to eat better, letting go of the past, forgiving people who have done wrong to you and not holding onto that negative energy. As if you do, you are hanging onto their energy as if they are right next to you. I realized I had to let things go if I were to get better. Forgiving and letting go, trying to sleep more and even forgiving yourself for being angry at people or things that have hurt you. Remember forgiveness is a choice and with this choice brings you freedom.

As time went on, I incorporated the new changes I so needed to do. I found so much of the good that was making its way inside me and all around me. When I learned to forgive people who were cruel to me and saw them for their truth, not the illusion I wanted them to be, to see them as incapable, I was then free. Since then, I have been cancer free and it is a work in progress each and everyday. I no longer have fear as I learned and felt my relationship with God was more important as I so and still believe in him. There is no room for fear as I have fear in its proper perspective. I enjoy being with my family, our dog and good friends that are on my spiritual level. I can laugh, smile, dance and rejoice.

Was my health a wakeup call? Absolutely yes. I thank my family, my husband and my beautiful courageous daughter for enlightening me in the direction I needed to go. And I thank almighty God each and every day.

Much Love Susan