HOPEology

I like the word hope. Yes, it’s used to push many agendas and sometimes it can feel unauthentic. But if the cause/event/moment is something you are passionate about then hope feels right and true.

My six month MRI showed nothing… No Evidence of Disease (N.E.D.)! There is always a rush of tears that follows the news, good or bad; the build up of tension and then the overwhelming release. More times than not over the past four years, the outcome has not been what I’ve wanted to hear. My oncologist has a strong belief that Avastin (and I have to agree) is the reason for my clean scans.

The decision to return to a once a month “maintenance” treatment after a four month break, gave me pause. I owe my oncologist and Avastin (and the researchers/funding who pushed to test this on other cancers after it failed in breast cancer trials) a well-deserved ‘thank you very much’ — but staying with chemo, like some relationships, is complicated. There are the immediate side effects which can be icky and worse, debilitating, at times. Then, there’s the possibility of creating a secondary cancer or other serious health issues. It’s not a decision anyone takes lightly. The bottom line is that we do what we have to to stay on this planet, with the people we love, for as long as we can. I am hopeful. Being hopeful feels better than being hopeless.

Since I’m on the topic of hope, let’s talk about Relay For Life. My first experience at Relay was so positive that it became the topic of my first blog entry. It was an incredibly hopeful event for me, connecting with other survivors and honoring my loved ones. My family & friends have celebrated with me each year and we have crazy fun.

Each year the American Cancer Society chooses Heroes of Hope from across the country to be a voice of hope. So how honored was I to have been chosen this year?! I get to share my story at Relays all over California to build cancer awareness. Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 12.44.40 PM

Opening a dialog about cancer, certainly below-the-belt cancers, hasn’t always been socially accepted. We can finally talk about breasts, prostates and colons without fear of hushed giggles. But chatting about anal, cervical or ovarian cancers still makes some people uncomfortable. And we know that when people fear something, they are not motivated to make change. But cancer is cancer and its sole purpose is to kill. It starts a ragging fight inside our bodies and we throw medicine down its throat hoping to choke it to death. The thing is, we do survive every damn day we are here. So, yes, hope it what motivates me; the hope that I will continue to be on this planet to love, cry, scream and just be.

“Let’s talk about cancer, baby. Let’s talk about you and me.                                                                                                            Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be.”

8 thoughts on “HOPEology

  1. I LOVE the way you write. Your passion and zest for life shine through and inspire other people to be better. You are an inspiration and I look forward to every page you write.

  2. Happy to hear that you are well and able to continue with the Avastin. So far, so good with the Avastin for me, too. Also know that you are celebrating a birthday this week. Happy, happy birthday to an inspirational ovca “sister.” May God continue to bless you with clear scans and sunny days. :o)

  3. Carolann, you never cease to amaze me how your words so evoke your being, your humanity, your humanness, your fears and thankfully your joys as well. “Keep on Truckin'” girlfriend as you are an inspiration to all!! Love you❌⭕️🐾👣

  4. You inspire me, Carol, to be the best person I can be, in spite of whatever adversity life decides to throw in my direction. Your hopeful attitude is so contagious, and I am most certain that I am a better human from knowing you. So happy for you to be chosen a Hero of Hope! You will visit with others, hear their stories, and inspire them with your amazing story as well.

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