Mind Over Cancer
“According to www.cancer.net/cancer-types in the United States, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women (excluding skin cancer).” Before my Auntie Sandy was diagnosed with breast cancer I was living a typical carefree teenagers life. I never dreamed a fatal disease could impact a member of my family. Watching my Auntie go through treatment caused me to examine my life and how I chose to live it. As a result I learned many things about my aunt and myself: that an ordinary person can summon extraordinary strength to overcome obstacles, and that there is a distinct difference between what I want and what I truly need.
Cancer: the mere mention of the word causes me to shudder. I am very close with my Auntie Sandy. She is my mother’s only sister, and has been like a grandmother to me since my grandma died. When Auntie Sandy received her cancer diagnosis I felt frightened and devastated. Because I was still shaken from my grandmother’s passing a year earlier, I felt ill equipped to manage another tragedy so soon. How could this be? How could someone so unselfish, thoughtful, and kind have cancer? Worse yet, what if she died? As she endured her surgery and chemotherapy I prayed for her and with her. When she went to have her head shaved, my mother and I held her hands. As her beautiful, blonde hair fell to the floor, tears effortlessly flowed from our eyes. Remarkably, she was the one comforting us. She never asked “why me,” just displayed unbelievable courage throughout the treatments. She even joked about how she would finally be able to lose those “last ten pounds!” After twelve excruciating weeks the chemotherapy ended. She recovered swiftly from her surgery, went on to have reconstructive surgery, and in 2015 she will be considered cured.
Since I watched my aunt endure her battle with cancer, I have become more conscious of the way I live my life. For example, eating more organic fruits and vegetables, free...