June 26th, 2017
| Survivor: Colon and Rectal Cancer
Seven years ago, when I was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer, my adult daughter gave me a gift: a cardboard-framed wish wall. I had never seen anything like it before, it was such a unique gift! It came stocked with colored slips of paper that I used to write down my future expectations. I rolled each wish up and inserted them in the honeycombed slots inside the framed board. My family and friends were invited to write down theirs for me to hold for safekeeping. I hung it up in my home to view every day in a special place, where it accumulated many hopes and desires throughout my cancer treatment, recovery and journey.
But all the wishes remained unread. During that period I was emotionally vulnerable, subject to feeling many ups and downs. I felt at times unsure about what my future would be… I felt like I was standing on a precipice and looking down into a dense fog. I was scared of what the wish wall might have revealed about the outcome of my fight, if I’m being very honest with myself. That doesn't mean I wasn't curious, though. Recently, when I was decluttering and reorganizing my home, I decided it was time to sate my curiosity and uncover what hopes had been written during my cancer fight those years ago.
I was surprised by how revealing those little pieces of paper came to be. I sat down with them at my kitchen table for a long, long time reflecting on where I was and where I've come since then. So many of my personal wishes have come true, while some are yet to manifest. One theme remained constant: Hope.
After my meditation, I realized I had learned a lot about what I had envisioned for my post-cancer life, what it would it be like and what I really valued during that time frame. I have chosen to share some of the many personal well 'wishes' that may inspire others in the midst of their own cancer journeys.
What My Loved Ones Wrote For Me
What I Wrote To Myself
Reading through these well wishes and being able to reflect was beneficial in so many profound ways. This experience was uplifting and renewed my faith in human kindness. It was a vivid reminder of the journey that I went through with courage and strength that I garnered from others. The messages have universal meaning and significance for anyone undergoing a health crisis. I am grateful to have had this wish wall to store my dreams for how my future was going to unfold.
We all need hope.
What is one message that you were given during your cancer journey that resonated with you? Share in the comments below!
Photo featured above is courtesy of the author.
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