Archived Story

Overcoming the mental battle

Published 8:52am Thursday, February 28, 2013

To the Editor:

To my friends who have cancer or have lost someone to cancer, my sincerest sympathy.  The Relay for Life campaign is about to begin, and I find myself reflecting on my personal battle with the disease.

Remembering when my doctor told me I was pregnant with cancer and recommended an abortion (my lovely daughter is now 30), I remind myself that I refuse to die of cancer.

When I was told, again, that I had cancer and radical surgery would save my live (which led to the demise of my marriage), I remind myself that I refuse to die of cancer.

When my hand vehemently shook and I could not remember how to sign my name when presented with a Living Will (prior to surgery),  I remind myself that I refuse to die of cancer.

Each time I look into the mirror and see signs of advanced aging, (wrinkles and white hairs), I remind myself that I refuse to die of cancer.

I cannot speak for anyone else or offer advice.  I can only document my personal walk through the valley of the shadow of death.  It is this journey that keeps me going.  It is this mental battle that pushes me to work a 16 hour day when the restaurant and B & B overlap.   Although my body is beat to death, I refuse to die of cancer.

Giving in would be easier, but how could I face my children and friends if I do?  We are confronted with battles every day…whether they are physical, personal or professional, it is our fortitude by which we are forged and measured.

Oh death, where is thy sting?  I will survive on this side and live on the other, because I refuse to die of cancer.

Jennifer Hodge

Murfreesboro

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