Cancer Taught Me to Love Myself and Never Lose Hope

Desmond Tutu once said, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.” This quote signifies how I felt on February 20, 2020. On that day, I received one of the biggest news of my life. At the age of 34, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. In this blog, I want to take you back in time and share with you the very first day that transformed my life forever.

Before I tell you about that day, let’s go back to three days prior. On February 17, 2020, I woke up with pain in the lower right side of my stomach. I did not put too much mind to it since I thought I was having a regular stomachache. However, on the third day, I knew in my heart that something was wrong. The pain lasted three days and it was not going away.

At work, my friend noticed that my stomach looked swollen. I knew at that moment that my body was giving me a warning. For this reason, I finally decided to tell my brother what was happening as he was doing his doctor residency at the hospital and encouraged me to go to the hospital the next morning.

It all started on Thursday morning as I was driving to the hospital. It was 7:00 a.m. when I arrived. I remember going to the emergency room feeling extremely anxious and nervous because I did not know what was going to happen. My heart was racing so fast, and I knew that I needed to calm down.

The receptionist greeted me and admitted me to the hospital. About two hours later, the nurse technician and radiologist conducted blood work, checked my blood pressure, and did a CT scan to see what was causing me to have this indescribable, excruciating pain in my stomach.

It was around 10:30 a.m. when the kind doctor came to see me. She had this stern look on her face, which made me feel worried. I was not sure what to think at that point. All of that time, I thought it was going to be related to my appendix and/or find kidney stones. The doctor notified me that an additional CT scan had to be conducted before they could tell me the results of both CT scans. Imagine for a moment, I was all alone, scared and nervous, and had no one to simply tell me that everything was going to be OK.

Yet, I did everything in my power to stay serene.

As time passed, it was close to noon when the same doctor greeted me. This time she expressed, “I am going to get a surgeon to speak with you. Please give him about twenty minutes so he can go over the results of your CT scans.”

At that moment, my heart literally was racing at a thousand, I was crying, and not knowing anything about my health made me feel hopeless. I took a few deep breaths to calm myself down. I felt better afterward.

Finally, the surgeon came and took me to a private room to speak with me. I knew within me that the results of the CT scans were going to give me bad news, and ultimately, I was right.

I recalled the surgeon stating, “We found a mass in your colon and it is cancerous. You have colon cancer. You are scheduled for emergency surgery to get the mass out. The surgery is this Monday. On Saturday, however, you will need to do a colonoscopy in order to give us a better understanding of your condition.”

My instant thought was, “Did I hear right? The doctor just told me I have cancer. What in the world is a colonoscopy?”

Receiving this news unexpectedly changed my perspective about self-love and living my life. Throughout my blogs moving forward, I will be sharing with you that even though no one on this planet wants to be diagnosed with cancer, to me, it was a blessing in disguise. Cancer provided me the true meaning of loving myself, but above all to never lose HOPE.

To conclude, I will always end my blogs by sharing prayers with you that have helped me throughout this journey. Now, read this prayer with me as I read it with you:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Words cannot express how grateful I am that You have given me a second chance in life. Thank You for making me the person I am today. I am strong, fearless, powerful, anointed, authentic, determined, and intuitive. Today, I ask that you continue to guide me with the sole purpose of becoming the best version of me. FOREVER BLESSED!!!

In Jesus Name, Amen.

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