Angel Type: Survivor
Date Type: Radiation seed implant
Why is this date special to you?
This was the day I began to be a cancer survivor rather than a cancer victim. I had been diagnosed the day before Thanksgiving (11/22/06-another significant date). That made for a tough holiday season. But with the procedure and great doctors, January 15 was a new start to a whole new life. With the prospect of surviving, every day became a new opportunity and a new thanksgiving. From that day my life is richer and I take nothing for granted.
Is there something special that you do each year to honor or celebrate this date?
I say a prayer to myself and express my gratitude for each day. I think how when you hear your own name and “cancer” used in the same sentence; it stops you in your tracks no matter who you are. The day reminds me that life is precious. Your family and friends are precious. Life is for living, not for sleepwalking and is not a caffeinated, multi-tasking frenzy. People are important, not things. Slow down.
Why did you choose to share this date with Imerman Angels?
I learned about Imerman Angels after I was already on the road to recovery. It would have been great to have had access to it from the time I was diagnosed. I had great doctors and family support, but I never spoke to someone who had been through the same experience. This organization provides a much-needed service to families touched by cancer. No one should go through this alone and I want Imerman Angels to grow so that no one has to.
What is a lesson your experience or your loved ones experience with cancer has taught you?
I think of the expression that “man plans and God laughs”. As much as we think we control our lives, it simply isn’t completely true. Although we make choices, much is out of our control. Cancer makes us humble and makes us realize the gift of life is to be treasured each day. The whole world is in the same boat. Let’s be kind to our shipmates.
This blog post is a part of the Imerman Angels “What’s Your Date?” Campaign, honoring & celebrating cancer stories.