I have come to know many amazing cancer survivors since my diagnosis 6 years ago. However, one of them stands out above the rest: Karen Shollenberger. She has beaten cancer not once, not twice, but three times. No matter how difficult it got, she constantly showed this sense of hope and positivity that simply amazed me. She is awesome and I am so grateful to have her as a friend. Yesterday, however, I found out this amazing young woman has yet again relapsed.
I don't know how I would have handled news like that, if I were her. Yet, once again, she has displayed this incredible sense of possibilitarianism. She may not know what the next steps are for her - or even if there are next steps - but she continues to hold her head high and sets her sights on possibilities.
When I heard her news yesterday, I was mad, sad, angry, frustrated, you name it. I continue to be amazed at the new and terrible ways in which cancer touches my life, day after day. I may be a survivor, and I may be physically healthy, but this roller coaster of cancer seems to be endless. No matter how far away from my own experience I get, I continue to find myself on another downhill drop - whether that be from my own struggles with late-effects or with emotional challenges like hearing the news I heard yesterday. Cancer simply sucks.
So, I write this post in an effort to help pull myself together and sit up straight again in my roller coaster cart. I sit up straight and try and hold my head high, as Karen has so gracefully done, so that I can see possibilities ahead. While I believe I see possibilities ahead for me, I hold on tight to those around me as I hope and pray those possibilities are there for Karen too. If you find yourself in the same position as Karen, I encourage you to check out Karen's blog at http://theworstbestthing.weebly.com/blog, where she shares her journey and awesome outlook. Let's all be #Karenstrong.