“This cancer will bring pain and suffering as well as joy and insights”
The author wrote this letter after receiving a cancer diagnosis.
July 23, 2018
I know how discouraged you feel right now. It’s alright to feel this way after finding out that you are facing another unforeseen challenge. This time, the challenge has nothing to do with choices you made. Rather, it comes from a genetic mutation that has been slowly working its way to revealing itself. Yes, the timing is unfortunate—it feels like an injustice when your life was finally coming together. But, as always, you need to find a way to accept the situation, to do your best in dealing with it, and to let go of any expected outcomes.
As with any life experience, this cancer will bring pain and suffering as well as joy and insights. Walking this road will not be easy. There are no guarantees with a disease that has no cure and only symptom management. Look for the glittering dewdrops among the thorns. Love yourself to the fullest now that you know that death is lurking closer. Your body is not failing you; it is presenting a challenge for you to develop your strength. You are not alone. We, your supporters in the spirit world, will walk by your side without fail. Find your courage and your warrior strength in meeting this new challenge. Walk the path of love and daring. Renew yourself once again in faith and hope and you will surely overcome your fears and disbelief.
Remember when you were diagnosed with Mobitz II? Dr. B. told you that the only remedy was a pacemaker. It was important to be alert to signs of weakness, shortness of breath, and vertigo. You were to get yourself to an emergency room as quickly as possible because death was imminent. His verdict felt like such a death sentence.
You were upset then too, and cried, “Why me?” You had to work through the anger and the despair, which you did. You overcame and accepted that you could die at any time from this condition. It was okay. You learned to live each day to the best of your ability. You lived as if you weren’t facing this threat. You refused to give in to fear and disillusionment.
Now you need to put that same attitude into place and deal with this situation as bravely as you can. You can’t control the cancer from running its course. You can, however, live as if there will be no tomorrow. That is good enough.
Take care of yourself, Denise. You’re a fighter. I know that you will continue to grow in wisdom and in resiliency. Have faith and you will find your way.
I love you.
Your wise self,
Denise Linnay is currently doing a graduate diploma at Saint Paul University in Supportive Care and Spirituality in Palliation.. She hopes to complete her masters in spirituality and psychotherapy at Saint Paul University next year. She is interested in training as a death doula and in launching a senior peer support program in Ottawa. She is also a public speaker and aspiring writer.