It’s only cancer. As blasé as that may sound, I work for the Alzheimer’s Association as Walk Manager of the million-dollar Cincinnati Tri-State Walk to End Alzheimer's. Alzheimer’s disease has no effective treatment. No prevention. No cure. It’s always fatal. So, when the doctor came into the emergency room at 3:30 a.m. on April 12, 2019, and said to me, “The CAT scan shows extensive swelling in the lymph nodes of your abdomen which indicates cancer.” My first thought was, “SERIOUSLY?” My second thought was, “Maybe I should have told my husband to meet me at the ER.” My third thought was, “At least it isn’t Alzheimer’s. With cancer, I have a chance.”
As I laid alone with my thoughts waiting for my husband to arrive and for a room to open on the oncology floor, I resolved to remain positive throughout this journey, thus improving my chances. Since humor is my default coping mechanism, laughing through lymphoma came naturally. While cancer is certainly no laughing matter, laughter can be the best medicine, right?
I began posting daily “Perks of Having Cancer” on Facebook making my business everyone else’s business, too. To my surprise, people were inspired and encouraged by my writing. In return, they inspired and encouraged me. As the days and weeks of treatment passed, I realized “The Perks” might make a great book. I’ve always believed there is a purpose for everything.
By sharing my own journey, I could lift others in theirs. This was my purpose. I'm elated to say I was declared cancer-free in September of 2019. I was able to return to work in time to put on the Walk to End Alzheimer's on Oct. 3, then I began raising funds for another Walk. It was quite an emotional evening to stand with my family and friends from OHC at the Light The Night event...even more so carrying the white lantern. Shortly thereafter, I fulfilled a life-long dream to become an author by self-publishing The Perks of Having Cancer - An Inspirational, Positive and Humorous View of a Not-So-Inspirational, Positive or Humorous Situation. 10% of the sale of each book is being donated to both charities and I'm proud to say my first self-donation to my 2020 Light The Night team is for $445 with more to come every quarter...and until a cure is found!