December. It is one of those months where in our hearts we feel something a little bit more. Some may call it magic, love, or Christmas spirit, yet for many that emotion may be missing. A time of joy, can also be burdensome. For me, Christmas has always been that sparkle at the end of the year where glistening lights and touching music provides a little extra spring to my step, and more love in my heart. As a child, I could not wait to open presents Christmas morning, sip hot cocoa, and eat warm cinnamon rolls. Having grown and with a family of my own, this time of year for me has become about seeing the light gleaming from within the eyes of others.
This December, I had a one-inch incision to remove three lymph nodes from my pelvic region for biopsy. In 2017, I have had more trouble with my lymph nodes swelling than ever before. For precautionary measure, my surgeon felt it would be best to remove one and send it in for cancer screening. I wasn’t scared, this was perhaps my 13th surgery, and I now have one more battle scar providing part of the road map to my story. Preoccupying my mind, was how often I had surgery in December and the overwhelming anticipation of is it cancer, is it not, will I be ok? In 2003 it was a hysterectomy for cervical cancer, in 2002 a laparoscopy, in 2012 breast lump removal, and now 2017- lymph node dissection. Waiting for pathology reports is not how anyone wants to spend a holiday, and it made me think of our Cancer Horizons community of patients and caregivers. How many are suffering, feeling alone, or unsure of what the next minutes, hours, or days will bring?
The holidays can bring on those feelings of uncertainty or loss, especially for those with cancer. There are no words that will have a magic fix this season, however there can be a spark that can light your world if only for a minute. Find a little comfort in your soul by creating joy in connecting with someone you love, doing an activity that provides a smile, or taking just one moment to believe. Listen to a bell ring and allow your heart to experience that child-like joy of Christmas.
My biopsy results were negative, which came as a sigh of relief for me, however there are so many out there that did not or will not have the same prognosis. I wish I could take away all the hurt, pain, and fear for you, and give you joy, laughter, and memories.
This season, I am sending all of our Cancer Horizons family a warm hug of love. Let love fill your Christmas and reside in your heart. Let love be the light behind your eyes and recognize it in those around you.
A little love can go a long way.
This Christmas let’s spread love.